The general manager of infection control at the agency running Victoria’s hotel quarantine program has been stood down after allegedly breaching their own protocols twice in the past two months.
Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson said he became aware of the reports last night and had stood aside COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria’s (CQV) general manager of infection prevention and control, Matiu Bush, pending a review into their conduct and behaviour.
“This issue with [Matiu] Bush goes more to [their] attitude and behaviour: there were infection control breaches, but they were of a very low level,” Mr Pearson said.
“Public confidence is paramount, and I don’t think the public would want to see someone in a senior leadership role continue to behave in this way, that’s why [they have] been stood down.”
The head of CQV, Emma Cassar, said the breaches were minor but disappointing.
She said the first incident involved Matiu Bush refusing to get tested at one quarantine hotel after a request by ADF personnel, but they were eventually tested at another site.
“[They] still met the requirement to have a daily test … but my understanding is the staff member did make comments about the fact [they] didn’t need to be tested at that site,” Ms Cassar said.
“We expect the highest standards from our staff, and this has fallen well short of that.”
Another incident involved the infection control manager getting a coffee from a coffee shop and coming back to a quarantine hotel without changing their mask or sanitising.
The leaked incident reports detailing the breaches were published in The Australian newspaper, which also published an internal report contradicting claims by the government that an outbreak at the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel in February was caused by a banned nebuliser.
Instead, the CQV infection control report said the “proposed working hypothesis” was that the leak was caused by a staff member who took an extended amount of time to swab a guest.
Ms Cassar on Wednesday said that was not her understanding.
“The working hypothesis is still as I understand, is that this was caused by the nebuliser,” she said.
The Victorian Opposition has called for all of the incident reports to be released to the public and said the state government had not learnt the lessons from previous hotel quarantine leaks.
“This is an outbreak waiting to happen, this is a lockdown waiting to happen, because the government hasn’t learnt the lessons and they still can’t get it right,” Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said.
Victoria recorded no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Wednesday for the 68th day in a row.
Thank you for dropping in and reading this news article on “News in the City of Melbourne called “COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria infection control manager stood down after allegedly breaching protocols”. This news article was shared by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our current events and news aggregator services.
If Toni Pulu had truly made forceful and malicious contact with Irae Simeone’s head, the Brumbies No.12 would have required an HIA and turned down Pulu’s on-field apology. Neither occurred. Rugby must now be in danger of mistaking foul play with a split-second error of judgment or a momentary lapse of technique. Players know what dirty play is, and Pulu’s high contact did not fit that description. It is not the referees’ fault, but they have been assigned the roles of judge and jury, both of which they must execute in real time. By all means show Pulu a yellow card and put him on report, NRL style, but show him a red card (and subsequent ban) for getting caught too upright with two teammates in front of him tackling low? Nic Berry is a top referee and he followed the protocols, but what does it say about the protocols if Pulu gets the same colour of card as someone who carries out a genuine coathanger?
2. Tom Robertson is Australia’s form No.1
Left out of Dave Rennie’s first training squad, it would be a major surprise if the Force loosehead isn’t strongly coming into contention for the “proper” squad against France. Rarely do you see Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa struggle at scrum time in the way he did against Robertson in Canberra on Saturday. These days, looseheads are often tall as well as big, but Robertson is like the European model, stockier and low to the ground. His form over recent weeks has been very strong: combative around the paddock and always looking for that momentum-shifting shot on his rivals. He’s in career-best form and, although he has been a big loss for the Waratahs, the certainty of a starting spot at the Force has brought the best out of him.
3. Why the Force are now a problem for other sides
If Andrew Forrest really does invest in Rugby Australia, the potential for conflict will be enormous and may raise some eyebrows at rival Super Rugby clubs. But they already have an issue in the west, because the Force are clearly so well drilled and cohesive that they will be a real option for players coming back from overseas for a tilt at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The Brumbies struggled to break them down in Canberra, and the Force’s composure on defence was outstanding. That’s a sign of a well-coached side and overseas-based players will take note of it, knowing their Wallabies ambitions are best served by playing under a coaching set-up that will improve them as players. Izack Rodda has already signed on for next year, and you have to expect that the Force will compete for any player who comes onto the market.
4. Brumbies lose the injury battle
Thanks for stopping by and reading this news release on Rugby Union titled “Protocols are wrong if Pulu hit judged the same as genuine coathanger”. This story was brought to you by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local and national news services.
But the Storm were incensed with criticism of their handling of Grant. While he welcomed a review from the governing body, Melbourne head of football Frank Ponissi said he was left frustrated by the discussions that followed.
“There were two things that annoyed us – questioning [the Storm’s] integrity and questioning the integrity of the doctor,” Ponissi said. “He’s been with us for seven years … he is very comfortable in what he did he followed all the correct protocols and we stand behind our doctor.”
Ponissi said he was disappointed by suggestions the Storm had left players on the field for an advantage.
“There is no way in the world we would put any of our players under any type of jeopardy regarding their well-being just to win a game of football in round six,” he said. “That’s a bit of a kick in the guts, it’s pretty disappointing. You just wouldn’t do it. It’s 2021. We live in a different world and people are kidding themselves.”
Category-one concussion symptoms currently include loss of balance, no protective action upon falling, confusion and/or disorientation and motor incoordination, all of which deem a player immediately ruled out of a match.
But it is how other players are left on the field for several minutes before eventually having to undergo an assessment within a 15-minute timeframe that has baffled some fans.
Speaking on The Footy Show, NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler urged the NRL to implement a communication system between a club’s trainer, who undertakes the on-field assessment, and club doctor watching video on the sideline.
“The trainer is not actually qualified to test someone to see if they’re concussed,” Fittler said. “One of the problems is the trainer can’t communicate with the doctor who is on the sideline.
“One way to quicken that process up is to give the trainer some ears so he can communicate to the doctor on the sideline and I’m sure the league will have a look at that [Grant situation].
“That [communication system] seems an absolute given to speed the process up and then start looking at clubs who are making a fool of the system. I think what those players have shown is you can take a knock and do some brilliant stuff under pressure. [But] there’s a lot of grey area.”
Sixty per cent of players who have been taken from the field in the first five rounds this year have not been cleared to return, a huge increase on 25 per cent over the same period last year. It shows clubs are taking a more cautious approach to handling players who have suffered head knocks.
The NRL proposed a $20,000 fine for the Bulldogs in a breach notice handed to the club last week over their failure to immediately remove Lachlan Lewis from the field after he showed signs of motor incoordination in the Good Friday clash against the Rabbitohs.
Canterbury will appeal the severity of the fine.
The concussion issue has been even more glaring for the NRL this year after Roosters co-captain Jake Friend announced his retirement earlier this month after suffering three brain injuries in his last six games.
Boyd Cordner won’t return until round 13 at the earliest on a staged return to play after multiple head knocks last year, including in the Origin series opener.
Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Most Viewed in Sport
Thanks for dropping by and checking this news release involving local and Australian League news called “NRL’s medical advisory panel to consider tighter protocols for bringing players from field for head injury assessments after criticism over Melbourne Storm incident with Harry Grant”. This post was posted by My Local Pages as part of our local and national news services.
Canterbury will be fined $20,000 if they can’t explain why playmaker Lachlan Lewis wasn’t removed from the field after a head knock in Round 4 went untreated for two minutes before he was eventually ruled out of the game.
The Bulldogs were issued with a breach notice from the NRL on Thursday after an investigation in to the incident in which Lewis copped a knock to the head while attempting to tackle South Sydney winger Josh Mansour.
Lewis fell to the ground and then struggled to stay on his feet once he made his way up off the turf.
He had to be helped by Rabbitohs players before a Bulldogs trainer came over for a closer look.
Despite the clear protocols around concussion, Lewis remained on the field for two minutes before a club trainer came back on to the field to take the five-eighth off for a Head Injury Assessment.
Lewis failed his HIA test and was ruled him out for the remainder of the match.
In a statement on Thursday the NRL said the rules on concussion were clear and the Bulldogs needed to explain what had happened.
“Under NRL rules, any player who exhibits clear signs of motor incoordination or possible motor incoordination must be removed from the field immediately,” the statement said.
“The NRL acknowledges the Bulldogs did view Injury Surveillance screen replays and removed Lewis from the field within two minutes of further elapsed game time.
“When considering the proposed penalty, the NRL has taken into account the club’s compliance to this part of the policy and that Lewis did not remain on the field for any tactical purpose.
“The NRL reminds clubs that all officials and coaching staff, beyond club doctors and trainers, have a responsibility to be alert to player reactions after head knocks during a game.
The Bulldogs have five business days to respond to the breach notice.
Thanks for dropping by and checking out this news article about Aussie sports news called “NRL news: The Bulldogs face a $20,000 fine for not following strict concussion protocols”. This article was presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local and national news services.
An officer with the US Capitol Police was placed on leave after a congressional aide spotted a notorious anti-Jewish tract sitting out in the open near his workspace on Capitol Hill, prompting an internal probe.
A House staffer noticed a printed copy of the ‘Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion’ laying on a desk near an entrance of the Longworth House Office Building on Sunday night, snapping a photo of the find before passing it to the Washington Post, which was first to report the story. The Post then submitted the image to the Capitol Police, which vowed to investigate.
“We take all allegations of inappropriate behavior seriously,” Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement.
Once this matter was brought to my attention, I immediately ordered the officer to be suspended until the Office of Professional Responsibility can thoroughly investigate.
