Dozens of Greek-Australian families are suffering as a result of the pandemic with at least 23 deaths from within the Greek community, in addition to 150 deaths of Greek Australians during Victoria’s second wave of the pandemic last year.
Another two people of Greek origin died in NSW, according to funeral directors who spoke with Neos Kosmos. The same sources state that most of the fatalities were elderly unvaccinated man.
There are however cases of young people, we know of at least two cases – a man and a woman aged 50 and 56 years respectively – which died of COVID-19.
Many Greek Australians are in hospitals, many in intensive care on respirators.
The Delta virus has been particularly contagious, with many cases of the virus spreading in the community, including people from within the Greek community.
The majority of deaths, according to sources, concern those who have been unvaccinated and only few cases have had one dose of the virus.
The rising case numbers have taken a toll on emergency services. Dr Stephanos Herodotou, a Greek-Australian doctor from Northern Health, told Neos Kosmos that the situation in hospitals cannot be described
Two Greek Australian schools have been affected by COVID-19 in recent days with both St John’s College and Alphington in lockdown.
A Year 12 student from St John’s College has tested positive for COVID-19, and the school has been deemed a Tier 1 exposure site, whereas Alphington Grammar has also been affected.
Parents at Alphington Grammar were told that a confirmed COVID-19 case attended the school on 7 October before symptoms were displayed.
Remote learning is continuing at the school for all students from Prep to Year 12 with few exceptions.
At St John’s College, a COVID-19 positive student attended the school on the day of the General Achievement Tests (GAT) on 5 October, and was feeling well at the time with no reason to suspect he was infectious with the virus.
On 7-8 October, a second member of the school community, who was unknowingly infectious with the virus, had direct contact with several members of staff.
The College is now working with VCAA to complete the applications for educational disadvantage for all affected students, and the practice exam period has been transitioned to an online learning program which the school had been successfully using during lockdown.
Exams commenced on Monday, 11 October.
Final year students returned to classes at the start of the month, and St John’s College at the time had been approached by Neos Kosmos.
“During this challenging time for education, the focus of St John’s College has been centred around being mindful of nurturing students’ health and wellbeing, whilst also ensuring academic engagement. COVID-19 has brought upon many challenges for students completing their VCE and VCAL, but we are proud of the efforts and achievements of all of our students,” St John’s College had told Neos Kosmos in a statement on the return to classes, which had, at the time, given students a chance to meet with teachers face-to-face to revise for examinations after showing “resilience”.
The school took care to ensure that all requirements were followed, and immediately followed government advice to ensure the response was swift.
“At St John’s College, our priority is the health and wellbeing of our students and staff,” said a school notice.
“We are acutely aware of the impact this exposure poses to our students and staff, particularly our Year 12 students as they approach the examination.”
Measures are being taken to ensure that the lockdown does not affect students.