Security guards at coronavirus quarantine hotels ‘slept with infected guests’ causing second Aussie Covid spikeJuly 3, 2020
SECURITY guards at coronavirus quarantine hotels slept with infected guests in the run-up to a second wave of coronavirus infections, it's been claimed.
More than 300,000 people living in Northwest Melbourne, in Australia, were placed in lockdown yesterday following a fresh outbreak – which is being linked to the security guards' behaviour.
Members of the private security guard team, tasked with ensuring that arriving international travellers stayed quarantined in their rooms, allegedly slept with some of the guests.
The guards who then caught coronavirus unknowingly returned to Melbourne's suburbs – triggering a second wave in the country that had almost crushed the virus.
There are also claims that the guards allowed guests who were meant to be isolated to mingle with other travellers, and that they had little training in infection control.
Greg Hunt, Australia’s health minister, called the alleged breaches “completely and utterly unacceptable” after the city’s Herald Sun reported the claims.
In the 30 locked-down suburbs, residents can leave their homes only for essential purposes or exercise and police are enforcing the rules with on-the-spot fines.
Victoria recorded 73 new cases on Wednesday, with 20 of them having no identified source – the highest daily number since the beginning of the crisis.
There's a total of 23 patients are in hospital, with six fighting for their lives in intensive care in what's suspected to be a second wave.
The shocking allegations about the security staff have been heard among police and government circles, as well as within the hotel industry.
Launching an inquiry, Premier Daniel Andrews said there were a 'handful' of breaches among staff at the hotels which may play a part in the outbreaks.
Further allegations to be probed include claims guards shook hands with each other and shared lifts, were given limited training and wore PPE for extended periods of time without changing it.
There were also reports that quarantined families visited other guests within the hotel to play cards.
Since March 29, around 20,000 travellers who have returned from abroad have spent a fortnight quarantining in hotel rooms in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Genomic testing, which tracks the markings of different strains of the virus, revealed Covid-19 may have been spreading among people who had contact with hotel staff and guests.
Health officials believe the virus was likely contracted at the hotel quarantine locations before being spread among friends and relatives of security guards.
Mr Andrews said DNA tests showed a number of cases could be linked to staff members in the hotels who breached the infection control protocols.
He added: "That left me in no doubt that if not right now, but certainly back weeks and weeks ago, there was a significant infection control problem.
"That is unacceptable to me. I'm sure that will be unacceptable certainly to all of those who will be impacted by the restrictions that we have had to reimpose."
To date the confirmed breaches of infection control among hotel workers include sharing car journeys to and from work, sharing cigarettes and lighters, and engaging in hugging and handshakes.
On Sunday, Mr Andrew said staff at the hotel had stuck to social distancing but had spread the virus after sharing a lighter.
Source: Read Full Article