The COVID outbreak among refugees detained at the Park Hotel Carlton in inner Melbourne has grown to 21, with one refugee admitted to hospital. Source: Herald Sun.
Forty-six refugees are detained at the Park Hotel Carlton as part of the Border Force’s controversial Alternative Place of Detention network, which uses housing in the community, hotel rooms and other community housing to detain refugees.
On Sunday, Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley expressed his concern about the rising cases at the Park Hotel and confirmed the health department had been in contact with the Commonwealth about the facility. Mr Foley said he would be writing to the federal Government to detail their concerns.
In a Federal Circuit Court interlocutory hearing last week, lawyer Daniel Taylor, representing one of the sick refugees, said advocates had called several ambulances on behalf of the detained refugees but had been prevented from entering the hotel by the Border Force.
The ABF denied it had prevented any ambulances from entering the hotel, claiming the ambulances hadn’t arrived due to triaging.
They gave an undertaking that ambulances would be allowed to enter the hotel to treat sick refugees but requested advocates stop calling them on behalf of refugees.
In a press release confirming the first three cases on October 17, the ABF said the detainees were placed into quarantine as soon as they presented with symptoms.
However, refugee advocates in contact with detainees said they presented with symptoms for three days before being tested.
Just 55 per cent of detainees across the entire immigration detention network have been fully vaccinated, according to the ABF.
Park Hotel Carlton: Nearly half of refugee detainees Covid positive (By Jack Patterson, Herald Sun)