Families set to speak at inquest into St Basil’s outbreak

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A Victorian coronial inquest into the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Melbourne will hear from family members of the deceased.

The July 2020 outbreak was sparked by an infected staff member who worked two shifts without protective equipment after being tested for COVID-19 when family members came down with “sore throats”.

The virus spread through the Fawkner aged care home’s 117 residents, with 50 people dying during the outbreak – 45 of whom were victims of COVID-19.

A total of 64 witnesses will be called during the five-week inquest, 12 of whom are family members of residents who died of the virus, and Victoria Police have been asked by Judge John Cain to compile evidence of the deaths.

The final brief of evidence, expected to be completed by the end of the week, will contain more than 7000 pages, according to Peter Rozen QC, who is assisting the coroner and was also a Senior Counsel for the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

The chairman of St Basil’s, Konstantinos Kontis, stepped down following the tragedy in September last year.