Asylum-seekers in hotel detention await COVID results

The Park Hotel in Melbourne (ABC News/Peter Drought)

More than 40 asylum-seekers locked up in a secure wing at the Park Hotel in Melbourne are awaiting COVID-19 test results, with more cases likely after at least three men tested positive. Source: The Age.

Many of the men are already medically vulnerable, having been evacuated on medical grounds from detention at Manus Island and Nauru. Others have been transferred from other detention facilities, including Villawood in Sydney.

Among the more vulnerable people held at the Park Hotel are men with chronic asthma. Particular concerns are held for a man who suffers from burns to more than half his body, as well as inhalation burns, after self-immolating at Nauru.

In a statement, Australian Border Force said all refugees and asylum-seekers were offered vaccines from August.

But the majority of refugees and asylum-seekers held by Australia in detention centres, hotels and other temporary facilities, have not been fully vaccinated.

Evidence provided to a Senate estimates hearing showed that on September 6, just 17 per cent of detainees were fully vaccinated. Only 13 per cent of people in so-called alternative places of detention, including the Park Hotel, which was last year designated a detention centre, were fully vaccinated.

Australian Medical Association vice-president Dr Chris Moy called on the Morrison Government to intervene in the emerging crisis and allow the men to live in community detention while their bids for resettlement were determined.


COVID-19 spreads in Melbourne hotel used as detention centre (By Bianca Hall, The Age)

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