The worker at Adelaide’s Woodville Pizza Bar who tested positive for COVID-19 but didn’t tell contact tracers about his shifts has apologised after being blamed by the public for South Australia’s sudden lockdown.
In a statement, the man’s solicitor, Scott Jelbert, said his client is “genuinely remorseful” for how things panned out, but that he’s also worried about being the centre of a witch-hunt.
“He is extremely remorseful and deeply sorry for any part his conduct played in any unnecessary lockdown actions,” the statement read.
“He did not foresee or intend that things might unfold as they have.”
The 36-year-old Spanish national who worked at the Woodville Pizza Bar is now in hotel quarantine, and police have confiscated most of his electronic devices.
Now he’s unable to see what people are saying and publishing about him, comments which some have even called scapegoating.
“I am, however, instructed that some information is not fair, accurate or complete, notwithstanding the State Government’s comments,” his lawyer said.
“He is concerned he has been all but publicly named.”
Not only have state health authorities released the man’s age, nationality and visa status, but news cameras have been parked outside the Woodville Pizza Bar for days.
This whole debacle started when the worker didn’t tell contact tracers about his job at the pizza joint.
Because of that, it was assumed that he contracted COVID-19 from a pizza box, and that community transmission was quite serious.
While the cluster surrounding the Woodville Pizza Bar is still serious, the fact that the man worked there and wasn’t a customer means that community transmission nowhere near as severe as health authorities initially feared.
“He is sincerely concerned about the impact of the lockdown on South Australians,” the man’s lawyer added.
“My client has not been charged with any breach of the law but in the circumstances, including that such charges may emerge, no further comment about those matters is appropriate at this time.”