Indigenous musician Thelma Plum has been diagnosed with COVID-19, one of the now 78 confirmed cases in Queensland.
Plum, 25, took to Instagram Monday to announce she had tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning after spending time recording new music in London.
The Gamilaraay singer is currently in the Brisbane Metro North Hospital receiving treatment for the virus. Plum said she is likely to be in hospital until Friday, but at the moment doctors are monitoring her condition.
The ARIA award winner of such songs as Not Angry Anymore and Better in Blak has urged people to be kind to each other in this time of global panic.
“All I can do is stress how important it is to be kind and compassionate to each other during this time and that we need to be looking out for and prioritising the most vulnerable people,” Plum said in a post on her Instagram.
The singer has also outlined the danger this virus could potentially have on Indigenous communities who are particularly vulnerable.
“I cannot stress enough how much this virus has the potential to severely harm our communities (particularly our Indigenous communities).”
“Schools need to be shut down but there needs to be structures in place that can ensure low income families and vulnerable people aren’t being left in the dark.”
The impact COVID-19 has had on Australian’s mental health was also acknowledged by the 25-year-old singer.
“The lack of action taken by the government has left me feeling quite anxious and hopeless, as it has many other people,” she said.
It remains unclear when Plum contracted the virus, but she has said she is doing well while recovering in hospital.
At the start of March, Plum took out the Album of the Year award at the 2020 Queensland Music Awards and was set to go on tour in May on the back of her success as the highest-ever ranked Indigenous Australian artist in triple j’s coveted Hottest 100.
Plum’s diagnosis comes after the Central Land Council (CLC) enforced a travel ban to remote communities in the Northern Territory. CLC’s Chief Executive, Joe Martin-Jard, said any person who is not a health worker should not visit any of the communities in the area.
“We want anyone who is not delivering health supplies and other essential services to cancel their trips,” Martin-Jard said.
“Our members are extremely concerned about the potential spread of the virus to their communities and we will support them if they want to impose restrictions.”
By Caris Duncan