As the government urges Indigenous people over 50 to stay home to avoid contracting Covid-19, TV host Karla Grant has expressed distress at the risk the virus poses on Indigenous people, including her own mother.
The NITV presenter’s mum is Elizabeth Visser, a 75-year-old Arrernte woman residing at Sydney’s BaptistCare aged-care facility. The nursing home has seen several diagnoses of the virus amongst residents and staff, with the number still rising. Four deaths within the complex have left Grant and her family concerned for Visser’s life.
“If she were to get this virus that would be the end of her,” Grant told HuffPost Australia.
“She’s in a high-risk category; she’s Indigenous, she’s elderly and she has a respiratory problem.
“She’s got a lot of things against her.”
BaptistCare CEO Ross Low confirmed the fourth death on Sunday, a 91-year-old female, at Dorothy Henderson Lodge - a neighbouring complex to Visser’s.
In Monday’s special episode of Living Black, Grant investigates the outbreak of the virus and its impact on Indigenous communities and her own family. Grant told HuffPost her mother’s survival depends on total isolation from outsiders, as well as having zero contact with her family who could be unwitting transmitters of the killer virus.
“She is doing well but the thing is, the whole place was put in lockdown last week,” she said.
“She can come out of her room and go to the dining area. She can’t leave the door of her complex Cooinda Court, she especially can’t go to Dorothy Henderson where the cluster is.”
Although Grant knows every consideration is being made to keep Visser safe, she said she is worried for her mum especially since “there’s so many people testing positive in that complex.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people are highly vulnerable to Covid-19 due to comorbidities such as diabetes, blood pressure, and heart trouble.
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