Also on rt.com Pentagon says 2,300 National Guard troops to stay at Capitol through May 23 as post-riot review calls for increased security
It remains unclear who originally brought the document into the building, however, or whether it belonged to the suspended officer, who worked at a security checkpoint not far from where the tract was found. He is the seventh police officer to be placed on leave since the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, which saw a crowd of Trump supporters force entry into the halls of Congress as lawmakers met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential race. In total, 35 other officers are under investigation for their actions amid the unrest, as some were seen taking selfies with rioters, while others allegedly allowed them inside the building.
The unbound document appears to have been printed page-by-page and is dated January 2019, the Post reported, noting it was likely downloaded from the website of the Bible Believers Church, a group based in Australia known for distributing anti-Semitic texts, such as the ‘Protocols’ and Henry Ford’s ‘The International Jew.’
The ‘Protocols’ doc is believed to have originated in the Russian Empire in the early 20th century and describes an alleged Jewish plot for world domination. It is now widely regarded as a forgery, plagiarized and doctored from a number of earlier texts, but has nonetheless been translated into several languages and distributed widely around the world since it first emerged.
The FBI came under fire last summer after the Bureau’s “Records Vault” Twitter handle shared a copy of the ‘Protocols’ without context, with some critics taking the post as an endorsement of the intensely anti-Semitic pamphlet. The FBI later clarified that the text was unwittingly shared “via an automated process,” adding “we regret that this release may have inadvertently caused distress among the communities we serve.”
Also on rt.com FBI slammed after tweeting out ZION PROTOCOLS, history’s most notorious anti-Semitic pamphlet
Like this story? Share it with a friend!
Thank you for dropping in and reading this news article involving International and Russian news and updates titled “Capitol police officer suspended after infamous anti-Semitic PROTOCOLS OF ZION found near work area — RT USA News”. This news release was shared by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our news aggregator services.
The Players’ Association want to ensure players remain willing to report the effects of head knocks under the new, mandatory sidelining rules, as they have made significant progress in educating players in this area in recent years, and ensure rehabilitation from head knocks starts soon after each incident.
The Players’ Association believes the introduction of objective assessment tools relating to concussion would help clubs explain to players why they are being sidelined after a head knock, with players likely to miss more games in 2021 under the new rules.
Essendon’s Andrew McGrath has been ruled out of the club’s pre-season practice match against Carlton next week, after being concussed at training this week, while North Melbourne’s Ben Cunnington and Giants skipper Stephen Coniglio have been on light duties at training this week after being concussed in an intra-club hit-out.
The AFL said it was continuing to make advancements in managing concussion in the game, with the decision to double the time a player is sidelined considered a step forward as it strengthens match-day protocols and works on amending the laws of the game to discourage high contact.
The AFL has revised head injury assessment forms, increased monitoring through technology embedded in the ARC to identify potential incidents, and assembled a panel to assess complicated cases, saying their work was “a reflection of the AFL’s ongoing commitment to the health and safety of all players”.
Thanks for checking this story regarding Australian sport called “Player push for objective concussion assessment to support protocols”. This story was brought to you by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local and national news services.
Filip Goman:Serpil, nobody understands what we’re doing here.
Serpil Unvar:Yeah, not even our people at home understand.
Filip Goman:Why do we come here every day?
Filip Goman points to the pictures on the white wall across the room. The picture of his daughter Mercedes. The picture of Serpil Unvar’s son Ferhat. The pictures of the seven other young people who he didn’t know before Feb. 19, 2020. In this room, they are all next to one another, laminated in plastic and framed by a gray curtain:
The room is 140 square meters (1,500 square feet) of commercial space on Krämerstrasse, a street in the German city of of Hanau in the state of Hesse. It used to be a sex shop, but today, a sign reading #saytheirnames hangs over the display window in illuminated blue lettering.
Everyday, people meet here who previously didn’t know each other, even though most of them had been living in the same neighborhood for decades. They have been brought together by a man they alternately refer to as “Tobias,” “the dog,” or “the bastard.” The reference is to the racist who used to be their neighbor – and who shot and killed their children on the night of Feb. 19, 2020, at six different sites, all within just a few minutes. He then returned to his home, where he shot his mother and then himself.
Because he is dead, there won’t be a trial. But the questions to which a trial may have provided answers exist all the same.
The people who come here are not investigators, they’re not lawyers or judges. They were bus drivers, carpenters and carpet sellers; they are parents, siblings and friends. They are witnesses, neighbors and survivors.
Together, they are looking for answers which – even a year after the biggest right-wing extremist attack in Germany’s postwar history – nobody can provide.
Not the police in southeastern Hesse, not the public prosecutors in Hanau, not the Federal Public Prosecutor General. Not the chancellor or the German president. Not the governor of the state of Hesse and certainly not the state’s interior minister.
Because they feel they have been left in the lurch by the powers that be, they have begun their own trial of sorts in the shop on Krämerstrasse in Hanau. They sit on pink velvet easy chairs, with tea in the samovar, the sound of boiling water having become the background noise of the February 19th Initiative. Inside this shopfront – rented by leftist activists just a few weeks after the attack without really knowing what they would use it for – is where they have been trying to come to terms with a crime in which a right-wing extremist terrorist killed as many people in a single night as the neo-Nazi terror cell National Socialist Underground (NSU) killed in six years.
They are wondering why emergency calls weren’t answered that night. Why the emergency exit was blocked at one of the crime scenes. Why autopsies were performed on their children without their permission. They don’t understand why a mentally ill person was allowed to possess a weapon in Germany. Whether there were accessories to the crime. Whether this crime could have been prevented, the investigation of which was taken over by the Federal Public Prosecutor General because it had the “potential of endangering the domestic security of the Federal Republic of Germany.” A crime that was categorized as an attack that could damage Germany’s international reputation because it again targeted people who had roots abroad.
In this room where they are looking for answer to such questions, they invite witnesses, reconstruct the events of that night, examine the police records of the emergency calls that were made. They look through investigation files, analyze the perpetrator’s psychiatric report, read the police evaluation of his computer, identify new witnesses and examine the autopsy reports of their children.
† Nesar Hashemi, 21
Brother Etris, 24
Mother Najiba, 45
Sister Saida, 25
Father Mir Salam, 57
DER SPIEGEL spent several months with the families of Hanau. This story partly retraces the discussions they had with each other each and every day and gives them the space to talk about what they experienced in their own voices. It is a record of their anger, their desperation, their mourning. It is the record of an estrangement from a country that, before Feb. 19, 2020, they called home.
The Night of the Shooting
Kim Schröder: A few minutes before, Ferhat and Mercedes had just told me I was going to have a boy. I was pregnant and constantly had a craving for sour gummy snakes. I briefly stepped outside the kiosk, came back inside and said, someone’s shooting. Yeah, kids with firecrackers, Ferhat said. Then the bastard came inside.
The shooting started at 9:55 p.m. The gunman killed people at six different sites – in three bars, on the side of a road, in the parking lot of a discount supermarket and in a kiosk.
It is possible to create a detailed timeline of that night’s events, but sitting in the room on Krämerstrasse, the accounts produce a series of random images, a nightmare with no beginning and no end.
Kim Schröder: I ducked behind the counter. When he started shooting in the Arena Bar next door, I jumped out of the store window and stopped three cars. I said there is a gunman, my friends are bleeding to death, I’m pregnant. They all just drove away.
In the video footage from the security camera at Kiosk 24/7 on Kurt Schumacher Square – Crime Scene 5 in the investigation files – the perpetrator is visible as he walks in. He fires five shots in six seconds. Two bullets hit Gökhan Gültekin in the heart and in the head. He was 37 years old. Two bullets hit Mercedes Kierpacz, one piercing her lungs, liver and heart, the other severing her carotid artery. She was 35. One bullet struck Ferhat Unvar on this evening, tearing through his liver, a kidney and his spine. He was 23 years old.
Kim Schröder is a frequent visitor to the “Ini,” as they call this space. She charges her phone here, uses the WiFi and warms up milk for Dario. She is 25 years old. On the night of the shooting, she was four months pregnant with Dario.
On this day in November, she is sitting in a velvet easy chair across from Armin Kurtović. He has a lot of questions about the night on which his son died. And Kim is one of the witnesses that tell him over and over again about that night. On this afternoon, Kurtović takes her son Dario in his arms, turns to his wife Dijana, and says: “If our children have a child, they should name it Hamza!”
Hamza Kurtović was the son of Armin and Dijana Kurtović. That night, he was with his friends in Arena Bar, Crime Scene 6.
In video footage from Arena Bar, you can see the barkeeper and an older guest at the bar. In the room, you can see the friends Hamza, Momo, Piter and the two Hashemi brothers, Etris and Nesar.
Etris Hashemi: In front of the Arena Bar, I saw the ring Nesar was wearing and I said: What kind of ugly ring is that? He was wearing it for the first time that evening. We laughed. Nesar loved Versace.
Etris Hashemi is the older brother of Nesar Hashemi, who was 21. The brothers had been in Frankfurt that day, where Nesar had the number 63454 tattooed on the inside of both of his biceps. Their father, Mir Salam Hashemi, is a shift leader at the tire producer Dunlop. He came to Germany from Kabul in the 1980s before bringing his wife to join him. They had five children and hoped their lives would be easier in Kesselstadt, postal code 63454.
