A four-year-old Tamil girl has been discharged from a Perth hospital, where she had been receiving treatment for a blood infection after being medically evacuated from Christmas Island immigration detention centre.
Key points:

  • Tharnicaa, 4, was released from Perth Children’s Hospital on Saturday
  • The family will remain in detention in Perth to access medical care
  • The government says it is not a pathway to permanent settlement

Perth Children’s Hospital confirmed Tharnicaa Murugappan was released on Saturday.
The girl and her mother, Priya, had been flown to Perth two weeks ago after she became unwell on May 25.
But Tharnicaa’s father, known as Nades, and her older sister, Kopika, were left on Christmas Island until they were allowed to rejoin the family on Tuesday.
Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has said the asylum seeker family can live in Perth in “community detention”.
“Thank you to the doctors who take care of Tharnicaa in hospital,” Priya said, according to a media release by Change.org. 
“We hope that soon she is much better.”
WA Health has asked federal authorities for the family to remain in Perth because Tharnicaa needs ongoing specialised medical care.
‘We are safe in Bilo’
The Murugappans, who are of Tamil ethnicity, have been facing a three-year legal battle against the Australian government, which wants them deported to Sri Lanka.
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The family wants to return to Biloela, in central Queensland, where they were living before being taken into detention in 2018 when their bridging visas expired.
“Please, we want to go back to Bilo. We are safe in Bilo,” Priya said in the Chang.org media release. 
“My husband can work. My daughters have friends. Bilo is home.”
Supporters across the nation held vigils yesterday, calling on the federal government to let the family stay in the country.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously stated the family would not be settled in Australia.
Mr Hawke has said the community detention placement was not a pathway to permanent settlement.
Family friend Angela Fredericks, who has travelled to Perth to be with the Murugappans, said she was deeply concerned for the entire family’s wellbeing.
“In the coming days, we will remain by Priya and Nades’ side as they try to settle their girls into yet another form of detention,” she said in the Change.org statement. 
“This is another chaotic disruption in these little girls’ lives. This latest form of detention is even more heartbreaking when we know they already have a safe, secure, familiar home in Biloela.”