COVID-19 has turned normal governance duties of our state and federal governments into something quite different, throwing in ‘housekeeping’ as an essential part of it ever since the various state governments decided to force two weeks’ quarantine on all Australians coming back from overseas and putting them in to hotels.
For the government(s), such a measure is absolutely critical to arrest the spread of COVID-19 while many Australians have been lodging their complaints and registering their displeasure and discomfort of sorts – merely to have to go through two weeks’ stay at a ‘luxury’ hotel.
To remain confined to the room in that hotel is the only thing government asks of its citizens when in COVID-19 quarantine. Is it that difficult?
The simple answer is ‘No’, according to Dr Prabodh Malhotra, who travelled from India on the first Lion Air chartered flight out of Delhi and arrived in Melbourne on Sunday, 12 April and was put up at the Travelodge in Melbourne’s Southbank.
Dr Malhotra is an academic & scholar holding a Ph.D in International Economics with special focus on Pharmaceutical companies and thus has a keen interest in the current COVID-19 crisis.
Dr Malhotra says, “It depends upon your mindset to look at the two weeks stay at a top hotel as an isolation and loneliness or make it into a holiday paid for by the government.”
About the accommodation provided by the government he says, “My room had an attached bathroom with shower and toilet. It had a cupboard with iron and ironing board, a safe for valuables and storage area. It also had microwave oven, bar fridge with appropriate crockery and cutlery.
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“The main room had a double bed, a flat screen TV with good views of the city skyline, the Coat-hanger Bridge and the Flinders Street Station. Clearly visible from the window were the Holiday Inn, the Mantra and the Langham.”
A nurse was available on site 24×7.
Guests had the option to select the type of diet, for example: vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher. To observe zero contact, meals were supplied in a brown paper bag placed outside the door followed by a knock on the door.
“Breakfast, lunch and dinner were served with disposable cutlery, a bottle of water, juice and/or milk as appropriate. Being a vegetarian, I had no problems with food. In fact, I quite enjoyed the healthy meals provided… I had a great time”, Dr Malhotra added.
There have been some who complained about being restrained, not allowed to go outside their room, no visitors, restricting their freedom, Dr Malhotra says, “they need to revisit this view”.
Giving the Morrison government a big tick of approval, Dr Malhotra addresses those who complained saying, “The current scenario is not a normal situation. These are war-like circumstances where the entire world has been turned upside down… We should be thankful to the Australian government for the timely lockdown and other measures introduced that we as a nation are well placed compared to the rest of the western world… at times like this we need to support our government initiatives rather than being selfish and self-centred. We shouldn’t be asking what Australia can do for us, but we should be asking what we can do for Australia.”
Now released from COVID-19 quarantine, Dr Malhotra is back home with his family observing all the restrictions the government has put in place in our fight to arrest the spread of COVID-19.
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