Kesselstadt is a part of Hanau with high-rise housing projects and a castle called Schloss Philippsruhe. Immigrants make up a significant share of the population and there are many families with a lot of children. There is a youth center available to them, called JUZ, but once it closes its doors at 10 p.m., the youth have nowhere else to go to hang out. The Arena Bar is a “filthy hole,” as they say themselves. It’s a bar that’s not really a bar. Football is constantly playing on the big-screen televisions and there are gaming machines in the corner. It’s a place to hang out when it’s cold outside.
Piter Minnemann: I was coming from boxing practice. The guys had ordered pizza and I also grabbed one. I walked into the Arena Bar and immediately started hearing the gunfire from the kiosk next door.
The gunman can be seen in the surveillance footage. He fires off 16 shots in 13 seconds. The friends Hamza, Momo, Piter and the two Hashemi brothers Etris and Nesar hide behind a pillar toward the back of the bar, while some make it to safety behind the counter, lying on top of each other. The gunman, though, fires over the counter and all of them are hit except for Piter Minnemann.
Etris Hashemi: I held Momo’s wound closed and he did the same for my neck. Then Piter pulled Momo out and said we had to get out of here before he comes back. I can’t just lie here and die, I thought to myself.
Etris Hashemi ran into the kiosk next door, where he saw Gökhan, Mercedes and Ferhat lying on the floor. Etris Hashemi knew Ferhat Unvar, having sat at the same table with him in elementary school. The friends Hamza and Nesar went to kindergarten together, and on this evening, they remained behind on the floor of the Arena Bar.
Hamza Kurtović was hit by two bullets, one in the upper arm and another in the back of his head, but his heart was still beating. He was declared dead at 12:35 a.m. in a Frankfurt hospital. Two bullets pierced the back of Nesar Hashemi, hitting his heart, aorta, stomach and liver. He died at the scene.
In the parking lot outside, Etris Hashemi leaned on a silver Mercedes, holding his wound closed. He could no longer feel his tongue. He had a bullet in his jaw and another bullet had passed through his shoulder. Vili-Viorel Păun, 22, was sitting in the driver’s seat. The gunman had shot him in the forehead, the breast and the shoulder. The police report from that night notes that he was still breathing when the first officers arrived at the scene. He had come to Hanau from Romania three years before, the only son of warehouse workers Iulia and Niculescu Păun. The image of his silver Mercedes CLS 321, covered with a golden foil to conceal the interior and the driver’s door hanging open, circled the globe.
† Vili-Viorel Păun, 22
Father Niculescu, 45
Mother Iulia, 42
Vili-Viorel Păun was a delivery driver for Amazon and had brought the car with him from Romania. He lived with his parents in the city center, just a few minutes from Heumarkt, the square where the first shots were fired on this night. That is where Kaloyan Velkov, 33, was shot. He was standing behind the counter in a bar called La Votre, Crime Scene 1. That same evening, he had sent a winter jacket to his son back in Bulgaria. He was struck by four bullets.
The exterminator Fatih Saraçoğlu, 34, was shot to death with four bullets as he was standing on the side of the road smoking a cigarette, Crime Scene 2. He had just been meeting with colleagues to discuss expanding his company nationwide. Just a few minutes before he was shot, he wrote a WhatsApp message to his girlfriend: “I’ll be right there, my life.”
Sedat Gürbüz was also killed, the operator of Midnight, a shisha bar, Crime Scene 3. He was only there because he wanted to bid farewell to his former employees in person, since he had just sold the bar a few days earlier. He was 29 years old. He was shot in the head.
Surveillance footage recorded a short time later shows the gunman shooting at the car of Vili-Viorel Păun, who threw his car into reverse and started following the attacker. Păun followed him for 2.4 kilometers, all the way to Kesselstadt – to the discounter parking lot, a Lidl, Crime Scene 4.
The gunman fired off at least 47 shots that night, with investigators describing his motive as: “Treacherous murder out of base motive” and stating that he was specifically targeting victims with foreign roots.
Çetin Gültekin: If they had answered Vili’s call, then wouldn’t we have three victims instead of nine?
Niculescu Păun, Vili’s father, often sits in one of the black leather easy chairs and talks about Vili, his only son. He spoke five languages and wanted to become a food technologist. The father says he closed the window in his room on that Feb. 20 and thought: Maybe Vili is with a woman? Later, he headed to work in the warehouse, packing whiskey onto pallets. He only learned that his son was dead that afternoon. Nicolescu Păun had been a taxi driver in Romania. He lived in a village near Bucharest and says he came to Hanau for Vili.
Months after the murder, the investigators gave him Vili’s mobile phone back. When Păun unlocked the phone and scrolled through the list of calls, he discovered that his son had called the emergency number 110 three times that night. Since he found that out, he has repeatedly held up the screenshots at the Initiative.
In late November, the family received the investigation files, in which it is noted that the calls from Vili could not be found in the emergency call records. On this morning, voices are raised at the breakfast table at the Initiative. Çetin Gültekin, Gökhan’s brother, holds up a file memo and slams it down on the table.
The memo notes that because of the volume of calls that night, the Hanau police were unable to answer all of them. The calls, it said, piled up in the control room at Hanau Police Station 01 and were processed at just two workstations. There were, the report continues, technical problems with recording the calls.
According to the list of emergency calls, the first call reached the station at 9:56 p.m., about a minute after the gunman shot Kaloyan Velkov at the first crime scene, with the second call coming in at almost exactly the same time. The police received a third call as the gunman was shooting at the final crime scene, the Arena Bar. The emergency calls were not transferred and the calls from Vili-Viorel Păun were not received. According to the files, the police received no calls at all for more than an hour on that night.
Serpil Unvar:Nobody supposedly called for an entire hour?
Çetin Gültekin:They should at least not send it to us and treat us like idiots.
Nicolescu Păun:Maybe they were out taking a cigarette break?
In January 2021, almost a year after the shooting spree, the police headquarters in southeastern Hesse admitted in response to a query from DER SPIEGEL that the officers at the police station had been overwhelmed and said that a “transfer concept was planned” and it should begin sending emergency calls on to Frankfurt at some point this year.
Ever since the people in the Initiative learned that the emergency calls from Vili-Viorel Păun went nowhere, they have begun wondering if perhaps six additional murders could have been prevented. They wonder if Vili himself might still be alive if the officers had answered his calls and told him to stop following the gunman.
They don’t know.
They only know that Hesse Interior Minister Peter Beuth, during their meeting with him last May at state parliament, praised the job done by the police that night and told them nothing of the failures that were documented in the files.
On this morning, they are furious. They don’t understand why they have to reconstruct events from that night when people in positions of authority have known about them for months.
Their anger is no longer directed just at the perpetrator.
Excerpts from a WhatsApp exchange between Armin Kurtović and his daughter Ajla Kurtović:
Ajla, 10:12 p.m.: There was just a shooting in Hanau. At Heumarkt. Apparently one person was killed. Armin, 10:19 p.m.: There was something here at Lidl too. Ajla: Just now? Armin: Yes. Ajla: What was it? Maybe they’re connected? Armin: I don’t know. Ajla, 10:24 p.m.: And what happened in Kesselstadt? Armin: Nothing. Ajla: You just wrote that something happened there? Armin: Yes, but nothing big. I’m heading into the city. There are helicopters circling. Ajla: I’m going to bed. Ajla Kurtović goes offline. Armin, 10:35 p.m.: I’m walking over to Lidl, someone was apparently killed here too.
Five of the victims’ families live in Kesselstadt. Those who couldn’t reach their children on their mobile phones walked over to Kurt Schumacher Square.
Çetin Gültekin: When I got to the Lidl parking lot, my mother was lying on the ground screaming. The crime scene was sealed off. She grabbed me by the collar and told me to go in and pull my brother out. I went up to a police officer and said, do me a favor. I’ll call my brother. You go into the kiosk and tell me if a phone rings. He came back and said: Yes, a phone rang.
In one crime scene photo, Gökhan Gültekin is lying slumped in a heap behind the counter. He had been in the process of building up a moving company in Hanau and worked as a building superintendent in hospitals. At night, he sometimes worked at the kiosk. People in the neighborhood called him Gogo. Çetin and Gökhan are the children of a man who left southeastern Turkey in the 1960s to work on highway construction sites in Germany. He wanted to save up enough money to buy two oxen and then return to Turkey. When he was working on the highway A45, he lived in a workers’ hostel in Hanau. He liked the city and he decided to stay, and brought his wife Hüsna from Turkey to join him. They had two sons and moved with them to Kesselstadt.
Mir Salam Hashemi: On the day of the attack, I went to a rehab session. I told Nesar, give me a kiss, I’m going. He said: I’ll drive you to the station, papa. No, you don’t need to, I’m taking the bus, I told him. That night, Saida called. Papa, there has been a shooting and the guys aren’t answering their phones. I told the doctor, I have to leave. You were dreaming, the doctor replied. I found a taxi and paid 300 euros. The driver let me out in front of the perpetrator’s house. All of the roads were blocked off. I told the police officer that I live here. They didn’t let me through.
Emiş Gürbüz was waiting in a hotel lobby on Heumarkt. Her first child Sedat lay behind the warning tape in the shisha bar across the way.
Diana Sokoli hit the police officer who brought her the mobile phone of her boyfriend Fatih Saraçoğlu. He was lying dead in an ambulance.
Kaloyan Velkov’s Facebook account remained online for hours and his cousin Vaska Zlateva kept writing to him: Tell me, are you okay?
