For Millennials. By Millennials.
Coronavirus is infecting people left, right, and center. It does not prefer the poor over the rich, or the weak over the powerful. Similarly, refugees are another population that is just as vulnerable to COVID-19. They’re in even worse conditions because they don’t even have a country of their own which would treat them. Similarly, refugees in the detention centers of Brisbane are also in danger. A few of them even argued with their officers, after one of the staff members tested positive for the Coronavirus!
Unrest after Immigration guard in Brisbane tests positive
Refugees are angry for a valid reason. And that reason was one of the immigration guards testing positive. Refugees held in the Brisbane Immigration Transit Authority (BITA) were told of a Serco officer testing positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) on last Wednesday night. Now, last time that officer was on duty was the 5th of March, and he hadn’t worked since. But, it wasn’t clear if he had done any shifts over at BITA.
The refugees were furious because of this, for some valid reasons!
Leaked video shows refugees questioned the officers about it
A massive revelation like this one wasn’t going to be easy for the refugees over at BITA to accept. And that’s exactly what happened. They were briefed by an Australian Border Force (ABF) staffer that they had figured out the shifts of the infected officer. Moreover, she said their top priority was to stop the spread of COVID-19. She told the refugees,
Detainees are required to maintain good personal hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing, which none of you are doing at the moment, but that’s OK. It’s only for a short amount of time.
After hearing this, the detainees weren’t as happy. One of them said:
This particular case can deliver to someone else, and now it’s like four people live in one room, and if it’s like simply one got it, it’s gonna be heaps.
Four people living in the same room, in a detention center in Brisbane, where refugees regularly come and go is almost criminal. The detainees further questioned the staffer saying,
Please, if you can make the room single? Or at least like two? We had lots of stress and for me personally, I got panic attack last night. I can die. It’s like after eight years we gonna die by the Chinese coronavirus, like, you know, that’s really unfair, please find a solution.
To all of these valid concerns, the ABF Staffer only had this to say,
You need to tell me what your concerns are [in writing] so I can get you the answers and that’s the end of the story.
This shows how bad the situation really is for refugees over at BITA in Brisbane. Moreover, written applications usually take 3 days to process. And as we all know, time is of the essence in such cases.
Refugees are trying to get external help
The detainees are mostly refugees, asylum seekers, and medical patients. It’s even worse for them because they’re not in a country of their own. One of the Iranian refugees told Buzzfeed that,
We want the people to be out of here and at least they can take care of themselves. In here we have zero right to access anything that will actually cover up or protect us from this sickness
Simply put, there is not much they can do by themselves. It’s up to the authorities to help them as much as they can. Now, this is happening to refugees in a major city like Brisbane. Imagine how bad it is in countries that are not at all hospitable to refugees, like ICE in the United States. Refugees and immigrants sacrifice a lot to be where they are, and medical treatment and proper quarantine is the least of what they deserve.