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維州及聯邦政府不能逃避責任                                 周偉文  社長
然而, 維州老人院感染者,在最近兩週內以驚人速度增加。周二時維州政府公佈老人院舍有769名長者受感染而護理人員則仍有775名檢測呈陽性。長者及照顧者在院舍內緊密生活,一旦其中有人受感染,互相傳染的機會極高。護理者受感染後要隔離14天,更影響到老人院服務的維持。聯邦政府已調動軍隊內的護理員及別的州份護理工作者來維州支援,盼望能化解這一個危機。
長者們受感染甚至死亡,不少家人也受到影響。 有人因為父母或祖父母在最後的日子,要孤獨面對死亡,無法相伴他們走完人生路而自責,也有人因為事發突然而內心感到遺憾及難過。亦有人覺得院舍沒有做好防疫安排而引致家人離世,內心充滿憤怒。


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.

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