Dust suffocating virus patient in SA hotel

EXCLUSIVE by Matt Coughlan
·2-min read

An asthmatic man with coronavirus has reached breaking point after another sleepless night of struggling to breathe in his dusty Adelaide hotel room.

With South Australian authorities on crisis footing as a cluster threatens to explode, Keith Williams is feeling forgotten.

Two consecutive days of promised transfers turned to dust, which also covers the surfaces in his $3000-a-fortnight hotel quarantine room.

"I've also got COVID so being in here my heart is racing, I'm not sleeping well and there's not enough air for what I need," he told AAP from his room at the Stamford.

"My anxiety levels are through the roof at the moment."

The 31-year-old arrived on Friday after four and a half years living in London, having provided SA Health with emails - including from his doctor - about his condition.

But what awaited Mr Williams left him in despair.

"Instantly, I saw the whole room was dusty," he said.

"There was a layer of dust on the tables, bedside table. You could tell the carpet was full of it."

Mr Williams on Saturday received his coronavirus diagnosis, heightening fever-pitch anxiety.

Despite having his bags packed for a transfer on Sunday and Monday, both moves were cancelled.

Now there's no end in sight as he grapples with twin health concerns in a room with a window that barely opens.

"I'm guessing because of the new cluster it's probably confused things for them," Mr Williams said.

"But I'm not going to be the only person. I'm sure there's going to be other people with COVID that are going to be transported so you need to work out something."

Mr Williams is receiving daily calls from nurses to check on his health, which he says is suffering in his current environment.

"Pretty much the whole time I'm saying 'well I'm not good, I'm still in this room and you still haven't done anything about it'," he said.

"I said I was angry, anxious, helpless. I just feel like no one's really doing anything."

Calls for help have gone unheeded and information is scarce.

Staff have told him there have been other complaints about dust at the hotel, making a shift to another room in the same building futile.

Mr Williams was offered new sheets and a vacuum, but the appliance never arrived.

While his coronavirus symptoms have so far been mild, the Melburnian has serious concerns about what another night could mean for his asthma.

"I've explained over and over again I can't sleep in the room again. It's causing my asthma to be triggered. It's not healthy," Mr Williams said.

"You need to get me out of this room and find me something else that's suitable as I've both got asthma and COVID now."

SA Health has been contacted for comment.