Greeks make up 2 percent of Melbourne population, yet account for one in five COVID deaths

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There are approximately 182,000 Melbournians that come from either Greek or Cypriot heritage, making up approximately 2.7 percent of the city’s 4.936 million people.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a total of 25,448 COVID-19 cases and 583 deaths in Australia, with 496 of those deaths from Victoria.

The Greek Herald has identified 93 deaths as being of people with Greek heritage, with closer approximations averaging at around 105 Greek deaths.

This means that of the Australians that have tragically passed from the devastating pandemic, one in five have come from a Greek background.

Aged Care facilities fail to prevent hundreds of lives lost

Aged Care homes have been the main source of outbreak in Victoria with 1,779 COVID-19 patients having being linked to Australian Government–subsidised residential aged care facilities. Of these 1,779 patients, 358 have tragically lost their life, including approximately 30 deaths at St Basil’s Aged Care facility in Fawkner.

The St Basil’s Aged Care facility in Fawkner was one of the first major outbreaks in Victoria which cost the lives of many elderly citizens.

At least 40 Victorian aged care facilities, mainly in Melbourne, have recorded at least one case of COVID-19.(ABC News: Nic MacBean)

Lawsuits initiated by the children of victims have accused the facility of failing to heed warnings about COVID-19 and operating in breach of state and federal regulations. Lawsuits also allege that staff were not given adequate protective equipment.

The daughter of Fotini Atzarakis, a St Basil’s resident who died last month, described the facility as a “hellhole”, saying her death was “preventable” to The Herald Sun.

Epping Gardens aged-care facility have also been faced with legal action after they became responsible for over 300 infections and multiple deaths. The aged-care home is operated by Heritage Care, with two Greek owners Tony Antonopoulos and Peter Arvanitis facing massive backlash due to their failure to handle the incident.

READ MORE: Son who lost 92-year-old mother becomes first to take legal action against Epping Gardens aged-care facility

A man ho lost his 92-year-old at Epping Gardens will be the lead plaintiff in a class action being brought by Carbone Lawyers, which is representing about 30 families with relatives who have either died at the home or who were living there until recently.

The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said, speaking about some of the private aged care facilities hit by COVID-19 outbreaks, “I would not let my mum be in some of these places, I just wouldn’t.”

Failure to contain

While the federal government is in charge of all international border management, it is up to the state leaders to maintain quarantine measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has faced backlash from his own political party for his management of the crisis, particularly with his lack of accountability in the coronavirus hotel quarantine plan.

Two weeks ago, when the virus was approaching its peak in the southern state, Dan Andrews rejected the claim that ADF support was offered to him. Not long after, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds made waste to the Premier’s claim.

READ MORE: Victoria’s Greek community in tears – 16 deaths at St Basil’s, 22 Greek lives mourned
READ MORE: 725 new cases and 15 deaths recorded in Victoria as Australia suffers worst day since the pandemic began

“The ADF was consistently advised that its assistance was not required for any ‘public facing roles’ in Victoria,” she said in a statement.

“ADF officials asked whether Victorian authorities required assistance with its mandatory quarantine system on multiple occasions. No request for quarantine support was subsequently received from Victoria at that time.”

This quarantine failure was ultimately one of the several sparks in the failed wire that was the Victorian government’s handling of the virus.

Victoria reached a historic milestone this morning, with the health department recording less than 100 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, with 18 lives being lost. Victorians are still being urged to not leave their homes unless for absolutely necessary reasons.

All COVID-19 statistics are accurate as of August 28, 2020, and are sourced by the Australian Government Department of Health.

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