Penang exco: New taskforce to monitor welfare, mental wellbeing of children orphaned due to Covid-19

Penang exco: New taskforce to monitor welfare, mental wellbeing of children orphaned due to Covid-19

Penang state exco Norlela Ariffin speaks to the press during the launch of the Covid 19 Emergency Careline at Dewan Pintar, Guar Perahu September 9, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Nov 26 — The Penang government has set up a taskforce to monitor the welfare and mental health of children who lost their parents to Covid-19.

State Agrotechnology and Food Safety, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin said the task force was established in collaboration with the relevant government agencies, such as the Welfare Department, Health Department and Education Department.

“For now, this taskforce is needed to help these children. The state government, through the Welfare Department, will look into their needs, as well as contact the families involved for counseling and assistance.

“Based on records, no children who are orphaned by Covid-19 have been admitted to welfare institutions as they are all being taken care of by family members or guardians,” she told the state assembly sitting today.

Norlela (PKR-Penanti) said this in response to an oral question from Ong Ah Teong (DAP-Batu Lancang) on the death statistics due to Covid-19 in the state and the fate of children who lost their parents due to the pandemic.

Norlela also said that as of last  Nov 23,  four children, involving two families in the state, lost both  their parents to Covid-19, while another 299 children lost either their father or mother to the virus.

Penang recorded 1,642 deaths due to Covid-19  from Jan 1 to Nov 22 this year, she added. — Bernama

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