The aunts of a five-month-old baby who died after a magpie swooped her won’t be allowed into Queensland for her funeral because of fears they might import COVID-19.
On Sunday, a mother was swooped by a magpie in a Brisbane park and fell while holding her baby Mia, with the little girl suffering critical injuries and later dying in hospital.
Since then, there has been an outpouring of support, with the community raising more than $130,000 via a Gofundme page for the family in contributions and funeral costs.
Relatives of the victim interstate have sought an exemption from the Queensland government to be with their grieving loved ones and attend the baby’s funeral.
But Queensland’s chief health officer Jeanette Young – while expressing her deepest condolences – said she couldn’t risk the spread of COVID-19 in the community as the extended family was coming from declared hotspots.
“What if these people test positive day 10 or 11 and the funeral was day eight?” she said.
“It’s really sad. I cannot imagine the distress and the awfulness of it, that part is quite close to where I live.
“It is an absolutely tragic terrible situation.
“But I can’t make it tragic even more by having someone go to a funeral, and spread the virus at that funeral.
“No one would want that. It’s awful. It’s a terrible situation.”
Dr Young confirmed on Wednesday that Mia’s extended family had made a request to come into Queensland from NSW.
“Yes, I’ve asked this morning where the family lives in NSW so we can work through what is required,” she said.
“Of course, they can come into Queensland. Then we will just work through what type of quarantine might need to be in place.”
In a statement on their Gofundme page, sisters of the mother and father said they were “blown away” by the amount of support the family has received since Mia’s tragic accident.
“From the bottom of our hearts, we ask you to donate whether it be big or small,” they said.
“For those that cannot afford to donate, sharing this to spread the word and the love would mean everything. We can guarantee [Mia’s parents] Jacob and Simone will be forever grateful to you all.”
Following the incident, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has ordered an investigation into the council’s management of swooping birds at Glindemann Park.
It will include a review of how council staff manage complaints.
He said the council had installed almost 300 warning signs on council land in the past two years.
“This is an extremely tragic accident, and our heart goes out to the family involved,” the mayor said.