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A female doctor trying to return to Australia from India after her mother’s funeral was forced to sleep on an airport floor due to Covid quarantine restrictions.
Dr Vinu Verghis flew to Melbourne from the Covid-affected country on Tuesday, hoping to stay in a hotel before her connecting flight to Brisbane 17 hours later.
Her own employer, Queensland Health, told her that she would be considered a national traveler and that she would lose her right to a hotel quarantine if she left the terminal.
Still grieving the death of her loved one, the Toowoomba Hospital employee spent the night in the Melbourne airport prayer room with the ashes of her mother.
Queensland Health officials lacked compassion and told her that she was only in that situation
The 50-year-old woman claimed that Queensland Health officials lacked compassion and told her that she was only in that situation because of her own decision to leave Australia during a pandemic.
“I came out of immigration and the staff member told me ‘this is the choice she made,” the MSc public health graduate told Daily Mail Australia.
‘How is this my choice? My mother died.’
Verghis, from Moggill in West Brisbane, said she wouldn’t even have had the privacy of an Islamic prayer room at night if it weren’t for a friendly airport worker who saw her cry.
‘I am fully vaccinated. I am not adding any additional risk whether I am at the airport or in a hotel, ” she said.
“We are being held to ransom the 30 percent of people in Queensland who are not vaccinated.”
Covid-19 on the first day in hotel quarantine.
“ This is my accommodation for the night, this is my bed and my stroller, I will be sleeping there, ” he said.
‘How is this fair? I’m spending 17 hours at this airport because if I leave I can’t go home. ‘
A Queensland Health spokesperson said that anyone leaving Australia during the pandemic must understand “what is required of them when they return.”
“We know that the hotel quarantine for foreign travelers works and has kept local transmission in Queensland to a minimum,” the spokesperson said.
This week, a foreign traveler tested positive for Covid-19 on the first day in hotel quarantine.
“Last week, several foreign travelers tested positive, including one that tested negative on the first day and positive on the fifth day.”
Dr Vinu Verghis Quick and Facts
- Queensland Health doctor forced to sleep on an airport floor due to Covid rules
- Dr Vinu Verghis spent 17 hours at Melbourne Airport after flying in on Tuesday
- Had a connecting flight to Brisbane but was banned from leaving the terminal
- Instead resorted to sleeping on a prayer room floor next to her mother’s ashes