† Kaloyan Velkov, 33
Cousin Vaska Zlateva, 35
That night, the family members were taken to a police auditorium where they sat down on benches. There were Twix bars and Snickers. And black tea. At dawn, an officer read out the list of names of those who had been killed.
The family members frequently talk about that night in the shop on Krämerstrasse and how they noticed each other for the first time: waiting, crying, and then screaming and flailing about. It was the night that brought them together, a night when nobody wanted to be where they were. After the names were read out, they all had the same questions. They didn’t know who had killed their children and why. Where were they now? Many of them again drove by the Lidl parking lot that morning and didn’t realize that their children were still lying there.
Hamza Kurtović had only just started his job in a warehouse a few weeks earlier. He told his father: I’m going to stay there until I retire. Armin Kurtović called the company hotline from the police auditorium and said that Hamza had been injured and wouldn’t be able to come to work the next day.
† Hamza Kurtović, 22
Sister Ajla, 25
Father Armin, 46
Mother Dijana, 47
Çetin Gültekin: After the autopsy, they sewed my brother up and wrapped him in plastic wrap so he wouldn’t come apart. I always thought autopsies were performed in cases when it wasn’t clear how someone died. In our religion, it is considered a desecration of the corpse. It’s almost like killing a dead person a second time. I soaped up Gökhan and poured water over him, but pink blood kept coming out of the places where he had been stitched up. It was the first time I had ever performed such a washing. It took almost two hours. The imam had told me that no blood could get onto the shroud. We plugged every small hole on his body with cotton.
In the investigation file is an email from Feb. 21, written by a federal prosecutor to the investigating judge at the Federal Court of Justice, with the subject line: “Hearing of the family members of the deceased victims – application for impoundment and autopsy.” “The families of Hamza Kurtović, Ferhat Unvar and Gökhan Gültekin were already contacted on Feb. 19, 2020.” The sentence is a source of anger at the Initiative. The families were only read the list of names of their dead children on the morning of Feb. 20. Hamza Kurtović was only declared dead in the hospital at 12:35 a.m.
A criminal investigator noted Hamza’s mobile phone number, shoe size and address and, in the form pertaining to the body, he wrote: “No known contact person” – despite the fact that Hamza’s parents were registered with the police and were waiting in the police auditorium for information about the whereabouts of their son.
They can’t get past the fact that they were only allowed to see their children after the autopsies had been performed.
Armin Kurtović: When the coroner started cutting my son apart the next day, they were still telling me on the phone that they didn’t know where he was. I read later in the files that they had received permission for the autopsy from the public prosecutor in Hanau, but she no longer had jurisdiction. The Federal Public Prosecutor General had already taken over the case. That is unauthorized assumption of authority. When you address the mistakes with the officials, they say they had never experienced such a thing: The functionaries, the administrator, the police officers, none of them were prepared for it. But what do they think? That we families were prepared for it?
Najiba Hashemi: It was the first time in my life that I had ever seen a corpse, and it belonged to my son. When I washed him, a tear trickled out of Nesar’s eye. I wanted to see everything. I wanted everything back. I don’t want to close my eyes and forget. We had to wait six days before we got him back.
Filip Goman didn’t go to the police auditorium in the night of the shootings. He stayed at the Lidl parking lot. He no longer had any hope. He had no more questions for the police. His sons’ friends had seen her. He knew that Mercedes was lying dead on the floor of the kiosk.
Filip Goman: I said to the police officer: I don’t want you to say later that the gypsy ruined the crime scene. I’m waiting here. But you have to promise me that I will be allowed to go in to bid farewell to my daughter.
Filip Goman is 57 years old, the son of Polish Roma from Katowice. His grandparents were murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. In the 1960s, he traveled through German cities in his parents’ mobile home. He never went to school and later became a carpet salesman. When his wife Sophia became pregnant, he took her to the cinema where they watched “The Count of Monte Cristo.” They gave their daughter the name of the beautiful Catalan woman in the film: Mercedes. Goman bought a villa, drove a Rolls Royce and lived on marble floors. They would vacation in Monte Carlo. His sons say: He became a millionaire three times and gambled it all away. Goman married Mercedes to her cousin, and she was 17 when she gave birth to their son Colorado. The marriage didn’t last and she moved back into the villa before marrying her second husband. When he was sent to prison, she moved to Kesselstadt and worked in the kiosk. But even when she wasn’t working, “Benz” was always there, say her friends. She called it “chilling,” says Goman. She drank Jack-and-Cola and turned up the music.
† Mercedes Kierpacz, 35
Son Colorado, 17
Mother Sophia, 60
Father Filip Goman, 57
That night, Filip Gorman waited at the Lidl parking lot for 20 hours. After investigators had finished gathering evidence, a police officer led him to Mercedes.
At the Initiative, he often speaks of this moment. His daughter, he says, looked as though she wanted to say: Sorry, I didn’t mean to die here. When Goman talks about bidding farewell to his daughter, the others stare off into space. He is the only one who was able to see his child before the autopsy.
Serpil Unvar:Filip was smart. He just waited there. We didn’t know that they were inside. I was 100 percent convinced that Ferhat was just injured and in the hospital.
Filip Goman:But Serpil, you were there.
Serpil Unvar:Yes, I was there. I asked all of the police officers and showed them his picture. Nobody who looks like that is here, they said.
Serpil Unvar only received her son’s death certificate from the city three weeks after the shooting. There, she read his official time of death for the first time: 3:10 a.m.
Months after the shooting, Unvar is still plagued by the question as to how much Ferhat suffered that night. Is it really the case that nobody helped him for five hours?
Serpil Unvar was born in a Kurdish city in southern Turkey. Her father went to Paris and she joined him later, marrying a man who her brother had chosen for her, the son of a Kurdish road builder from Hanau. She gave birth to four children, but never found happiness with her husband. When they separated, Ferhat became a father to his little brother Mirza. She gave Ferhat Dostoyevsky to read when he was 12. She wanted him to have a conscience, she says.
† Ferhat Unvar, 24
Brother Mirza, 8
On his last day, she was in the kitchen talking on the phone. She waved to Ferhat as he left for the youth center to play pool. He arrived at the kiosk six minutes before the shooter.
In surveillance footage, Ferhat Unvar sinks to the floor, grabs for his pants pocket and pulls out his mobile phone – then the recording breaks off for unknown reasons. It starts up again after three minutes, but Ferhat is no longer in the frame. Judging from later photos of the crime scene, he crawled past Gökhan and Mercedes behind the counter. According to the last witnesses who were in the kiosk, Ferhat Unvar said in Turkish: “I’m burning.”
The first police to enter the kiosk didn’t look behind the counter. Later, a police officer stepped over him on several occasions, trying to block the window with a sun umbrella. He never bent down to Ferhat.
Serpil Unvar had her lawyer write to the Federal Public Prosecutor General and she has repeatedly voiced her doubts in interviews. When Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht visited the families in Hanau last September, Unvar asked if she could help her clear up this question. At the Initiative, she often sits under Ferhat’s picture and speaks with him: What are you doing there, Ferhat? And then she again screams at whoever is sitting next to her.
Serpil Unvar:They simply didn’t check on him!
Çetin Gültekin:Maybe they just forgot to include the two in the report, Serpil. Maybe he died at 23:10 instead of 3:10, you understand?
Serpil Unvar:No, I don’t understand.
She has never taken the sheets off of his bed. You can still see the burned holes from his cigarette in the bathroom, traces of his fists in the door and his name scratched into the chimney.
After the shooting, they got their son’s mobile phone back and they set it in his room. Ferhat’s fingerprints are still on the display, traced in his blood.
Day to Day
Çetin Gültekin:Is there a tea here for Çeto?
Newroz Duman:Çetin, you also have two hands.
Çetin Gültekin: Nobody thinks of me.
They meet here every day of the week. The door opens at 10 a.m., though most of them show up in the afternoon, when they order döner kebabs or pizza and tell each other that they shouldn’t eat so many carbohydrates. Sometimes, it’s just before midnight when they lock up again.
They refer to the space as the children’s room and refer to each other as family – and they also include others who help without having lost a family member themselves.
One of those people is Hagen Kopp, 60, who took to the streets in the 1970s to protest against war and for the environment. He modestly refers to himself as the custodian. He turns the corona air purifier on and off as needed, arranges video conferences with city officials, meets with lawyers and identifies new witnesses.
Marion Bayer is another, a 42-year-old who used to work at a leftist publishing house and who has become a kind of state secretary at the Initiative, writing letters on behalf of the families to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Angela Merkel and to Mayor Kaminsky.
Then there is Newroz Duman, a 31-year-old who came to Hanau with her Kurdish family as a child. Today, she is one of the best-known faces in the leftist scene. From the first day after the attack, she started calling out the names of the dead from the stage.
On this morning, Newroz has brought fresh flowers. Çetin says that nobody loves him. Serpil is talking about the new rocks for her garden. Mirza, eight years old, the little brother of Ferhat Unvar, is playing Brawl Stars on a mobile phone. Armin Kurtović is sitting in the corner scrolling through pictures of water wells that he is having built in Ethiopia on Hamza’s behalf.
Goman is speaking on the phone with the secretary of the commissioner appointed to help the victims. He is again talking about the murderer, who months before the shooting reported an ominous secret service to the Federal Public Prosecutor General’s office, a complaint in which he referenced his own website – on which he then posted a call 15 days before the shooting to annihilate entire peoples.
