The son of the limo driver blamed for Sydney’s Covid outbreak has issued an angry defence of his father, claiming his ‘honest, hardworking’ dad has been made ‘a scapegoat’

The son of the limo driver blamed for Toronto airport taxi Sydney’s Covid outbreak has issued an angry defence of his father, claiming his ‘honest, hardworking’ dad has been made ‘a scapegoat’.

The 60-year-old Toronto airport taxi limousine driver is thought to be ‘patient zero’ in Sydney’s outbreak that started with the Bondi cluster and has so far grown to 226 active cases of the highly contagious Indian Delta variant.

In an emotional statement on a <a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website set-up in support of his father on Friday, the limo driver's son said the NSW Government had ‘traumatised the family’ with its claims.

He explained his father had spent four to five hours with relatives, and had ‘hugged and kissed’ his daughter and grandchildren after he was believed to have contracted Covid on June 11 – and yet none of the family members he visited that day have tested positive. 

The son of the airport limousine driver blamed for Sydney's Covid outbreak issued an angry defence of his father, claiming his 'honest, hardworking' dad has been made 'a scapegoat'

The son of the airport limousine driver blamed for Sydney's Covid outbreak issued an angry defence of his father, claiming his 'honest, hardworking' dad has been made 'a scapegoat'

The son of the airport limousine driver blamed for Sydney’s Covid outbreak issued an angry defence of his father, claiming his ‘honest, hardworking’ dad has been made ‘a scapegoat’

In an emotional statement on a GoFundMe page set-up in support of the man on Friday, the limo driver's son said the NSW Government had 'traumatised the family' with the claims

In an emotional statement on a GoFundMe page set-up in support of the man on Friday, the limo driver's son said the NSW Government had 'traumatised the family' with the claims

In an emotional statement on a GoFundMe page set-up in support of the man on Friday, the limo driver’s son said the NSW Government had ‘traumatised the family’ with the claims

Despite his contact with international flights crews, the driver has fervently denied claims by NSW Health that he is the cause of the outbreak.

He insisted he caught coronavirus from a ‘coughing man in his 30s’ at Belle Café in Vaucluse instead. 

His son claimed statements by Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and Health Minister Brad Hazzard that his father was ‘patient zero’ were ‘unsubstantiated’.

‘Being the first to test positive doesn’t make you patient zero,’ the son wrote. 

‘My father always wore gloves, masks and sanitized his vehicles between passengers and this was confirmed by the numerous people that police interviewed during their investigation.

Sydney's outbreak that started with the Bondi cluster and has so far grown to 226 active cases of the highly contagious Indian Delta variant

Sydney's outbreak that started with the Bondi cluster and has so far grown to 226 active cases of the highly contagious Indian Delta variant

Sydney’s outbreak that started with the Bondi cluster and has so far grown to 226 active cases of the highly contagious Indian Delta variant

‘All international air crew that he drove have tested negative to COVID, so how on earth could Gladys Berejiklian, Dr Kerry Chant and Brad Hazzard go on public television and make unsubstantiated claims that he is patient zero?

‘The government and media has relentlessly and without any evidence tried to blame an honest, hard working and well respected man who did nothing but follow all of the health orders given to him,’ the statement read.

The official version of events is that the driver caught the Indian Delta variant while ferrying Fed Ex air staff to hotel quarantine and unknowingly spread it to a 50-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman in the eastern suburbs on June 11.

‘How is it that such a contagious disease skipped his children and grandchildren, but infected a man in his 50s at Myer the same morning?’ his son said. 

The driver’s son was also clearly angry the public scrutiny had taken place while his father was recovering from the Delta variant.

‘Our family has had to endure the stress of my parents both having caught COVID and my mum being admitted to hospital in the midst of it,’ he said.

The government has tried to use him as a scapegoat for a system that clearly had large gaps that were not accounted for.’ 

This week, the driver told Daily Mail Australia he had recovered from the virus but can’t return to work until he is vaccinated.

The man and his wife were finally allowed to leave their apartment in Bondi after two weeks in isolation from his positive test on June 15.

‘We are recovered, I’m feeling great,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.  

