The daughter of one of the victims of Melbourne’s coronavirus crisis has revealed she regrets not doing more to warn her father of the deadly virus.
Haralambos Bakirtzidis, 80, died in Footscray hospital following an 11-day fight on a ventilator after contracting COVID-19, Nine News reported.
According to his daughter Athina, her father continued to leave his home without a mask, visiting the TAB and his local shopping centre in Maidstone despite the recent surge in cases, believing Victoria had beaten the virus after the first wave.
"I wish I could have tied him to his chair at home. I wish I could have yelled at him. I wish I had done a lot more and said 'Dad, no. If you go (out) this is how it will affect us’," Athina told Nine News.
She said her father, who arrived in Australia from Greece in the 1970s, had misinterpreted what medics told him initially, believing he had the flu. Athina was eventually made to translate to him via video call that he had developed pneumonia.
Her mother, who had also contracted coronavirus, was the only one allowed to be by his side.
It took the state’s death toll to 49, with 22 of those in just the last week. Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton continuously warns to expect many more deaths as the daily cases continue to rise.
Athina is now warning other families to ensure their older relatives aren’t becoming complacent and understand the magnitude of the threat posed.
“Dad can't even have the funeral he deserves. I do feel robbed because I had so much more I wanted to share with him,” she said.
"It will take our family a long time to recover. We may never recover."
Dire warning to Victorians over virus threat
Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday warned if the state’s coronavirus crisis continues at its current trajectory, “it will effect every family”, leading to a surge in deaths and “absolute tragedy”.
“This is not just something that affects people that are frail-aged," Mr Andrews said, pointing to the death of a man in his 50s confirmed on Thursday.
“It would be wrong to assume that young people are somehow immune to this. Even otherwise fit and healthy young people can get sick and can die from this virus."
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said data from the start of July showed a quarter of the state's cases were people in their 20s.
About 20 per cent of patients in hospital were under 50 and include four children. The youngest is under nine.
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