Australian Health Department charged with failure of quarantine program for 58 COVID-19 violations

The Victorian Department of Health has been formally charged with the failure of the state’s hotel quarantine program in 2020 when a CCP virus broke out in a state in southern Australia.

WorkSafe Victoria statement On September 29, 58 charges were imposed on the Department of Health (DOH), including 17 violations of Section 21 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OHS) Act, after allegations that DOH failed to provide. bottom. Maintain a safe working environment for employees.

An additional 41 accusations were filed for violations of Section 23 (1) of the OHS Act, alleging that DOH could not guarantee that non-employees were not exposed to health and safety risks. rice field.

“On all charges, WorkSafe states that DOH employees, seconded Victorian government officials, or security guards are infected returnees, other people working in hotels, or contaminated surfaces.” rice field.

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After staying in isolation in Melbourne, Australia on March 30, 2020, police are guarding outside a hotel in the city center where travelers have returned from abroad. (William West / AFP via Getty Images)

The breach allegedly occurred between March 2020 and July 2020 while DOH was running Operation Soteria, Victoria’s first hotel quarantine program.

Some of the major issues being leveled in the department were not providing professional training to security guards for face-to-face infection control (IPC) before starting work.

A breach from Operation Soteria caused a second wave of the Australian pandemic, placing the city of Melbourne in one of the world’s toughest COVID-19 blockades.

WorkSafe also claimed that DOH failed, or initially failed, provided written instructions on the use of PPE, and updated written instructions on wearing masks at some hotels. In addition, it was not possible to appoint people with infection prevention and control (IPC) expertise.

The Victoria State Government, led by State Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, refused to provide comments for legal proceedings.

DOH faces a penalty of up to $ 1.64 million per bill, for a total of $ 95.1 million (US $ 68.4 million).

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Workers will assist those leaving the Holiday Inn in Melbourne, Australia on February 16, 2021. (Darian Trainer / Getty Images)

The accusation against DOH came after criticism from Victorian opposition health minister George Closure, who accused the Andrews government of exposing Victorian people to darkness over quarantine program issues.

In the statement, Crozier Blame the government Despite a request for freedom of information in April 2021, he refused to publish a report on the inadequacy of infection control protocols within the hotel’s quarantine program.

She claimed that the request was delayed before the Andrews government denied full access to the report, thereby “blocking the truth.”

“Above 3,000 incidents The Victorian people who occurred within the workers’ hotel quarantine program between November 2020 and June 2021 deserve to know the truth about what went wrong and why. “

“This is also an attempt by the Andrews Labor government to conceal a failure in managing the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “Victorian people deserve to know the truth about the extent of these systematic hotel quarantine failures and to judge their actions accordingly.”

Victoria Kelly Clark