Sunita* is 14 weeks pregnant and her pregnancy is high risk. However, she is stuck in the lockdown in Melbourne while her husband Sushant* is stranded in Sydney due to the hard border closed between the two cities.
“I do not know to drive and live with only my son, who is seven years old. The uncertainty is causing a psychological impact on him towards his relationship with his father and affecting his mental growth as he has not seen his father for six weeks now,” says an anxious Sunita, and the couple is pleading for an exemption for the husband so that he can join his family back in Melbourne.
Sushant was on a temporary assignment in Sydney since 9 May. He used to travel between Sydney and Melbourne on the weekends. However, his assignment is now finished, but he cannot go back as the border closure has been extended again.
Sushant has a new job in Melbourne which he is not able to commence. He has been chasing DHHS for an exemption to travel since 26 July and has completed both doses of Pfizer.
He told NRI Affairs, “The border situation between NSW and Victoria has caused extreme stress and mental trauma for my family and me.”
“I am fully vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer on 21 July 2021. I’ve never contracted COVID19 to date. I’ve been maintaining the documentation of COVID-19 negative results for more than 22 days till now consistently.”
Sunita says she is alone, depressed, and mentally traumatised due to the border situation between the two states.
She says she is “expected to start work in this state to meet my financial needs beginning next week, take care of my son, and maintain house essentials.”
“I do not have a safe commute for medical appointments and securing essential supplies. I’m also extremely worried and panicking as this stress may affect the unborn, for no fault of the unborn, “Sunita told NRI Affairs.
Sushant says he understands the risks of COVID-19 and is ready to quarantine upon returning home.
“I have an independent three bedroom and two bathroom house which has separate entrance to not interfere with the main entrance, which may have put my other family members or neighbours at the potential risk of community transmission if at all it arises,” says Sushant adding “I also volunteer to travel in PPE if required along with masks and physical distancing compliance.”
The family has approached many officials and politicians, including local Member of Parliament but to no avail.
“I appeal for the Victorian Leaders to keep humanity at the centre of decisions and provide a window for vulnerable cases like myself, to re-join family for the care and compassionate reasons. The cure should not be severe than the problem. I hope, I hope, I hope,” pleads Sushant.