July 30, 2020
維州及聯邦政府不能逃避責任 周偉文 社長
Both the State and Federal governments are to take responsibility
Raymond Chow, Publisher
Covid-19 outbreak in Victorian private elderly homes has been a hot issue. Premier Andrew claimed the problem is with the federal government out of his hands. Federal Labor Party demands for a public enquiry by the Royal Commission on the long standing problem of this industry.
This pandemic started in Europe since March and mortality rate started to climb there as when many elderly homes were hit making the infected residents as victims to breakdowns of their national medical systems.
Over the past two weeks the spread of virus in Victorian elderly homes has been swift. As reported on Tuesday a total of 769 elderly were infected and 775 caring staff were tested positive, as they mingle closely inside the same institutes making cross infection unavoidable. To guarantee the health workers for 14 days isolation would adversely affect the daily operation of the hostels. The federal government has deployed ADF healthcare personnel together with support from other states hoping to tackle this crisis.
Many families would be impacted with every elderly infected or died, in a sudden and mostly on their own. Many children and grandchildren could deeply feel guilty, regretted and heart-broken. Some also pointed finger to the unsatisfactory measures of the nursing homes.
I think both the state and federal governments should be held accountable for not having done enough on preparing and monitoring on the elderly facilities even given with prior warning. It is the federal government’s responsibility to provide adequate PPE and training to healthcare staff. It is the state government’s job to enforce health inspection check and promote virus prevention on the premises. It is also important to regulate staff duty roster such that spreading would not happen across different hostels.
A vital social responsibility is to take care of the elderly. A community spread of the virus into elderly homes is not unexpected, but we expect better response from the government. To address the public, politicians cannot just pass the bucks without acting responsively.