6 Jul 2020

'Stuck in a very small apartment, it's very, very hard' - Melbourne lockdown residents

From Checkpoint, 5:23 pm on 6 July 2020

There are major concerns for the mental health of the residents of nine Melbourne tower blocks that have been locked down amid fears Covid-19 could spread out of control in the high-rises.

There are 3000 residents in the public housing blocks in Flemington and North Melbourne, where about a dozen households have cases of coronavirus.

On Saturday, residents were told to stay in their apartments and since then, there's been a heavy police presence stopping people from coming and going.

State authorities say food is being delivered to residents as well as care packages including games and toys for children.

Large scale testing is underway in the blocks, that have shared facilities like lifts, corridors, foyers, rubbish areas and laundries; with concerns the high-density living conditions could help Covid-19 spread.

Checkpoint's Lisa Owens spoke to the President of the Australian African Association Nasa Ige, who has been outside the towers helping to get information and supplies to residents, many of whom do not speak English.