by Ram Khatry I 10 March 2020 I A young Nepalese woman has been asked not to come to work unless she was able to produce a negative coronavirus test result.
The distressed young woman contacted a community leader after she was left confused and mortified by her client’s rude telephone call yesterday morning.
The 27-year-old female, who requested southasia.com.au for anonymity, works for a healthcare business that provides home care for elderly Tasmanians. She was due to work for the client, an elderly woman in her late 80s, from 4 pm yesterday until 4 pm today. However, before she could attend her work Monday afternoon, she received the call directly from the elderly pensioner asking her not to come to work without undergoing a coronavirus test.
Nepali Society of Tasmania’s president Punam Panta is now concerned if others from Nepal are also being singled out as fear of coronavirus grips members of the community at large.
“She called me in the morning yesterday and asked me to come only after I have my coronavirus test result and she also gave me the (Public Health) Hotline to book a coronavirus test,” the woman said in her conference call with southasia.com.au and Ms Panta.
Ms Panta, when contacted by the home care worker yesterday, advised her to pass on the details of Nepali Society of Tasmania so that she could have a word with her employer. However, the employer proactively responded to the woman’s concern, quickly arranging someone else to work at the elderly client’s home.
“They initially tried to convince her but when it did not work, they sent someone else,” Ms Panta said, “I am thankful for such a quick response of her employer, that’s a great response!”
The woman, who’s been in Australia since March 2017, is pleased with her employer who also promised to pay for her shift yesterday even if she did not get to work and arranged for a different client today.
Even coronavirus Hotline people found her predicament ridiculous
According to the woman, her husband called the Public Health Hotline to book a coronavirus test following the unexpected call from the client. “I and my husband had a lot of argument after her call with him eventually calling the Hotline but they themselves were laughing!” she exclaimed.
The Hotline operator apparently told her husband that if she had not been outside of Australia recently, or been in close contact with confirmed coronavirus cases or has shown symptoms of coronavirus or simple flu-like symptoms then there was no reason for her to undergo a COVID-19 test.
The woman said she has not even left Hobart for a long time, let alone travel international.
Changed attitude since media frenzy about self-isolation breach by Nepalese student
The Nepalese woman who was asked not to come to work without a negative coronavirus report claims her client’s changed attitude was the result of a frenzy of media reports about the 20-year-old Nepalese student who’s been identified as Tasmania’s second coronavirus victim, and who’s been blamed for breaching instruction to self-isolate.
Her claims are based on the fact that the client asked her if she had been to the Nepal Hobart Fair 2020, which was held only recently.
Nepali Society of Tasmania says it is always ready to assist
Punam Panta, an IT industry veteran who’s worked for major national and international clients, says she is worried how many others may be in similar predicament.
“This young woman knew me and had my number, that’s why she contacted me! But there may be many others who are facing similar situations but do not know what to do or where to go for help! So I would like to tell anyone out there who needs to talk and share, we are always here to render support. The most important thing is however is keeping calm and taking the right step and listen to authorities,” the Hobart-based network engineer said.