Medical evacuation of refugees from Park Hotel in Carlton
The situation for more than 40 refugees held in the hotel is alarming. It is confirmed that at least 20 of the men now have Covid – one has been hospitalised. The remaining men are at high risk of also getting Covid.
Send an email to urge the Victoria Government to demand proper care and quarantine arrangements for these men.
- Victorian Minister for Health – The Hon Martin Foley MP email@example.com
CC your email to :
- Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton email@example.com
A sample draft email that could be sent is as follows:
Dear Minister Foley
I urge you to demand action to protect the refugees being held in the Park Hotel in Carlton from further infection and illness. As you know, at least 20 men have tested postive, one of whom has been hospitalised, and the remaining men (more than 20) are at exteme risk of contracting the virus. This type of outbreak in places of detention has long been feared. It is a sad irony that this is occuring in the Park Hotel – a key site in Victoria’s hotel quarantine crisis in 2020 – the hotel was then deemed as being highly unsuitable for quarantine, and more dedicated hotels have since been set up to provide safe quarantine. See news report here.
Despite the high risk of infection, with the daily movements in and out of security and other staff, men have been held in the hotel since early in 2021 when Home Affairs established the hotel as an Aternative Place of Detention. Refugees inside the hotel have been expressing concerns for many months about lack of attention to Covid-safe practices. We know the hotel is now particuarly dangerous as many of the men have tested postive. While some of the men are fully vaccinated we know that some have been reluctant to be vaccinated, as a kind of insurance against being sent to Nauru as only fully vaccinated people can be sent to Nauru – such is the perversity of a deterrence based policy.
Given the serious risk of illness and possible death for those exposed to Covid, especially those who have compromised health (as many of these men do), I urge you to use your public health powers to require that:
- All of the men be immediately moved from the Park Hotel, and that
- those who are Covid positive be moved to a suitable quantine hotel with approportiate medical care and monitoring
- those who are Covid-free to be moved to other suitable accommodation in the community – this could be some form of community detention – and subject to regular testing.
- Ensure that all ABF workers dealing with these emen are fully vaccinated and understand their obligations to work in Covid-safe ways
We cannot stand by and allow more of these men to become Covid positive when we have the means to prevent this.
Please act urgently to work with the Department of Home Affairs make suitable arrangments – MInister Andrews has total discretion, and can make appropriate decisions in an instant.