Not Every Locked-Down Tower Has Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, So VIC Residents Are Speaking Out

Residents of the nine Melbourne public housing towers subjected to strict lockdown conditions have expressed their fear and anger after the Victorian Government’s admission that not every building is home to someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus.

On Sunday, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was vital to lock down the buildings across North Melbourne and Flemington, despite some towers recording zero confirmed cases of the virus.

Citing the “exchange of individuals between those addresses,” Prof Sutton said, “there’s a not insignificant chance of finding cases that haven’t yet been identified in some of those towers.”

Some 3,000 tower residents have been forbidden from leaving for a minimum of five days, as health authorities test residents in response to what the Department of Health and Human Services called a  “rapidly growing outbreak” of coronavirus in the buildings.

Hundreds of Victoria Police officers have been assigned to monitor the towers.

Speaking to The Age, Tehiya Umer, a resident of a Flemington high-rise, said “They are treating us like criminals for nothing.”

She wasn’t the only resident to express that view to the paper, with North Melbourne resident Idris Hassan saying the move was “absolutely discriminatory.”

The concern that some folks have been locked down despite no proven cases is only one of the reported issues on-site, with other residents expressing their concerns about how food, medical care, mental health resources, and even fresh air will be organised for those in the towers.

You can read the full Age piece here.