Filip Goman:The terrorist spent months revealing himself. Where was the government? Where was the police? Where were the public prosecutors? Or did they just think: Let him shoot down the dagos? Nobody says officially how racist everybody is here. Even if I go to prison because of it, the president of Germany, what’s his name? Stahlmayr.
Armin Kurtović:Steinmeier …
Filip Goman:… in such a situation like in Hanau, a person like Stahlmayr has to do something!
Armin Kurtović: … Steinmeier.
Filip Goman:Believe me, we Roma also have big chiefs who have something to say like Stahlmayr.
Armin Kurtović: Filip, Steinmeier!
Filip Gorman:My wife got a sentence of six years and nine months for fraud. What’s the name of that football player again? Udo Jürgens?
Armin Kurtović: Uli Hoeness.
Filip Goman:How much did he swindle?
Armin Kurtović: … 20 million.
Filip Goman:And he’s out again! Two years, then parole. And my daughter was murdered. Please can you arrange for my wife Roletta Balog to get parole?
Attempts have been made to express condolences to the families. The chancellor came to funeral services in Hanau in March and they were invited to the state capital in Wiesbaden by Governor Volker Bouffier. They visited President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin.
But as is the case following many such attacks, they have still been left with questions that can never be answered. They have the feeling that they haven’t been told everything. And that they haven’t always been helped quickly enough.
Many of the families still live in Kesselstadt, months after the attack – not far from the crime scene, not far from the house of the gunman. Sophia, the mother of Mercedes, wants to leave.
Sophia Kierpacz: The mayor says the welfare office should help. The welfare office doesn’t help us, we’re gypsies, they don’t give us any apartments. When I find a nice apartment, they ask us, when they see us, how many people are you? I was born in Germany, my children were born here. The Germans always say foreigners, foreigners. What do the foreigners do? I don’t get it. Look, a German killed our children, a racist.
On the day after the attack, Edgar Franke, the federal government’s commissioner for victims, traveled to Hanau and met with the families and the mayor. He stayed for six days. Families and the injured received immediate aid. Parents, children and partners received 30,000 euros each while siblings got 15,000 euros.
Franke represents a country where aid for victims has been increasing for 20 years, as if bigger and bigger holes have to be filled in a carpet that is falling apart. Around the turn of the millennium, German parliament decided it was time to start indemnifying victims of racist attacks using federal funds. After the attacks on German tourists in Djerba, the payments were expanded to victims of terrorist attacks, and then later to the victims of all extremist attacks – left-wing, right-wing and Islamist. Seven years ago, the German government paid out 199,000 euros. Last year, it was almost 2.5 million.
Sophia Kierpacz: Mr. Franke told me: Yes, Ms. Kierpacz, we helped you. But how did you help us? I wouldn’t have given up my child for a billion euros. But how are the children supposed to continue living without a mother? Who should go to work for them? Who should care for them? Who should teach them how to live? I’m a grandmother. Mother is different. What does a grandmother know? Nothing.
Sophia is now taking care of Mercedes’ son. He wears a bracelet that his mother bought him when he was born, engraved with his name: Colorado.
He is 17 and frequently comes to the Initiative. He hugs Serpil Unvar, she buys him cologne and tells him he should move in with her.
She says, when I see such big guys, I think of Ferhat. He says: Who thinks about you more than your mother does?
Serpil Unvar:So, Armin, how was your therapy? Did you drive the woman crazy too?
Armin Kurtović:The therapist wanted to do relaxation exercises with me. Tense up, breathe, relax. She told me I need to stop it with the files.
Armin Kurtović is smoking a cigarette in front of the Initiative and talking with his wife Dijana and Serpil Unvar about the locked emergency exit at the Arena Bar. Again. Shortly after the shooting, he heard in the neighborhood that the police had asked the bar owner to keep the door locked to make it easier to check people during raids. Months later, he read in the crime scene report that the door had also been locked on the night of the shooting. Kurtović has been researching it ever since.
Survivors told him that when they heard gunfire coming from the kiosk, they didn’t even run to the emergency exit because they knew that it was locked. Instead, they ran into the corner, they said, and waited for the shooter as if “on the slaughterhouse table.” Kurtović doesn’t understand why months have gone by without Hanau prosecutors launching an investigation for negligent homicide. If raids were so common, he asks, why wasn’t the bar just closed down long ago? Did the police want to watch and see who went in and out? What was my son then, he asks? Collateral damage? He spoke with investigators in the search for answers to his questions. He communicated his suspicions to Hesse Interior Minister Beuth. He has never received a reply. On this afternoon, he has again invited witnesses to the Krämerstrasse Initiative – bar regulars and former employees.
Armin Kurtović used to be a bus driver in Frankfurt. But when he leads the discussions with the witnesses, he sounds like a chief investigator who is convinced that if everyone had done their job, Nesar and Hamza would still be alive.
Dijana Kurtović:The therapist says we need to think of ourselves.
Serpil Unvar:Yes, of course. Let’s go shopping Dijana. You forget Hamza and I’ll forget Ferhat.
Armin Kurtović:I told her I would be ashamed to visit his grave if I was thinking of myself.
“We’re going to pay Hamza a short visit.”
“I’m going to go visit Ferhat.”
“Haydi, hurry up. The cemetery is closing in just a bit.”
Such sentences can be heard every day in the storefront on Krämerstrasse. They’re as normal as one saying to the other that he has to drop by the bakery.
Serpil Unvar: I have never allowed anyone to give me flowers in my life. I hate flowers. I never even allowed my ex-husband to bring me flowers. And now I bring Ferhat flowers every day.
The three friends Nesar, Hamza and Ferhat are buried next to each other in the Hanau cemetery. When the parents visit them together, they empty the rainwater from the vases and pack away the angels that other visitors leave there. They lay their mobile phones on the grave and play Koran suras from YouTube while running their fingers through the dirt. The city of Hanau gave their children honorary graves – graves that never expire. A memorial plaque is to be set up on the path through the cemetery with the names of all nine of the victims. To make sure people don’t someday think there were just three, says Armin Kurtović.
Sedat Gürbüz is buried a half hour by car from Hanau, in the Dietzenbach cemetery. There is no plaque here. His mother Emiş Gürbüz says she lights a candle here on cold days so that Sedat isn’t cold in his grave down below. For months, she has been fighting for him to receive the same kind of recognition as the dead children of Hanau. She wrote to Governor Bouffier and asked: “Why isn’t my son’s grave in Dietzenbach also an honorary grave? Doesn’t he also have a right to that?” She wrote the same letter to Steinmeier and one to the Hesse commissioner for victims. She wrote the mayor of her city, who still hasn’t visited her to this day.
Salahettin Gürbüz: Maybe, as a father, I should have grabbed my son and left this country. What are we actually begging for? Even if they give him a golden grave, he still isn’t coming back.
Emiş Gürbüz has started writing letters to the mayor of the Turkish city where her parents are from. Maybe he can set up a memorial plaque for Sedat?
She says that she has started hating Germany, this country to which her father came 50 years ago to install car parts on an assembly line. This city where she has a garden plot, where she had the same elementary school teacher as her son Sedat. Sedat’s jacket is still hanging on a chair in the kitchen and his towel is still in the bathroom, embroidered with his name – a present he received when he was born. She charges his phone every evening. It should never go dead, she says.
Sedat was a lazy student, she says, and loved clothing from Hugo Boss. He used a severance payment from the supermarket chain Rewe to open the shisha bar Midnight on Heumarkt in Hanau. It was open 23 hours a day and Sedat threw parties there, inviting DJs to come over from Frankfurt.
† Sedat Gürbüz, 29
Father Salahettin, 56
Mother Emiş, 51
Emiş Gürbüz never visited his bar in Hanau. But now that Sedat is dead, she drives by almost every Sunday. The Initiative is located just a few steps away.
Here, she tells the others that the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is trying to prevent the honorary grave and the stele, and that one of them proposed “Stolpersteine” instead, those paving stones found in sidewalks across Germany were Jewish victims of the Holocaust once lived. “They want to step on Sedat,” she says.
Çetin Gültekin: If Tobias had had a chainsaw, he might have cut off Gökhan’s arm or Mercedes’ leg. But he never would have been able to kill nine people.
One of the questions that the parents take along with them to their meetings with politicians, with the justice minister, with the head of the weapons agency, is the one about the perpetrator’s gun license. But no matter who they ask, they all refer to the ongoing investigation.
But they have learned a lot from their own investigations.
They know that the gunman applied for his first license in 2013, and that he wrote that he needed a gun license to “practice the hobby of sport shooting.” And they know that he gave the weapons agency permission to contact the health office. They read in the files that the weapons agency never actually contacted the health office because he had signed an outdated form. Thirteen months earlier, the Hesse Interior Ministry had told the weapons agency to no longer include the health office as part of their background checks.
They know that the man who killed their children had been committed to a psychiatric hospital because he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. That he was brought to the hospital in handcuffs. They know that in the years that followed, he had repeatedly attracted police attention: He was the focus of restraining orders, he smuggled drugs, he was charged with fraudulently obtaining welfare and with negligent arson. But he still received his second gun license. Over the years, he made an appearance in fully 15 law enforcement investigations.
Why, the families are wondering, did nobody check whether a person like that possessed a weapon?
