Debbie Harrison and her 83-year-old mother Ivy are on their last roll of toilet paper and wonder when they might get some food.
Right below her North Melbourne flat, Lawrence Caruana is preparing to take his dog outside for a walk.
He is free to go with his elderly neighbors trapped just above him in complete secrecy – unable to leave or even accept much-needed messages from concerned loved ones.
The reason is simple – Mr. Caruana’s ground floor flat has no common areas and its own front door – while the Harrisons are on the first floor with only a common entrance and amenities.
Debbie Harrison (top) remains locked upstairs with her mother in their North Melbourne flat, while Lawrence Caruana (bottom) is free to come and go
Debbie Harrison and her mother have finished their last roll of toilet paper and run out of food after being forced to be locked up
Firefighters dressed in personal protective equipment are preparing to distribute food on a public residential tower in North Melbourne, just down the road from Mrs. Harrison
Outside their apartment building on Pampasstraat is a large white tent, which is almost in the shadow of the towers of the housing committee that are further down the street and are also closed.
Police patrol protective equipment on the outside of the flats and stop anyone trying to get out.
Ms. Harrison said on Monday that, despite being locked up since Saturday, their first food delivery didn’t come until Monday.
Her situation had not improved much by Tuesday.
Her elderly mother’s condition had deteriorated overnight, as the couple worried about how long they would be locked up in their small unit.
“She’s not very good,” Mrs. Harrison told Daily Mail Australia from her balcony over Mr. Caruana.
“We’re not sure how long we’ll be here. It should take five days, but who knows. ‘
The pair were due to undergo a COVID-19 test this afternoon.
On Monday morning, the couple received four sausage rolls in a plastic bag, which Harrison says went straight into the trash.
Staples like bread and milk arrived around 10:30 pm last night, but there was no toilet paper.
Worried police at a tower of the Flemington Housing Commission are looking at the rooms above on Tuesday morning
“We are working on our last throw. My daughter dropped in yesterday for about $ 200 in groceries. She was not allowed to enter. She had to take it home, ”said Mrs. Harrison.
The pair, which appeared on national television last night and revealed their plight, said on Tuesday that no one had told them when they might be restocked.
“Nobody said anything. We haven’t heard from anyone, “said Mrs. Harrison.
Just down the road from the high-rise residential towers of the committee, health officials in packs with dangerous substances prepared to take in bags of groceries, including toilet paper.
“I hope they come here. We have bread and milk. We have canned soup, pasta and rice. But we already had pasta and rice. We have nothing to do with it. No meat at all. It’s terrible, “said Harrison.
“Hopefully we’ll find out more today or at least before Thursday.”
Firefighters dress in personal protective equipment as they prepare to distribute food over a public housing tower in North Melbourne
Most residents of Pampas Street in North Melbourne are severely incarcerated. Police remained outside the units on Tuesday
Lawrence Caruana is free to come and go while his neighbors are kept caged above
Ms. Harrison said she did not know the contact person for the Department of Health and Human Services.
“And I don’t think anyone here knows,” she said.
Mr. Caruana – a Maltese immigrant who has been calling Australia home for 45 years – said he felt terrible for his neighbors.
His buddy at the top of the building has been desperate for a cigarette for days, but they won’t allow anyone to bring them in.
“I thought if he throws a rope down from his balcony, I can try tying it up,” said Mr. Caruana.
Unlike its confined neighbors, the ground floor unit stands on its own and does not share common entrances.
Although he was locked up yesterday, police were told he was free to come and go as he wished today.
He was about to take his dog to the park when Daily Mail Australia arrived.
“My dog doesn’t go to the toilet here, so he’s desperate for the park,” said Mr. Caruana.
While posing for a photo outside his gate, a police officer demanded that he go back inside.
“But I’m free,” said Mr. Caruana.
As country music boomed out of his flat, the former Marine politely asked the police to contact his boss.
Back behind his fence, Mr. Caruana told Daily Mail Australia about his neighbors’ hardships while incarcerated.
Residents in a residential complex in North Melbourne are waiting for bags of groceries, which sat outside the towers for hours on Tuesday
Civil servants in protective gear are preparing to move groceries to tall towers in North Melbourne. A little further on, residents trapped in their homes claim that they have almost no supplies
People unload food and supplies from the back of an ute distributed by firefighters to a North Melbourne public housing tower
“It is a beautiful street. They are all nice people here, ”he said. “I spoke to my buddy upstairs and it’s very stressful for him. He is so upset. ‘
Mr. Caruana said his friend was not doing well without smoking.
‘Could you imagine. I would be without food, but no cigarette, ”he said. “I asked the police if I could give them something to pass on and they said they can’t.”
Mr. Caruana said he had begged the authorities to help his friend.
“It is stressful that he cannot go outside and worse, he has no cigarettes. Someone has to help this man. They cannot get out by themselves. The store is just across the road, which annoys him. It’s like seeing the land, you’re drowning, but you can’t get there. ‘
Daily Mail Australia approached a police officer hoping to help residents, but said he hadn’t left it.
“This is a DHHS operation. They would help these people, ”he said.
A woman who appeared to be a social worker told Daily Mail Australia that residents had been given a DHHS telephone number to call for all their concerns.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews is expected to confine all 6.5 million Victorians to their homes as the outbreak gets out of hand with 35 people in the hospital and nine fighting for their lives.
Thirteen of the new cases have been linked to nine tower blocks that have been placed under a hard fence since Saturday, meaning residents will not be able to leave without permission for any reason.
At the Flemington towers on Racecourse Road on Tuesday morning, police were seen through binoculars to the rooms of imprisoned residents above.
Police dressed in full medical robes crawled outside as COVID testers prepared to enter the building.
Fire trucks were lurking around the corner to prepare for an inferno.
Back in north Melbourne, the police finally let Mr. Caruana out.
A sign in a commission tower in North Melbourne warns residents not to eat the food delivered on Tuesday
Fire trucks are parked on Mount Alexander Road on the front of the commission condo at 130 Racecourse Road on Tuesday
A little boy looks down from his Flemington flat on Tuesday