Limo driver Michael Podgoetsky, 63, was hounded for months after sparking the Delta outbreak that led to a five-month lockdown that paralysed NSW.
He caught the Delta strain after picking up Fed Ex flight crew from Sydney Airport in June without being vaccinated or wearing a mask and drove them to their hotel.
The driver then spent several days off-duty in the community, going to cafes and shops, spreading the virus through the city’s eastern suburbs.
He also took it to the movies, then Belle Cafe in Vaucluse and Westfield Bondi Junction.
Podgoetsky finally realised he was infected when he returned to work and a routine test came back positive.
Now, he has opened up on his experience, revealing how he believes he has been cheated.
Limo driver Michael Podgoetsky, (pictured) who seeded the Delta spread across Sydney, was hounded for months after sparking the five-month lockdown that paralysed NSW
The Eastern Suburbs went into immediate lockdown after his positive test and, within days, the rest of the city followed, sparking months of misery
The lockdown caused months of chaos in NSW as the region fought against the outbreak
‘My wife was distraught,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘We couldn’t cope with the stress.
‘Looking back, I believe I’ve been cheated and was treated like a criminal.’
The Eastern Suburbs went into immediate lockdown after his positive test and, within days, the rest of the city followed, sparking months of misery.
Despite a public outcry, police later admitted he had not breached any law and was not required to wear a mask or be vaccinated at that time, despite the risks involved.
Podgoetsky faced further criticism months later when he was snapped without a mask and he was fined $500. He was also accused of being an anti-vaxxer – something he denied.
He says he was vilified in the aftermath with someone ramming his car and a neighbour telling him he had ‘destroyed NSW’ and that he would tell everyone his name.
‘I don’t want to be known for Covid-19,’ he insisted to 7News at the time he was identified. ‘It’s in my head like I did something wrong.
‘The bio-weapon was introduced to our state and I’m blamed for it. I feel terrible. I feel terrible for what’s happening now in the state.
‘I don’t know where I picked it up but I followed the rules.’
Despite a public outcry, police later admitted he had not breached any law and was not required to wear a mask or be vaccinated at that time, despite the risks involved
Away from Podgoetsky, several other people were hounded for spreading Covid in Australia.
Wealthy finance boss Tom Pizzey, 59, made worldwide news when his weekend trip to BBQ stores and a butcher’s shop unknowingly sparked a massive Covid scare in May.
Seven months later, the part-time guitarist poked fun at his notoriety with his 80s cover band The Distractions who released the song BBQ Man.
The managing director of an international private equity finance firm became Covid famous when he left a trail of potential Delta hotspots across Sydney.
Despite not having been overseas or in contact with a known case, Mr Pizzey later tested positive – but not before he had a big weekend criss-crossing the city.
The Sydney millionaire who forced a lockdown of Byron Bay at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Zoran Radovanovic is pictured with his son Kristian eight years ago
Starting with coffee in the CBD on Friday morning, he had his eyes checked in the city before lunch at an Italian restaurant in Paddington, then an early movie at Bondi Junction followed by dinner at another upmarket Italian at Kings Cross.
Serbian millionaire Zoran Radovanovic, 52, was thrust into the spotlight when he and his son sneaked out of Sydney on a mysterious trip to Byron Bay during lockdown.
Now he is believed to have skipped the country with his son to jet off back to Serbia and faces arrest the second he returns to Australia.
The pair visited a string of locations on the NSW north coast without checking in until both ended up in a Lismore hospital with Covid, and sparked a week-long lockdown in the Byron Bay area.
Zoran’s shady past later came back to haunt him as it was revealed he had previous drug and theft convictions, had faked leaving Australia while overstaying his visa and had to beg Australia for citizenship.
Son Kristian was also revealed to have been caught drink driving twice in three days in 2020, and was called a ‘habitual traffic offender’ in court.