A 100-year-old who battled coronavirus for six weeks has been discharged from a hospital in Melbourne and returned to the aged care facility where he caught the virus.
“He may be old, but he still matters to us,” wrote Lauren Elizabeth of her grandfather, Roy, who was discharged from St Vincent’s Private Hospital earlier this week.
“That was a very long 42 days but he finally had two negative test results,” she wrote on Facebook. “All lives matter young and old.”
Of the 824 people who have died from coronavirus in Australia more than 500 were aged 80 or above, federal government figures reveal.
The hospital confirmed Roy was released on Tuesday and said he was returning to the aged care home where he caught the virus. The hospital said on Facebook that Roy gave the team an emotional farewell.
St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Fitzroy, Victoria, posted goodbye to a 100-year-old covid-19 survivor on Facebook.
“This certainly calls for a moment of cheer. What an amazing outcome for Roy and his family,” the post said.
Elizabeth thanked the “incredible” hospital staff who put their own lives at risk “to protect and care for people like my grandfather”.
Victoria has 464 active aged care cases which is almost half its total figure of 947. St Vincent’s Private has treated 59 aged care residents over the past eight weeks, a spokesman said.
The hospital’s chief executive, Janine Loader, told 3AW radio there were no longer any Covid-positive patients or staff in the building. “There’s certainly a smile on lots of faces in our organisation,” she said.
Federal government data shows there have been 2,023 confirmed cases in aged care and residential homes across Australia with 1,960 of those in Victoria. Melbourne couple Vic Cornell, 95, and Jean Schofield, 87, also left hospital earlier this week after overcoming coronavirus.
Some commentators have controversially questioned the economic and social costs of introducing tough restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus.
In an attack on Victoria’s second wave lockdowns, the Nine News political commentator, Chris Uhlmann, this week wrote: “Covid-19 mostly kills the elderly, especially if they have an existing chronic disease. That is not an argument to let them die but it should guide government responses.”
Earlier this month, the former Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, remarked that lockdowns and restrictions were causing a “climate of fear” and said while “every death is sad” that “has never stopped families sometimes electing to make elderly relatives as comfortable as possible while nature takes its course”.