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Covid Spreads in the Park Hotel

Refugee Action Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE 23/10/2021


Ominously, an Iraqi refugee, who had previously tested negative, has become the16th person infected with Covid at the Park Hotel in Melbourne. More than a third of all the refugees in Park hotel have now been infected.

The 16th case is a worrying development and a further indication of the failure of Covid infection control at the hotel, where not even the basic protocols to safely those refugees were symptomatic or Covid-positive was implemented.

More positive cases are expected as a result of the government failures to follow basic Covid protocols from the get-go. Positive cases are still being accommodated on level 1 of the hotel.

“Victorian heath authorities must take control of the Park hotel out of the hands of the federal government, Border Force and Serco,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The hotel must be evacuated, so everyone can be housed in circumstances that are as safe as possible. Evacuation must be the first step to complete release.”

“The medical supervision is inadequate. One more nurse has been employed by Border Force, but even two nurses working 8am-4pm for 45 people and 16 Covid positive cases is worse than a joke. “

One Park hotel resident remains in hospital with Covid, while others with Covid at the hotel reportedly have worsening symptoms.

Meanwhile, the failure to identify the source of the infection at Park hotel is another indication of the failure to properly manage the Covid outbreak at the hotel.

But Serco staff shortages as a result of staff isolating are beginning to create problems at Melbourne’s MITA detention centre at Broadmeadows.

Bass 2 and Erskine completed two weeks locked down on 22 October, but have been told that the lockdown is likely to be continued; a measure that seems to be related to the staff shortages as more Serco staff have had to isolate. The food shortages at MITA also seem to be related to the lack of staff in the detention centre.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713, or Chris Breen, at the rally outside the Park Hotel at 2pm, mob 0403 013 183


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