Ferhat jumping into the Main River in the depth of winter. Nesar posing with his car. Hamza at the seaside. Kaloyan dancing on tables. Mercedes standing in the stadium of the Eintracht Frankfurt soccer team.
In the storefront on Krämerstrasse, the dead live on in their parents’ mobile phones. Almost all of them have changed their profile pictures, using images of their children on Facebook, Signal and WhatsApp. They are constantly swiping through pictures that they had never seen before Feb. 19 because friends only sent them after the shooting.
Vaska Zlateva: When I talk on the phone with Kaloyan’s son in Bulgaria, he holds up his father’s driver’s license to the camera. Kaloyan was a truck driver. He drove to Iraq, to Syria. He stayed in Hanau because he wanted to save money for his son’s eye operation. Alex is eight years old, and when we ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he says: policeman. He still doesn’t know why his father had to die.
On this morning in December, Serpil has brought bread rolls. Newroz is making scrambled eggs and Çetin wants a tea. Again, they are sitting together at the breakfast table.
Çetin Gültekin:I want to make a life-size picture of Gökhan for my mother’s room, super big.
Serpil Unvar:Don’t do it! When she looks at the picture, she’ll be reminded of her child’s death. Why are you doing that?
Çetin Gültekin:What should I do? That’s what she wants.
Serpil Unvar: No, Çetin.
Çetin Gültekin:Newroz, what do you think. Can we do 105 centimeters?
Newroz Duman:The guy said it has to be at least 120, because they are portraits.
Çetin Gültekin:Then please make one 120 by 120.
Serpil Unvar:Stop it Çetin, put up a picture of Charlie Chaplin. I have a picture of him. Do you want it?
Çetin Gültekin, 46, moved back in with his parents after Febs. 19. His father died of cancer three weeks after the shooting. Gültekin’s son is named Mert. He is 26 and lives with his uncle in one room, and Çetin is now sleeping in the bed of his dead brother.
† Gökhan Gültekin, 37
Nephew Mert, 26
Mother Hüsna, 67
Brother Çetin, 46
Çetin Gültekin: Sometimes, my mother comes in at dawn and screams: How can you sleep peacefully while your brother lies under the cold earth? When that happens, Mert and I jump out of bed and leave the apartment. We go into the city, sit down somewhere and only come back home at around noon. We lie to her and say: We filled out another application for Gökhan, some form or another, so that my mother thinks: They’re taking care of things, doing something for my dead child!
On some days, Hüsna Gültekin comes to the Initiative. She is 72 and uses a walker. She is a kind of village elder at the Initiative. When she comes, everyone holds open the door and brings her tea.
Hüsna Gültekin:Do you dream of your sons?
Najiba Hashemi:No, unfortunately I don’t.
Serpil Unvar:Only once.
Hüsna Gültekin:I’ve hung pictures of him in my room, his face is everywhere. But I still don’t dream of him.
At some point, Serpil Unvar says: Why is my child dead? I hate myself. My child was killed, and for months, we’ve just been sitting here and we keep on living! How can we keep living?
Mir Salam Hashemi: When a bird loses its baby, what does it do? If the baby falls out of the tree or it is stolen by a cat? It screams the whole time and can’t do anything else.
Nesar Hashemi received training as a systems mechanic at the company where his father works. He wanted to become an instructor. At Dunlop, they just called him Hashemi Junior. His father still hasn’t managed to empty out his locker at work.
Diana Sokoli: I never imagined myself in construction worker clothing and heading out to hunt and kill animals. But that’s what Fatih loved to do. It was his work.
Diana Sokoli and Fatih Saraçoğlu grew up in the same neighborhood of Regensburg. They ran into each other by coincidence in Hanau and became a couple. She opened a beauty salon while he started an extermination company. Diana Sokoli now wears his black work gloves every day and kills rats and cockroaches.
† Fatih Saraçoǧlu, 34
Girlfriend Diana Sokoli, 33
On some days, Hamza’s mother takes his shoes out of the closet and smells them. Armin Kurtović drives Hamza’s Audi. Najiba Hashemi has tied up a used tissue from her son in a clear plastic bag and put it in his wardrobe. Emiş Gürbüz takes worms from Sedat’s grave and buries them in the bushes. If someone tips over the picture of Sedat that she has placed on the mailboxes in the apartment building, she’ll sit in the darkness in a chair at night to find out who did it. Çetin Gültekin says that she can’t accept the fact that she has slowly started to accept what happened.
None of the family members have ever been to a trauma center, none of them have been through a rehabilitation program. When she loads up the dishwasher with tea glasses at the Initiative, Serpil Unvar sometimes asks herself what they will all do when they are done filing all their inquiries at the agencies.
Trials are held so that people can learn the truth, so that those responsible can be punished, so that there can be closure at some point. At the Initiative, they are doing what they do so they can carry on with life.
Some of them here compare their suffering. They say things like: If I had just one child like the Păuns, I would have shot myself long ago. They ask: Do you think the other mothers are suffering as much as I am? Sometimes, they are furious with each other, they want the others to fight even harder or raise their voices even louder – to attack the agencies and the society that made racism possible in the first place with their silence. Sometimes, they also want the other to be quieter in interviews. But they are always quick to put their differences aside and give each other a hug.
Piter Minnemann: In the beginning, I felt like shit because nothing happened to me. Not because I wanted something to happen to me, but because I thought their children must have been struck by bullets meant for me. There have been times when people have come up to me and said, what are you? You’re big, you’re strong. You’re a kickboxer. Why didn’t you throw a chair? Why didn’t you jump on him? Why didn’t you take his weapon out of his hands? Why didn’t you break the window? Why didn’t you do something?
Two days after the killings, Piter Minnemann converted to Islam and is now named Bilal. He’s 19 years old. At the Initiative, he has begun calling Armin Kurtović uncle and Çetin Gültekin abi, big brother. Over a cigarette, he reassures the mothers: Your son didn’t suffer. It was quick, I saw it. He gives interviews about the blocked emergency exit. Minnemann is a gifted speaker and he has begun delivering the opening addresses at their rallies. He had the date, Feb. 19, 2020, tattooed on his chest.
In the search for culprits, they sometimes get angry with each other. Kim Schröder only enters the Initiative when Mercedes’ mother isn’t there. Sophia blames her for Mercedes’ death.
Diana Sokoli:But why are you to blame?
Kim Schröder:Because I was standing there and ducked when the shots were fired! If I hadn’t ducked, all of us who were in that kiosk would be dead, and Dario too!
Diana Sokoli:I can understand, though. It was the same with Fatih. He drove his friend here that day because he wanted to save the 10 euros for the taxi. I also beat up the friend and insulted him. Instead of sitting in the car, his friend said, come brother, let’s get out and have another smoke.
Çetin Gültekin:It’s God’s will. There is nothing we can do about it. This friend who said one cigarette, one more cigarette, he was just the reason. And there also moments when we say, let’s smoke another cigarette, and then you stay alive.
Like many here, Serpil Unvar is a believer. But since Ferhat’s death, she says she has found it harder to believe in things like heaven and hell. She’s scared and wonders: What if there’s nothing after death and I never see him again?
Serpil Unvar:Why is Ferhat dead, Emiş?
Emiş Gürbüz:And why is Sedat dead, Serpil?
Serpil Unvar:Ferhat was a sad boy.
Emiş Gürbüz:Sedat was always laughing.
Serpil Unvar:If I had made him happier, he wouldn’t have been in that kiosk.
Emiş Gürbüz:I should have just sat in that shisha bar with Sedat for 24 hours. We didn’t take good enough care of our children, they just slipped through our fingers. It’s our own fault.
When it comes to the question of guilt, the conversations always lead to the parents of the gunman.
The families do not view the perpetrator’s mother, who he shot that night, as a victim. They say she looked the other way for decades, not wanting to see what her child was doing. The gunman’s father, a 73-year-old engineer, was taken to a psychiatric ward after the night of the crime and then to a hotel. Although the doctor told the police not to bring him back, he returned to the neighborhood three weeks after the crime.
Serpil Unvar:Do you think we could live in Hanau if our children had done that?
Dijana Kurtović:No, of course not! And look at what happened in Trier, and the old man has a driver’s license and cars. He could drive into a crowd of people, couldn’t he?
Their investigation has revealed that the gunman’s father has turned to the authorities on at least 17 occasions, filing complaints filled with racist content, all after the Feb. 19 massacre. He has submitted written requests to reclaim his son’s murder weapons and ammunition. He views the memorials, which are supposed to commemorate the victims, as “incitement of the people.” He wants the authorities to unblock his son’s website. He photographed the Arena Bar years before his son’s crime and saved the pictures on his computer.
On this late December day, relatives are holding a vigil in front of his home. Piter Minnemann is standing at the microphone and he looks at the police when he asks: Why did the officers send me home on foot on the night of the crime? Why did they hide behind Etris just because one of them screamed: The shooter is back? Why am I doing worse today than I was a year ago? Why are we afraid again? Who is protecting whom in this country?
Ajla Kurtović: After the funeral service, the police liaison for immigrants called me. She said there were new findings in the investigation and that they couldn’t speak to my father because he’s so impulsive. The father of the gunman had returned, and she asked me to tell my dad in a quiet moment. And she told me to tell him that there was no point in seeking revenge. That if we retaliated, we would only be hindering the police’s work. She told me to call her if my dad was planning something. I hung up and thought: Was that for real?
