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Refugee Action Coalition MEDIA RELEASE 19/10/2021 ONE MORE CONFIRMED CASE AT PARK HOTEL AS REFUGEES IN PARK HOTEL LOCKED DOWN One more refugee has been confirmed with Covid at lunchtime today ( Tuesday 19 October) as most refugees in the Park hotel in Melbourne are still waiting for the results of Covid tests done on Sunday night. Six refugees, four with confirmed infections, are in isolation on level 1 of the hotel. But as more refugees have developed symptoms, refugees have been confined to their rooms, with all movement restricted, essentially locking down the whole hotel.

Photos of guards in PPE in the Park hotel.

The situation in the Park hotel (and at MITA, see below) is turning into a shambles. The initial delays in isolating and testing those who are now confirmed Covid positive put everyone in the Park hotel at risk. Now there are no procedures in place to protect keep refugees from being infected. There is no separate air-conditioning between floors. “People who are confirmed positive, and those with symptoms, should have been removed to a safe quarantine environment,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “It is criminal; sheer negligence. After being mistreated for six years offshore, their detention in Australia has put their lives at risk." More positive cases are expected to be confirmed among the refugees at the Park hotel later today. TENSIONS RISING IN MITA’s LOCKED DOWN COMPOUNDS Meanwhile tensions are rising in the two compounds at MITA detention centre in Broadmeadows (Bass2 and Erskine) that have been locked down, since 8 October. Meal portions have been shrinking, while the basics - cereals, breads, milk - are not being restocked; many confined to the compounds have complained of being hungry. There are still no results from the second round of Covid tests that were done last Saturday, 16 October. Serco officers, and even the residential manager, are repeatedly seen without masks. One resident of Bass2 who was first vaccinated on 7 September with Pfizer and was due to get second does today (19 October) was told ‘there is no one here to do the vaccination’. For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713


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