A senior care home in Melbourne operated by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has become a hotspot for deaths and infections of COVID-19.
St. Basil’s Home for the Aged has experienced a quick and devastating spread, with 15 deaths reported and almost 100 employees testing positive.
Archbishop Makarios of Australia announced that he will conduct a special memorial service for all victims of the Coronavirus pandemic in Australia— particularly those who perished in the St. Basil facility.
As a result of the quick attack by the virus on the facility, there was ensuing chaos as staff moved to transfer sick residents to area hospitals, leaving many family members uninformed.
Many family members claimed there was a lack of communication by the facility’s administration and various claims of inadequate care resulted in unnecessary deaths.
In an interview with ABC, Nikolas Barbousis, the son of a resident at St Basil’s, described the “extremely awful” situation after being told his father was safe and in his room when in reality he was in a hospital, where he eventually passed away.
Other family members shared heart-breaking stories with Neos Kosmos, a publication serving Australia’s large Greek community.
In one emotional post, Neos Kosmos featured family members who lost loved ones who shared their experiences and photos with the publication.
Jenny Mikakos, the Health Minister for the State of Victoria who is also a Greek Australian, broke down during a nationwide press conference when she explained the “distressful situation” at St. Basil’s.
In a statement to families posted online, St. Basil’s chairman Konstantin Kontis defended the home’s handling of the outbreak. Kontis said that staff had used masks on every shift since they were mandated by the federal government and made every effort to keep the community informed once the outbreak began.
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