Officials called all the families in Kesselstadt around that time, and they visited survivors and they also warned seriously injured people like Etris Hashemi to abide by German law, repeating these terms over and over again: blood vengeance, vigilante justice, preventative custody.
As Minnemann asks questions at the vigil, the father of the gunman walks up and down behind the police officers and then shouts: Get off my property! He leads a German shepherd on a leash.
Armin Kurtović: I have considered having Hamza exhumed and brought to Bosnia. I can’t go on. Everyone who comes says I have done everything I can for you. If the crime had happened in a German beer hall, the emergency exit would have been open. Just let them say it publicly: You shitty dagos, you’re not worth protecting!
You can submit an official query as to why the emergency exit of the Arena Bar was closed that night, and as a journalist you are always told to direct your request to someone else. The police say that they noticed that the emergency exit was closed and that they had reported it to the trade licensing office and that an obviously illegal employee in the shop had been reported to the main customs office in Darmstadt. The trade licensing office, meanwhile, says it isn’t responsible for keeping escape routes clear, and instead says the issue should be referred to the Darmstadt regional council. The regional council says it is responsible but that it hadn’t received any notification regarding the Arena Bar. The main customs office, meanwhile, confirms that it received the notification but states that it is not responsible for emergency exits.
DER SPIEGEL found that the trade licensing office initiated proceedings against the bar’s operator in November 2017, and that the man was to have his bar license revoked. Neighbors had complained about noise and drugs. The operator fought back in court and it wasn’t until November 2019 that he finally lost his license. He remained the owner, but rented the establishment to a new tenant.
In the meantime, the public prosecutor’s office in Hanau is investigating, but only because Armin Kurtović, the grieving father, has filed a criminal complaint for involuntary manslaughter against unknown persons.
It seems as though the trial in the shopfront on Krämerstrasse is doing more to seek clarification and consequences than the authorities in Hesse, who only admitted their omissions on the night of the crime after relatives and survivors refused to relent with their public questioning of events. And no matter how many times they ask, they can’t shake the feeling that something is being kept from them. The deeper that impression gets, the more they feel likes strangers in this country.
Armin Kurtović was born in Schweinfurt 46 years ago. During the interview with the Federal Government’s Victims’ Commissioner, he put his German identity card on the table and asked: What’s this thing worth if I’m not treated like a German?
At Krämerstrasse, people are wondering why they had to experience racism from officials after the crime. Why the autopsy report mentioned an “oriental, Mediterranean-looking appearance” in the case of a young man who was blond and blue-eyed, or why an interpreter was sent to them when a DNA sample was taken. Why the police sent their migration officers, the city sent the foreigner’s advisory council, even to families who have been living here for decades.
In the months following the crime, they had to listen to television interviews in which Heiko Kasseckert, a member of the Hesse state parliament with the conservative CDU party, demanded that the pictures of their children be removed from the Grimm Brothers monument. His reasoning: The market square isn’t a crime scene and the Grimm Brothers are, after all, the city’s most famous sons.
They say it pains them to watch, a year after the crime, the Hesse state parliament vote to approve an aid fund for crime victims, but fail to name “racism” or “right-wing extremism” as part of its purpose.
Çetin Gültekin:Foreigners have been dying and burning here since 1989. What did we do? We didn’t harm a thing. We are totally reasonable people! At some point, we have to go ballistic. Otherwise this is going to happen in another city. The Nazis think the victims are decent people and won’t fight back. Hanau needs to be the last place where this happens!
Armin Kurtović:They just want us to do it, Çetin, so they can say they’re animals, they’re criminals. That they’ve lived here for generations and still haven’t integrated.
In the years before they had their own children, right-wing extremists murdered people in the cities of Mölln and Solingen and committed racist attacks in Rostock and Hoyerswerda. Their children were becoming young adults when news broke of the NSU murders, and they saw rise of the right-wing populist AfD.
In Hesse, Volker Bouffier has served as governor for more than 10 years now. They say he intervened in the investigation into the NSU murders as the state’s interior minister at the time and protected an intelligence agent who had been at the scene of one of the crimes at the moment of the killing. After their meeting with him in the state capital in Wiesbaden, they called him “The Yogurt Man.” During their visit with him there, he had served them yogurt and said he had seen much worse attacks. When they asked why the families were treated so badly after the crime, he promised them: We’ll do better next time.
Armin Kurtović:You know what the worst thing is? When he was at City Hall, sitting across from us with tears in his eyes, I believed what he said …
Dijana Kurtović:… It could have been my son.
Armin Kurtović:How naive we were. He could say, you know, your loved ones are dead, I can’t bring them back, I’m sorry, we failed, my agencies failed, we were overwhelmed. We will learn lessons from this. Çetin, we have other children, do we have to worry something will happen to them, too?
Posting by Ferhat Unvar on his Facebook page in 2016:
In 1945 a country shouted “Never again!” Suddenly, there’s the AfD, concerned citizens and Pegida (Lyric from the song “Sick World” by the German rapper Pillath)
Serpil Unvar: Ferhat was right about his worries. If he saw what I was doing here, he’d ask me: Mom, have you lost it? Do you really think you can make a difference in this country?
Serpil Unvar has since founded the Ferhat Unvar Education Initiative and wants to fight racism in schools.
Saida Hashemi passed her exams this fall and is now a math and history teacher. She is also running for office in local elections for the Social Democrats.
Najiba Hashemi is taking German lessons. She wants to be able to understand the files even better and write a book for Nesar.
Sedat Gürbüz has been given an honorary grave.
Ferhat’s cousin Abdullah Unvar wants to run for a seat in the German federal parliament.
Etris Hashemi has led a swimming course for children, just as he used to do with his brother Nesar.
Çetin Gültekin moved away from Kesselstadt with his mother and son. He says that when Mert gets married, he’ll buy a motorhome and tour around Europe with his mother.
Iulia Păun tried to get pregnant a few weeks after Vili’s death. The Păuns will soon be adopting a child. They want to name it Rareş. The name lies, engraved in an amulet, above their TV, it means “rare.” It’s the name Vili had wanted to give his first child.
Armin Kurtović wants the tissue samples taken from his son during the autopsy back. He wants to bury them. In Hanau.
Thanks for dropping by and reading this news release about International and World News and updates titled “The Hanau Protocols: Aftermath of a Deadly Racist Attack”. This story is shared by My Local Pages as part of our local and national news services.
And Wagner says it would be safer than CBD hotels, which are under fresh scrutiny this week after two hotel workers – one in Melbourne, one in Perth – almost certainly contracted the virus from airborne transmission, triggering a snap lockdown in the West Australian capital and tighter community restrictions in Melbourne.
Victorian health authorities have also been alarmed by a case of a returned passenger who picked up the virus from an infected family of five staying on the same floor at the Park Royal hotel, despite the parties having had no physical interaction.
Epidemiologist Professor Michael Toole from Melbourne’s Burnet Institute says these and numerous overseas examples point to the unequivocal risk of airborne transmission, which Australia’s peak infection control expert group has been slow to highlight.
The AMA’s Western Australian president Dr Andrew Miller is among the most forceful critics of the existing system, branding hotel quarantine “an oxymoron”.
Hotel systems are generally not designed to generate the kind of airflow turnover needed to minimise the risk of aerosol transmission, he says, especially in the face of the threat posed by the new, more highly infectious virus strains coming out of Britain, South Africa and Brazil.
“We have gone down the path of least resistance because there is great cost and inconvenience in dealing with an airborne threat” Miller argues. “However that is demonstrably less than the cost and inconvenience of repeated instances of quarantine breach, cross-infection and lockdown.”
He believes developing more quarantine facilities at “greenfield sites” must be on the agenda, but in the interim “the stepping stone to greenfield sites is to immediately upgrade the airflow within the [existing] facilities, and the way they are administered”.
Sydney-based epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, who sits on a World Health Organisation advisory panel, is equally perturbed. “It’s not always easy to change a hotel ventilation system” she says. “They often can’t maximise airflow change with an industrial unit that’s designed for a lower rate of airflow change [than a hospital]“ – though older hospitals too can have ventilation problems.
She says any facility being used for quarantine should have at least 10 airflow changes an hour, and would also prefer to see them located in regional areas or on the edges of CBDs.
McLaws points to Howard Springs outside Darwin, a former labour camp currently co-funded by the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory to provide up to 850 quarantine places a fortnight, as ideal. It has single-storey rooms with verandahs and open-air walkways, and proximity to top-class medical facilities.
Following Friday’s national cabinet meeting Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled plans to more than double Howard Springs’ capacity, but reiterated that hotel quarantine would remain the primary mode of dealing with returning travellers.
The hotel quarantine system, he declared, had been “incredibly effective”, processing more than 210,000 international returnees with only a “handful of cases that haven’t been completely contained”. He also left the gate open to the Toowoomba option – albeit warning “there is a lot more information we are going to need” – and flagged the possibility of home quarantine down the track depending on a successful vaccine rollout.
Toole is not optimistic that large-scale alternatives to hotels are possible, “but I think every option now needs to be examined”.
“Border health security is our number one priority to keep the virus out until we are vaccinated. You have to throw resources at it. I’m annoyed to see in Perth that a security guard wasn’t being paid enough to make a living and had to have a second job – why aren’t we paying these people decent salaries? It’s a drop in the bucket in terms of resources.”
