One of Australia’s best-known radio hosts has pleaded with people to get vaccinated after revealing her own heart-breaking loss from the pandemic.
Sydney radio 2GB host Deborah Knight paid tribute to late mother-in-law Connie Dunbar on Monday.
Ms Dunbar contracted COVID during an outbreak in her Canberra nursing home and was one of two people whose deaths were confirmed in the national capital on Monday.
Aged 88, she was fully vaccinated and had no obvious virus symptoms.
“My mother-in-law passed away overnight. Connie Dunbar was her name, a wonderful, wonderful woman,” Knight told her listeners on Monday.
“Connie moved [to] Australia from Scotland as a young woman, and she raised a family here in Australia – her children Jenny and my husband Lindsay.”
Knight said Ms Dunbar “couldn’t beat COVID-19″.
She is one of several people to die in the outbreak at the Calvary Haydon retirement community.
“Behind every single death, and behind every single number is a grieving family,” Knight said.
“COVID is cruel, and for anyone doubting how cruel it is – or even questioning whether COVID’s real – I can tell you it is all too real.
“If you’re still hedging on getting vaccinated, that very simple act with plenty of vaccine options, plenty of availability, you can stop more families like mine from grieving and mourning the loss of a much-loved family member, like Connie Dunbar.
“If not for yourself, do it for others. So my thoughts today are very much with Connie, and all of those many people who did love her, and the many lives she touched in her 88 years.”
Eight people have now died in Canberra’s Delta outbreak. There were another 28 cases in the ACT on Monday, 14 linked to existing infections and the others still under investigation.
The new case numbers mean the ACT has recorded more than 1000 infections since its latest COVID-19 outbreak began in August.
There are 16 patients with the virus in Canberra hospitals, with five of those in intensive care and one on a ventilator.
Of the patients in intensive care, the youngest is in their 20s while the oldest is in their 60s.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he was “very sad” at the latest COVID deaths, also urging people to get vaccinated.
“We’re working incredibly hard to minimise the number of people who get severely ill with this disease, and part of that is in the hands of individuals with coming forward to get vaccinated,” Mr Barr said.
“The higher the coverage, the safer the community is, and the fewer people in hospital and intensive care and fewer deaths.”
The chief minister indicated the vaccination rate in the ACT would go beyond 95 per cent.
More than 64 per cent of over-12s in the territory are fully vaccinated, while 93.4 per cent have received their first dose.
Minor COVID-19 restrictions were eased Canberra on Friday, ahead of the ACT’s lockdown easing on October 15.
The new measures allow for up to two people to visit another household.