Diana Lasu, one of three young women at the centre of Queensland’s COVID-19 breach, has revealed the torrent of racist and sexist abuse she’s received on social media.
The 21-year-old shared the string of messages on Instagram on Friday showing vile messages aimed at the three women.
“Black lives matter, but not yours,” one person wrote, while another vile message said “everyone hates you”.
Many of the comments attacked Ms Lasu’s physical appearance and are too extreme to repeat.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll told reporters on Friday the racist behaviour of people on social media “is not productive at all”.
“People doing the wrong thing come from all walks of life, backgrounds and community groups,” she said.
“So it is important especially in these times that community groups actually come together rather than fracture.”
Ms Lasu, along with Olivia Winnie Muranga, 19, and Haja Timbo, 21, allegedly lied to authorities to get back into Queensland after a visit to Victoria.
Ms Muranga and Ms Lasu tested positive for COVID-19 after spending several days going about their business in the community.
Ms Timbo has not tested positive but is in quarantine as a precaution.
All three women have been charged for giving misleading information and fraud related to their re-entry to the state, which imposed strict restrictions on travel from Victoria.
Ms Timbo briefly commented on the backlash from hotel quarantine. “Half of the things that are in the media aren’t true, so what can you do,” she told the Courier-Mail.
“I want everything to be confidential. I don’t want to be in the media or my friends to be in the media.”
It comes after Ms Muranga’s brother suggested the outrage directed at the trio was racially motivated.
The man known as Eddie told A Current Affair on Thursday his sister struggled for days with coronavirus after arriving home from Victoria on July 21.
“You need to think about this … think about my sister … she couldn’t even breathe, some days she couldn’t even breathe out of her airways,” he said.
Eddie said his sister and the other two women hadn’t spread coronavirus deliberately but had made a mistake they were being punished disproportionately for.
“It’s not something that we sat down and thought about yeah, it’s a f**king mistake,” he said.
“I reckon if someone else did this yeah, that wasn’t of colour, you’d be f**king protecting them. You wouldn’t be doing all of this s**t.
“Just because we’re f**king black, you all want to run all the way to the media, talking all of this s**t bro.”
Meanwhile, African community leaders have called for calm.
“Nobody is happy by the conduct of the girls, they’ve put their own families at risk, they’ve put the whole community at risk and we are unhappy for what they’ve done,” Queensland African Communities Council spokesman Beny Bol told Nine News.
“It is time for us to unite. The virus does not actually discriminate. So there‘s no correlation between the virus and the racial background so it is important for us to work together.”
THAI ROCK OWNERS ‘SCARED TO GO OUT’
Meanwhile the owners of a Thai restaurant chain in Sydney linked to more than 100 cases in the state say they too have been bombarded with vicious messages on social media.
Thai Rock owners Stephanie and David Boyd said they were not to blame for the situation and told A Current Affair they did not know how their business would recover.
Their Wetherill Park location has been linked to 94 cases, and their Potts Point location a further seven, but they insist they don’t know what went wrong.
“There’s a lot of mistruth out there, a lot of accusation,” Ms Boyd said.
Mr Boyd said he understood “people are scared” and wanted to blame someone, but “listen to facts”.
“We don’t know (how COVID-19 came to the restaurant),” he said.
“NSW Health don’t know. We’re still trying to investigate that.
The couple, who are self-isolating at home, also denied rumours they had defied NSW Health instructions.
“Can I be honest? We’re scared to go out. Seriously, we are. There’s a certain fear,” Mr Boyd said.
The couple say they have been left devastated by hateful and cruel messages from the public.
“(They say) ‘damn you to hell’, ‘you spread this virus to everybody’ and I should die because I have it,” Ms Boyd said.
“It’s very, very hurtful.”