Jane Halton, one of the country’s foremost experts on quarantine who completed a report on the topic for national cabinet last year, told the Herald and The Age that “the quarantine system has to continue to evolve – the pandemic is not static and neither can quarantine be. We are learning as we go, in terms of what works and what some of the risks are, so we have to take steps to mitigate those as we understand them better.”
But she believes the hotel quarantine system is generally working well. Now chair of the global Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), Halton says a “broad question” remains over how to ensure best practice is well-coordinated among the states and territories.
And she cautions that any facility outside a major capital needs close proximity to a major transport hub and acute-care facilities, with access to an expert workforce large enough to be rotated.
This week’s shocks have laid bare the fact that some states have been slow to shore up their defences against the virus. It has also highlighted the strikingly different policies on whether ancillary staff working in quarantine hotels should be allowed to hold down additional jobs.
In NSW, for instance, the government sees no need to ban secondary employment among hotel quarantine workers. State Health Minister Brad Hazzard argues that “in the real world, people including security guards and cleaners have lives. They go home to their families, they see their friends and if you tried to stop them living those lives, you wouldn’t have people doing the job.”
He says the state has progressively adopted “additional checks and balances, the most significant of which is the daily saliva test for every staff member working in hotel quarantine”.
National cabinet agreed on January 8 that any worker involved in quarantine should have daily COVID-19 tests. However Toole points out that while this was adopted in NSW on January 17, it didn’t get implemented in WA until January 29, too late for the Perth security guard’s infection to be promptly picked up.
The WA government says it’s now “working with hotel and security companies to negotiate an arrangement that prevents staff from having secondary employment”. It’s also testing workers for the virus daily, and requiring mask-wearing by guards in hotel corridors – which was not the case prior to this week’s reported infection in the security guard.
South Australia is running five ‘medi-hotels’ for returning travellers and, from Monday, its workers too will have daily saliva tests as well as a weekly nasal swab, but staff will continue to be allowed a second job outside hotel quarantine.
Queensland also allows hotel staff or contractors to have multiple jobs or work across multiple sites with the same employer, justified on the basis that restricting these opportunities would “have significant financial impacts”.
Victoria, seared by its harsh lockdown for 3½ months last year triggered by breaches of security at quarantine hotels, has the toughest regime. It has set up a dedicated agency, COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV), to run the system, which directly contracts ancillary workers who are banned from holding down secondary jobs.
Queensland and WA are keenest among the states to explore alternatives to quarantine in big city hotels, with WA pushing Christmas Island as one option (firmly rejected by Morrison), while the Toowoomba option holds appeal for Queensland.
But in NSW, Hazzard remains adamant that it would be impractical – indeed, downright “disadvantageous” – “for us to be considering moving our public health hotels out of the Sydney regional area”, not least because of the sheer size of the NSW quarantine workforce (3500 people daily).
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said this week he was “always happy to sit down with the Prime Minister and see if there are some bespoke facilities that can be built” but warned “staff have lives … you can put a quarantine facility 50 kilometres from where we are standing, or 500 kilometres, but there will be people there too and the virus spreads”.
The fresh spotlight on hotel quarantine has renewed criticisms that the Morrison government has largely absented itself from the quarantine task. Labor has branded Morrison “hands-off Harry” for not picking up what it says is the Commonwealth’s primary constitutional responsibility for quarantine. How well-founded is that line of attack?
Sydney University constitutional law expert Professor Anne Twomey writes in a forthcoming article for the Australian Law Journal that “it appears that the Commonwealth Government took the view that it did not have the capacity or competence to be able to establish and run [compulsory hotel quarantine]. Instead it took the easier path of leaving it to the states to take up the financial and logistical burden of establishing an entire system from scratch within 48 hours [last March].”
Twomey says while section 51 (ix) of the Constitution does vest quarantine power in the Commonwealth it is not an exclusive power, and the states’ public health safeguards operate alongside it. While the Commonwealth could have chosen to exclude state law under section 109, it had not done so.
In past decades, she writes, the federal government had gradually taken over quarantine stations from the states but closed them after successful immunisation campaigns, particularly against smallpox. The resulting lack of large-scale quarantine capability in capital cities [with the exception of Howard Springs] has left Australia “ill-equipped to deal with a major pandemic”, Twomey concludes.
Melbourne University Professor Cheryl Saunders, also a constitutional expert, notes that “usually the Commonwealth exercises its concurrent powers – often quite aggressively”. But in this case, the federal government held back, in recognition of the fact that “it doesn’t have the personnel, it doesn’t have the presence on the ground, it doesn’t know the local scene as deeply as a state or territory government does”.
Last year’s probe into Victoria’s hotel quarantine failures by jurist Jennifer Coate noted there had been an opportunity for the Commonwealth to come up with a national quarantine scheme immediately after 2009, when it reviewed the country’s response to the H1N1 flu pandemic.
That review had recommended that “the roles and responsibilities of all governments for the management of people in quarantine … during a pandemic should be clarified”, with a set of “nationally consistent principles” to be drawn up. But that was never acted upon.
Toole and McLaws both believe the federal government should be exercising firmer leadership over how hotel quarantine is run.
Asked how national standards were currently being co-ordinated, the federal health department cited a “Statement on national hotel quarantine principles” adopted by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) – the body that brings together all federal, state and territory chief health officers – published on Christmas Eve.
But those who want to see the Commonwealth step up further say the AHPPC is already over-burdened and the December statement is not prescriptive enough, particularly on the risks of aerosol transmission.
McLaws calls for more stringent adoption of best practice around the country, including eye protection and enhanced PPE for hotel quarantine workers, and the use of CCTV instead of personnel keeping watch in corridors.
Toole says it’s now up to the federal government to “do everything in their power – and that power is considerable – to ensure that there is a national standard that is being implemented by every state”.
Deborah Snow is a senior writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Clay Lucas is a senior reporter for The Age. Clay has worked at The Age since 2005, covering urban affairs, transport, state politics, local government and workplace relations for The Age and Sunday Age.
Most Viewed in Politics
Thank you for checking this article regarding the latest QLD news items published as “Questions over hotel quarantine as calls made for national protocols”. This news article was brought to you by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.
FILE PHOTO: Jan 24, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) moves the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (5), guard George Hill (3) and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the third quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
January 29, 2021
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George cleared league health and safety protocols and can play Friday night when the Los Angeles Clippers meet the Magic in Orlando, ESPN reported.
They did not travel with the Clippers as they embarked on a six-game road trip but have rejoined the team. The two All-Stars have been out since Monday because of the COVID-19 protocols.
In their absence, the Hawks were 1-1, losing 108-99 to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday and defeating the Heat in Miami on Thursday, 109-105.
Patrick Beverley is not expected to play in Orlando because of lingering right knee soreness. He suffered a knee injury Sunday night in the Clippers’ win over Oklahoma City.
Leonard is averaging 25.9 points, 5.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds this season, while George is averaging 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Beverley averages 8.1 points and 2.1 assists per game.
The Clippers (14-5) have the second-best record in the NBA and trail the Utah Jazz by a half-game in the Western Conference.
(Field Level Media)
Thank you for dropping by My Local Pages and reading this news article about current World Sports and related news published as “Report: Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, Paul George clear health protocols”. This news article was posted by MyLocalPages as part of our national news services.
Health authorities say “all protocols were followed” when a woman in Brisbane hotel quarantine accompanied her father to and from hospital wearing full PPE before she later tested positive for the UK strain of COVID-19.
There was a report an overseas traveller was left unattended at a hospital and travelled back to hotel quarantine in a ride-share vehicle
The traveller later tested positive to the more infectious UK COVID-19 strain
Queensland Health said full safety guidelines are followed when a person accompanies a relative to hospital
A report by the Courier Mail on Thursday afternoon said the woman had been left unattended at the hospital and travelled back to the hotel in either a taxi or ride-share.
In a statement on Thursday night, a Queensland Health spokesperson said, “some early reporting has misrepresented this situation”.
“In circumstances where a person accompanies a relative to hospital for medical treatment, full PPE [personal protective equipment] and safety guidelines are followed,” the spokesperson said.
“This occurs even if a patient is being transported for non-COVID-related medical issues.
“Quarantine guests are transported to and from the hospital by Queensland Ambulance Service, who have been safely transporting hotel quarantine guests for almost a year.
“All protocols were followed in this case. Guests were transported from and returned to the hotel by Qld Ambulance Service while in appropriate PPE.
“The suggestion the person caught a ride-share back to the hotel is untrue. Full and proper COVID-19 PPE protocols were followed while these guests were in the hospital.”
Just hours after the woman went back to quarantine in the hotel, she and her father were formally notified they were carrying the mutant UK strain of COVID-19.
The woman, aged in her 20s, arrived from Lebanon with her father, aged in his 40s, on New Year’s Day.
They had been quarantining at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in inner-city Brisbane where four cases of the mutant strain have now been detected, along with a hotel cleaner and her partner.
The spread of the virus on level seven of the hotel sparked a mass evacuation of all 129 guests in a major medical emergency on Wednesday.
It is understood police are investigating after Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said earlier she could not be confident all guests stayed inside their rooms during the 14-day isolation, as per Queensland Health’s hotel quarantine protocol.
Overnight on Wednesday, all guests were moved by ambulance to other quarantine hotels, including The Westin in Brisbane’s CBD.
Thank you for dropping in and checking out this news article regarding QLD and Australian news titled “Queensland Health says ‘all protocols followed’ when woman left hotel quarantine to accompany father to hospital”. This article is presented by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our Australian news services.