Australia’s Delta stock outbreak dates back to hotel quarantine

The outbreak of the highly contagious Indian Delta strain of the CCP virus in Victoria, Australia, dates back to a person who was in quarantine at a hotel in the state.

Acting Prime Minister James Merlino Said Authorities have associated the Delta Cluster in western Melbourne with the genome of a man arriving in Australia from Sri Lanka on May 8. The man tested positive on the same day and then moved from Novotel Ibis to the Holiday Inn “Health Hotel” on May 14. Released on May 23.

Victorian health officials do not yet know how the virus was transmitted to infected families from returning travelers. Allen Chen, Deputy Chief of Health of the State, said there are four potential hypotheses about how the clusters developed.

The “most likely” scenario is that a man infected staff or other guests on the way to a health hotel with the virus before it spread.

“At this stage, we haven’t identified any high-risk incidents or contact with staff or residents that could indicate a link to the epidemic,” Chen told reporters on Tuesday. Said.

Danny Pearson, deputy police and emergency services minister, said all 24 flight passengers and Skybus crew members who had contact with returning travelers returned negative test results.

The 268 COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria staff who worked at Novotel Ibis on May 8 and 9, the 360 ​​staff at Holiday Inn, and the 12 residents on the same floor at Novotel Ibis were all negative. did.

“So far, we can see that there have been no reports of infection control protocols or other violations that indicate that an infection has occurred in the hotel,” said Pearson.

The acting prime minister said the second breach could be the 21st failure of the Australian quarantine system since the program was launched in 2020.

“It’s no secret that hotel quarantine cannot be done without risk,” says Merlino. “Hotels are built for tourists, not for infectious diseases.”

“Despite all the protection we have properly implemented, staff vaccinations, daily staff inspections, PPEs, N95 masks, ventilation work, etc., this environmental risk cannot be ruled out,” he said. Told. “The fact that Howard Springs is the only system in the country that hasn’t been breached speaks for itself. That’s why we want to get a purpose-built quarantine facility. I’ve been working hard. “

The federal government and the state of Victoria signed an agreement on June 4 to build a dedicated quarantine facility.

The Prime Minister said he was “very happy” with the Victorian Government’s proposal for facilities, in contrast to his comments on a similar proposal from the Queensland Government. State Hotels. Rather than supplementing the quarantine.

Victoria recorded two new local COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, both of which were associated with two existing epidemics.

However, the acting prime minister reassured Victorians that this would not delay plans to ease state restrictions on Thursday.

“Our contact tracking team did exactly what we needed,” he said. “They discovered, tracked, and quarantined the incident.”

AAP contributed to this article.

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