A Chinese mother was stopped from seeing her dying son before he passed away due to the coronavirus travel ban.
Xiao Li, 22, was in Australia on a working holiday visa before his car collided with a truck in Gippsland, Victoria on January 27, leaving him in critical condition.
His mother Xing Lan Ren, who lives in China, wanted to see her only son before he passed away but her visa was not approved in time.
On Monday, Xiao Li was declared brain dead in the Intensive Care Unit of Royal Melbourne Hospital but his mother’s visa was only approved on Friday.
After the crash, Ms Ren payed $1,415 to fast track her visa application, which normally takes two working days.
However, three days later Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a two-week ban on foreign arrivals from mainland China in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Mrs Ren was shocked by the news and told a local Chinese-language publication that she just wanted to say goodbye to her only son.
‘My family is completely in the dark, and now I just want to see the [son]for the last time, but Australia has issued a travel ban,’ she told Sydney Today.
‘I really don’t know what to do.’
Family friend Simon Lee started a Change.org petition pleading for Ms Ren and her brother Shi Luming to be allowed into the country.
The petition was directed at Federal MP Gladys Liu and garnered almost 3,000 signatures.
‘We pledge that the temporary visa of Mrs Ren and Mr Shi to be granted so they can visit Mr Li (son of Mrs Ren and nephew of Mr Shi) in the Intensive Care Unit of Royal Melbourne Hospital; and Mrs Ren and Mr Shi to be allowed enter to Australia despite the travel restrictions,’ it read.
On Friday, acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge announced Ms Li’s visa had been granted on Twitter.
‘I’m pleased to confirm that the mother of Xiao Li has been granted a visa to Australia,’ he wrote.
‘The Government will work with her during this extremely difficult time and to ensure she can see her son as quickly as possible without putting the Australian public at any risk.’
Mr Li arrived in Queensland on a working holiday visa one year ago, where he worked on a farm before moving to Victoria.
Currently, there are 15 cases of coronavirus in Australia and 636 deaths from the disease in mainland China.