Thousands of residents locked in their Melbourne public housing flats say they still have not received proper food as more concerns are raised over hotel quarantine.
The Victorian Public Tenants Association said the more than 3000 tenants in nine tower blocks were unprepared for the government’s sudden lockdown and many were left without enough groceries and other supplies.
“It was just done in a pretty ham-fisted manner,” executive officer Mark Feenane told Nine’s Today Show this morning.
Police are guarding every entrance of the housing estates and residents are not allowed to leave their homes for any reason for at least five days.
The hard lockdown was imposed on Saturday in a bid to contain a coronavirus outbreak after 27 people in the North Melbourne and Flemington towers tested positive.
The government will deliver food and medical supplies to residents, give a $1500 hardship payment to those who can’t go to work and pay $750 each to those not in the workforce.
But father of five children under five Abdirahman Ibrahim told AAP on Sunday night his Racecourse Road building at Flemington had not received any groceries yet.
However, he said cooked food in containers had been delivered by Sikh community volunteers.
He said residents in his building were walking out the doors of the building to a truck to receive hot meals.
Sikh Volunteers Australia vice-president Manpreet Singh said they were serving fresh vegetarian meals, bringing about 650 serves from their Cranbourne base.
“Nearly 400 meals we have already served (by about 7pm),” he said on Sunday. “We are staying here overnight.”
Tower block resident Thana Sirag told AAP her family had not received a care box or food.
Another resident Amr Osman tweeted a video of a box of food staples he’d been given, which included cereal and jam but no bread or milk.
Residents were given copies of the public health orders or “detention directive” on Sunday night, sparking confusion the term of the lockdown which could be for as long as 14 days.
Premier Daniel Andrews said on Saturday there was a minimum lockdown of five days, but the orders allow authorities to extend this to 14 days for people who refuse a COVID-19 test.