TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A young child has reportedly died from suffocation after he was allegedly forced by a New Taipei daycare employee to wear a facemask.
Chinese Television System anchor Lin Yen-ju (林彥汝) on Tuesday (Jan. 23) made the claims in a post to her Facebook page. She said her friend's sister had put her child in a daycare center in New Taipei's Xinzhuang District. However, the 11-month-old boy reportedly died on Monday (Jan. 22).
Due to an outbreak of respiratory illnesses, the daycare center had implemented a mask order.
The Xinzhuang Precinct of the New Taipei City Police Department has looked at the internal surveillance footage, reported TVBS. According to police, the father of the child took his son to the child care center, and he was lying prone at 8:14 a.m.
After 16 minutes, the caregiver surnamed Tseng (曾) discovered the baby was not breathing and he was rushed to the hospital.
According to police, the family has filed charges of negligent homicide (過失致死罪) against the director of the daycare center and two of its employees, reported SET News.
The New Taipei City Government Social Welfare Department expressed regret about the incident. It added it was providing full assistance to the family.
The cause of the incident is being investigated by both the hospital and judicial authorities.
Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞), spokesperson for the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said the mask mandate for daycare centers was lifted at the same time as the indoor mask order for schools on March 6 last year, reported CNA. Lo said that since the mask rule was lifted, neither the central government nor local governments have reinstated the regulation for daycare centers.
Lo said institutions that require the wearing of masks are hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and elderly welfare institutions. He said a child's physical and mental health must be considered first before a child is made to wear a mask.