Victoria's COVID-19 Spike: Migrants Warn Against Blaming Them, Saying 'It's Not An Ethnic Community Thing'

Alicia Vrajlal

Virosh Perera migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka in 1999. Today he’s an established entrepreneur, Sri Lankan community leader, and resident of suburb Endeavour Hills in Victoria’s Casey local government area.

Over the past week, Casey, which has large culturally and linguistically diverse populations, has been highlighted as one of several Victorian COVID-19 hot spots.

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Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton expressed concern about these diverse communities being misinformed by social media from their countries of origin, while Premier Daniel Andrews last week blamed “families having big get-togethers” for the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Perera said highlighting these concerns shouldn’t turn into blaming migrants for the surge in COVID-19 cases because they are “family-driven cultures”. 

Virosh Perera lives in Endeavour Hills in Victoria’s Casey local government area – one of the COVID-19 hot spots.

“Whether it’s the migrant community or Australians, there’s no difference. I see [the rules] apply to everyone,” Perera told HuffPost Australia. “I didn’t see anyone during lockdown. It was a very tough time but the right thing.” 

He said he and his relatives have met only “when permitted to” so “you cannot say migrants [are to blame]. We love the country, too. We come here to add value to this story.”

Huong Truong, who has lived in another COVID-19 hot spot in Victoria, Brimbank, her whole life, said it’s “not fair” to point the finger at ethnic residents when groups like the AFL have had team members diagnosed with the virus

“We’ve got footballers who have...

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