The limousine driver at the center of Australia’s biggest coronavirus outbreak has broken his silence on the saga after not being caught wearing a mask earlier this week.
Michael Podgoetsky was struck on Tuesday with a $500 public violation statement while sitting on a bench at a bus stop near his home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, despite claiming he sat down because his head was spinning after his glasses were worn. steamed up.
The 63-year-old patient is thought to be nil for the disastrous Bondi cluster that has spread across the state, claiming the lives of 100 people and infecting 21,208.
The outbreak, now approaching its 11th week, has led to the brutal lockdown still in effect in New South Wales, leaving millions confined to their homes and children unable to attend school.
Nearly three months later, Mr Podgoetsky is still convinced he contracted the virus at Belle Cafe in Vaucluse when he and his wife opened up about the devastating toll that had taken public attention from them.
Michael Podgoetsky (pictured) still grappling with the fallout from his presence at the center of the current Sydney outbreak
“The Covid-19 disease was everywhere and it was from young people (and transmitted) to old people like me, who pick it up and suffer the consequences,” Mr Podgoetsky said. the Australian.
He and his wife Eliana claim they have been inundated with death threats and received threatening messages from a drug addict who lived next door.
Ms Podgoetsky said her husband “has become a different man now because he thinks about it all the time.” He can’t sleep at night and I’m just scared for his sanity.”
She also sleeps badly and is too afraid to leave the house for fear of being mistreated or beaten up.
Mr Podgoetsky admitted he was not wearing a mask at the bus stop but claimed he sat down after his glasses were fogged up while he was on his phone to order an Uber to pick up his rental car.
“If the glasses fog up, I’m in my head. So I thought I’d better take this off and sit down and get some fresh air,” he told the publication.
The limousine driver was handed a $500 public violation statement for not wearing a mask while sitting on a bench near his home in Bondi (Photo: Police patrolling Bondi Beach)
The limousine driver tested positive for the Delta trunk on June 15 and insists he did nothing wrong.
But health officials consider him the “index case” and suggest he contracted the virus that brought international Fed Ex air personnel to the hotel quarantine on June 11 before unknowingly spreading it to his wife and several others.
At the time of the fateful trip, he was not legally required to be vaccinated or wear a mask, despite his risky job.
The NSW government was reportedly warned of the potential biosecurity risks associated with transport workers, but acted only when it was too late.
The state government has since passed a policy that requires anyone working with quarantined or international arrivals to be vaccinated and wear face coverings.
Mr Podgoetsky (pictured) is convinced that he contracted the virus at Belle Cafe in the Vaucluse
Mr Podgoetsky stated that he always wore a face mask while driving.
“Today at approximately 3pm (Tuesday, August 31, 2021), Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command officers received information regarding a violation of COVID-19 public health regulations by a 63-year-old Bondi man,” the police said in a statement.
“The man has now been given a $500 PIN for not wearing an appropriate face covering in the public transit waiting area.”
Mr Podgutsky told the Daily Telegraph he is tired of being linked to the devastating outbreak.
‘I don’t want to be associated with this. I got this stupid disease from somewhere, I don’t know where,” he said.
Health officials consider Mr. Podgoetsky to be the “index case” of the Delta outbreak and suggest he contracted the virus that transported international Fed Ex air personnel to hotel quarantine on June 11 before unknowingly spreading it to his wife and several others (photo, travelers at Sydney Airport)
“It’s terrible what’s happening to the country… I’ve followed all the rules,” he said.
He has since returned to work and has been vaccinated against the virus and received both Pfizer shots after initially declining the dose of AstraZeneca due to a family history of blood clots.
He claimed he tried to get Pfizer appointments in May but was told by NSW Health that no appointments were available.
He believes that the flight crew drivers should have been given priority during the jab.
“It’s unfair that people blame me for Delta. I got it from someone,’ Mr Podgutsky
“I have a drug addict… who lives (near me) who threatens me. It is terrible what is happening in the country.’
Michael Podgoetsky was struck with the fine at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday as he sat on a bench at a bus stop near his home in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs (pictured, police patrol Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs)