Australia Newcastle's Muslim community flags group of Greater Sydney COVID-19 breachers

06:38  05 august  2021
06:38  05 august  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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As the Hunter region faces a snap, seven-day lockdown, a Newcastle mosque confirms it has turned away a group of people who had travelled from Greater Sydney, in breach of lockdown rules.

Imam Mohamed Hamed from the Sultan-Fatih Mosque in Mayfield said the visit to Newcastle was "unacceptable" and it was worshipers within the local Muslim community who had raised the alarm.

"Some of our community said that they have met some people in shops around Mayfield, around Wallsend, around Jesmond and when they talked to them, they knew they came from Sydney," he said.

"We advised them to report to the police and started to report to public health and also we told them please don't come to the mosque."

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The alleged breach of Public Health Orders comes as sewage monitoring in Newcastle detected high viral loads, which suggests there could be undetected cases in the area.

Police attended the Mayfield Mosque on Monday morning and were told about the incident.

They said no breaches were detected and no further action was taken.

Imam Hamed said they were working with the NSW Refugee Health Service to ensure proper protocols were being followed and those in contact with the Sydney group were isolating.

"We're trying our best to close any gates to be a reason of worry or concern to Newcastle and Hunter areas,"he said.

"Delta is so contagious and spreads so [quickly], sometimes without any symptoms, so we need to protect each other."

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'Terrible betrayal'

Local refugee women's centre Zara's House was shut down in response to the incident last week, which its founder, Sister Diana Santleben, described as a "terrible betrayal".

"All the community is absolutely shattered that someone would behave so irresponsibly as to drive from Sydney to Newcastle, knowing that Newcastle is COVID-free, and put the whole of Newcastle in danger," she said.

"Everyone from the mosque, from the Syrian community, from our volunteers at Zara's House, are just so disappointed in the silliness of the whole thing.

"It's just plain irresponsible, selfish and silly."

The centre provides English classes and group activities but will close indefinitely until the pandemic is under control.

"We cannot have the risk with people with whom we cannot trust," she said.

"It might only be one family or one individual, but that's all it took for one airport driver to bring the entire state to a standstill. And it could happen again here."

Major Newcastle hospital emergency room a COVID-19 exposure site .
An emergency department at a NSW hospital has been listed as a new venue of concern.NSW Health said anyone who visited the John Hunter Hospital from 8.42pm on Thursday, August 5 to 1.50am on Friday, August 6 is considered a close contact.

usr: 0
This is interesting!