The driver has not returned to work yet because he needs to be vaccinated against coronavirus. Pictured is a woman getting her jab at St Vincent's Hospital clinic in Sydney

The driver has not returned to work yet because he needs to be vaccinated against coronavirus. Pictured is a woman getting her jab at St Vincent's Hospital clinic in Sydney

The driver has not returned to work yet because he needs to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

Pictured is a woman getting her jab at St Vincent’s Hospital clinic in Sydney

The 60-year-old and his wife were finally allowed to leave their apartment in Bondi after two weeks in isolation from his positive test on June 15

The 60-year-old and his wife were finally allowed to leave their apartment in Bondi after two weeks in isolation from his positive test on June 15

The 60-year-old and his wife were finally allowed to leave their apartment in Bondi after two weeks in isolation from his positive test on June 15 

However, the driver has not returned to work yet because he needs to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

‘I need to register and need to be vaccinated in order to get back to work.

I am not sure when yet,’ he said.

Having refused refused AstraZeneca because of a family history of blood clots, he added: ‘I’m hoping for Pfizer.’

Government policy enacted in response to him triggering the outbreak now requires anyone working with quarantined or international arrivals to be vaccinated.

If a worker does not comply, employers can be fined up to $11,000. 

The driver was not legally required to be vaccinated at the time he caught the virus, but said he was wearing a face mask during the ill-fated trip from the airport on June 11.

People working around the hotel quarantine system were asked to present for daily Covid testing, but the driver admitted he had not been tested on his days off.

Upon leaving their eastern suburbs home, the husband and wife visited a grocery store and Bondi Post Office.

‘It’s my first day out of the house and I’m enjoying myself,’ he said.

He is afraid to reveal his identify and risk extreme public backlash and even physical harm.

The infection was caught when testing resumed when he returned to work – but he was already out in the community for several days before getting the positive result. 

During that time, he had fleeting contact with a man in his 50s in Myer at Westfield Bondi Junction who latest tested positive.

Later that week, a woman in her 70s also caught it while sitting outside Belle Café as the driver walked past her to get inside.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was quick to slam him in a press conference by blaming ‘people in and around the system who think complacency is okay’.

‘It’s not okay.

We know it and we feel it and we will get to the bottom of it,’ she said. 

The Sydney Airport driver is thought to have caught the Indian Delta variant while ferrying Fed Ex air staff to hotel quarantine

The Sydney Airport driver is thought to have caught the Indian Delta variant while ferrying Fed Ex air staff to hotel quarantine

 The Sydney Airport driver is thought to have caught the Indian Delta variant while ferrying Fed Ex air staff to hotel quarantine

The infected limo driver believed to be 'patient zero' claims vividly remembered another customer in his 30s sat near to him at the Belle Cafe in Vaucluse (pictured) who was violently coughing and sneezing

The infected limo driver believed to be 'patient zero' claims vividly remembered another customer in his 30s sat near to him at the Belle Cafe in Vaucluse (pictured) who was violently coughing and sneezing

The infected limo driver believed to be ‘patient zero’ claims vividly remembered another customer in his 30s sat near to him at the Belle Cafe in Vaucluse (pictured) who was violently coughing and sneezing

She then dodged questions about why the driver was unvaccinated, saying: ‘Obviously we will have more to say about that once police have completed their investigations.

‘Everybody in NSW who works in our systems know their obligations, and we certainly look forward to providing certainty around what occurred in this situation.’

Police launched an investigated to determine whether the driver was in breach of public health orders, but the probe was dropped on Saturday.

‘[On Friday] I advised we had sent the case for urgent external legal advice due to the significance of this outbreak and the community concern,’ Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

‘I can now confirm we have received advice that there is insufficient evidence to establish that either the limousine driver or his employer breached any public health orders.’ 

Two weeks after the limo driver was infected, Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) announced that Sydney would enter a two-week lockdown on Saturday

Two weeks after the limo driver was infected, Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) announced that Sydney would enter a two-week lockdown on Saturday

Two weeks after the limo driver was infected, Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) announced that Sydney would enter a two-week lockdown on Saturday

The driver’s earlier claims he was not patient zero were dismissed on Saturday by NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant, who said their investigations had found no evidence to support his story. 

On Nine’s A Current Affair last week, the driver said he feared for his life after he was blamed for sparking the current outbreak. 

Reporter Lauren Golman said: ‘He says he sanitises his car in between passengers.

He wants to look after his own family – he has a wife and daughters and three grandchildren.

‘He wants to keep everyone safe, not to mention the wider community.’ 

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news" data-version="2" id="mol-073062a0-db20-11eb-b1ce-91d0bc5581a4" website of limo driver behind Covid outbreak issue stunning denial

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