BY RAM KHATRY I 8 MARCH 2020 I Tasmanian health officials are not happy with the behaviour of a Nepalese student who they claim went about his daily business despite their advice to self-isolate until his coronavirus test results were obtained.
The 20-something student recently travelled from Nepal, transiting through Singapore and Sydney before finally arriving in Hobart on February 26.
Punam Panta, president of Nepali Society of Tasmania, told southasia.com.au that the man had a massive transit en route to Australia. “He was in transit in Singapore for 20 hours,” Mrs Panta said over telephone.
“He is okay; he is fine. He is a young man – strong and healthy,” the Hobart-based network engineer said, adding she had been speaking to the COVID-19 victim on the phone.
Mrs Panta, as a leader of the emerging Nepalese community in Tasmania, is worried for the young man who remains in isolation at the Royal Hobart Hospital, away from his family and friends. She urged all in the community to be careful and follow guidelines set out by the Department of Health.
“He did not expect to be positive at all. He was very shocked (when he was told he was coronavirus positive),” she said referring to her telephone conversation with the Nepalese student.
“I just think of him at this moment. I am encouraging him to talk to us if he has any issues or if he needs to talk to someone,” Mrs Panta further added.
The Australian Ideal College student is understood to have experienced some initial cold-like symptoms the day after he arrived in Hobart, “After developing further symptoms late last week, he contacted the Public Health hotline on 6 March and was tested at the Royal Hobart Hospital that evening.”
He was immediately transferred to the Royal Hobart Hospital for isolation and clinical management where he is said to be in a satisfactory condition.
In a press statement issued earlier today Tasmania’s Department of Health indicated it was frustrated with the irresponsible behaviour of the young Nepalese man.
“The man was advised of the requirement to self-isolate between testing and test results, but did not comply,” Department of Health said in its press statement. It said it was unacceptable for people to continue activities in public or attend work while waiting for their Coronavirus test results, and I ask all people in Tasmania to act responsibly in these circumstances.
A number of people who came in close contact with Tasmania’s latest coronavirus victim have been instructed to self-isolate with the Department keeping close watch at them.
As of today, there have been 74 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia out of which 38 were in New South Wales, 11 in Queensland, 6 in South Australia, 1 in Tasmania, 7 in Victoria, 1 in Western Australia and 10 were associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship.