Doctors sign letter demanding release of refugees

Photo from AAP: Professor David Isaacs

Contributed by Ugly

In Australia’s health professionals are doing a marvellous job at the front line of defence against Covid-19 and putting themselves at risk of infection.

They are true heroes, putting in everything to help others.

More than 1100 doctors, psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals have now put their names to a letter to minister responsible, Peter Dutton, demanding the immediate release of those locked up in Australia’s immigration centres.  

There is good reason for releasing them. Lacking proper isolation from each other and many already existing health problems, makes the detained highly susceptible to infection. A humane response is to let them out of the centres and into community supported accommodation. This would slow the spread of the disease and protect the wider community in Australia.

Professor David Isaacs, a paediatric infectious diseases professor at the University of Sydney wrote the letter. In it he said that failure to make the release, “risks placing a greater burden on wider Australian society and the health care system.

 “We call for the release of people seeking asylum and refugees in detention immediately into the community, as the correct measure to take from both a humanitarian and public health perspective.”

The use of detention centres and hotels used to house people from Manus Island and Nauru under the Medevac laws is adding to the community’s risk.

The situation was brought to light last month, after a security guard the Brisbane A Brisbane detention centre tested positive, sparking fears that the virus would spread throughout the facility.

Dutton and the federal government have so far refused to budge on the hard-line attitude, which has long underlined the treatment of people who arrive into Australia by boat.

The governments that have enacted this, are the same ones that have involved Australia’s participation in a range of wars, which have been the major cause, of the conditions that have led to refugees looking for asylum in places like Australia.

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