Coronavirus Australia: Patient Zero Bondi limo driver fined for not wearing a mask

Bondi limousine driver who ’caused Australia’s Delta outbreak horror’ fined for not wearing a MASK while waiting for a bus – after insisting he followed all rules while driving airport staff

  • Limo driver at center of Australia’s Delta outbreak fined for Covid breach
  • Police beat Michael Podgoetsky, 62, with a $500 PIN for not wearing a mask
  • Mr Podgoetsky is thought to be patient zero for Australia’s worst Covid outbreak
  • Thousands of Aussies have since caught the Delta tribe wreaking havoc on NSW
  • Greater Sydney is now undergoing its 10th week of lockdown since the outbreak


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The limousine driver at the center of Australia’s biggest coronavirus outbreak has been slapped with a $500 fine for not wearing a face mask.

Michael Podgoetsky was punched with the PIN code at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday while sitting on a bench at a bus stop near his home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

The 63-year-old patient is thought to be nil for the disastrous Bondi cluster that has now spread across the state, claiming the lives of 96 people and infecting 21,208.

The outbreak, now entering its 10th week, led to the brutal lockdown that has since spread across New South Wales, leaving millions confined to their homes and children unable to attend school.

The limousine driver at the center of Australia's biggest coronavirus outbreak has been slapped with a $500 fine for not wearing a face mask.  Pictured: St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney

The limousine driver at the center of Australia’s biggest coronavirus outbreak has been slapped with a $500 fine for not wearing a face mask. Pictured: St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney

Mr Podgoetsky tested positive for the Delta tribe on June 15 and insists he did nothing wrong and insisted he got infected at a local Bondi cafe.

However, health officials consider him the “index case” 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.

At the time of the fateful trip, he was not required by law to get vaccinated or wear a mask, despite his risky job.

The Gladys Berejiklian government was reportedly warned of the potential biosecurity risks associated with transport workers, but acted only when it was too late.

The NSW government has since passed a policy in response to having caused the outbreak requiring anyone working with quarantined or international arrivals to be vaccinated and wear face coverings.

Mr Podgoetsky stated that he always wore a face mask while driving.

But this week, police said he was not following public health regulations that mandate wearing a mask outdoors unless he was exercising.

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)

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)

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)

“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.

“It’s unfair that people blame me for Delta. I got it from someone.

“I have a drug addict… who lives (near me) who threatens me. It is terrible what is happening in the country.’

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