Cancer patient forced to stay in CBD ‘hot hotel’
A man who has flown to Australia for an emergency cancer diagnosis and who has a depleted immune system has revealed he is being kept in one of Victoria's "hot hotels" and fears he is at increased risk of contracting the virus.
The 56-year-old - who wished not to be identified - said he flew here from Jakarta on February 9 on recommendation of the Australian embassy and doctors, who believe he has terminal cancer.
However, rather than being flagged as a complex medical case when he arrived, he was moved to the Holiday Inn on Flinders Lane and told to quarantine before seeing a specialist.
Having been out of Australia previously the man claims he was only made aware he was in a "hot hotel" after he was evacuated this week when the hotel's sprinkler system flooded.
With his cancer and a pre-existing blood condition he now fears for his safety.
"I thought I was going to hospital then they put me on a big bus and took me to a hotel," he said.
"I didn't know what a hot hotel was, no one told me.
"Then I watch the news and found out there are 18 cases and 23 suspected in here.
"I thought it's a big risk in here for me. I have cancer and now I could have corona."
Prior to flying the man had returned three negative results and has had seven negative tests since arriving in Melbourne.
"My wife couldn't come because she is not a citizen, I could have terminal cancer and now I could get corona."
The man is currently being held at the Pullman Melbourne in Albert Park.
The state Opposition have raised the case in the Victorian Parliament and asked why a person with immune issues was placed in a high risk hotel.
Opposition spokeswoman Georgia Crozier said: "Putting returned travellers who have cancer and are highly immunocompromised into a 'hot hotel' is putting their lives further at risk," she said.
"Why would the government even think it is alright to be putting returned travellers who don't have COVID19, but have cancer into such a high risk environment such as a 'hot hotel."
Health Minister Martin Foley said he could not comment on individual cases, but it is understood the matter is currently being looked into.
Originally published as Cancer patient forced to stay in CBD 'hot hotel'