Coronavirus Melbourne: Ethnic clusters due to cultural confusion

Coronavirus Melbourne: Ethnic clusters due to cultural confusion. By John Ferguson.

Victorian ethnic community leaders suspect confusion over the lifting of coronavirus restrictions led to a drop in compliance with social-distancing rules and contributed to a rise in contamin­ations. …

There [are] pockets of the outer suburbs where language was an issue, with hundreds of thousands of people from migrant backgrounds. …

The Andrews government was gravely concerned on Tuesday night about the progress of the virus, as signs of panic-buying of toilet paper and other basics re-emerged in some areas. …

Victoria’s average daily rate of new cases per million head of population has almost caught up to Italy, where case numbers have been falling.

Premier Daniel Andrews has blamed a large part of the spike in coronavirus cases on families that had failed to follow directions, leading to large gatherings where social distancing was ignored.

He also said people had de­liberat­el­y ignored basic health informa­tion designed to slow the virus, with some people knowingly rejecting the advice and mingling in the broader community when it was unsafe.

Islamic Council of Victoria vice-president Adel Salman told The Australian that the issues in families had been exacerbated by the general relaxation of lockdown measures. …

The six core local government areas affected by the surge in coronavirus cases contain significant numbers of people who speak Englis­h as a second language.

Languages include Arabic, Punjabi, Vietnamese and Chinese and health officials are desperately trying to get the messages through to these groups. …

Ms Mazali, the mother of 15-day-old boy Alpin, … said the culturally and linguistically diverse community meant many people didn’t understand the government’s advice on social distancing.

“If you read something in your language, then you feel more comfortable,” she said. “It was a major problem and it’s getting bigger.”

Ms Mazali said she had often seen groups of people flouting the advice in public, including at their local park.

She said during the strictest regulations, she had seen groups at the park despite the advice and no one telling them to go home.

Suppose the lockdown has to continue or harden up in Victoria, because some families or groups of people flout the restrictions and allow the virus to thrive.

What’s the cost to Victoria, and Australia, of an extra two months of lockdown? Tens of billions of dollars. The multiculturalism and refugee advocates never mentioned those costs.

Remember their slogan: “diversity makes us stronger”.

hat-tip Stephen Neil