Melbourne’s Greek community is devastated as the death toll from coronavirus in a single care home for the aged climbed to nine on Tuesday.
The state of Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos choked back the tears as she spoke about the distressing situation at St. Basil’s Home for Aged Care in Fawkner and the impact it has had on the Greek community.
A woman who died at St. Basil’s on Monday bought the tally of deaths from within the church-run facility to nine. The number of coronavirus cases linked to the facility jumped from 78 to 84 on Monday, making it Victoria’s largest aged home outbreak.
On Monday, ambulance services lined up outside the Fawkner facility to transport residents to various hospitals around the country.
Concerned relatives also gathered outside in the hope of catching a glimpse of their relatives from a distance, as communication with them has been cut since Wednesday, when the federal government took over the management of the aged care facility.
The aged care regulator has threatened to revoke the licence of the facility, citing concerns about the serious impact of the outbreak on the residents and staff, and the aged care centre’s handling of it.
Health Minister Greg Hunt on Tuesday confirmed the federal agency was investigating the home. He told interviewers from the ABC Breakfast television show that the Victorian Public Health Unit instructed all staff to immediately isolate, and emergency staff had been brought in.
“Seventy-nine of 115 residents have now been transferred,” Hunt announced during the interview.