Huge jump Covid cases in quarantine with 15 new infections overnight – with 40 new cases in just four days sparking fears it will spread from hotels to the community
- In the last four days, 44 new cases have been recorded in returned travellers
- Eight cases were recorded on Monday, 12 on Tuesday, and Wednesday saw nine
- It comes amid calls for hotel quarantine facilities to be moved out of the city
Fifteen cases of Covid have been recorded on Wednesday in Sydney’s hotel quarantine facilities, sparking fears the virus will seep out into the community.
In the last four days, 44 new infections have been detected in returned travellers quarantining in hotels across New South Wales.
Eight cases were recorded on Monday, 12 on Tuesday, and Wednesday saw nine new infections in the state’s hotel quarantine system.
The spike in cases comes amid fears India’s ‘double mutant’ strain could leak out into Australian cities.
India recorded more than 360,000 new coronavirus cases and 3293 deaths over the past 24 hours, pushing the nation’s total death toll to over 200,000.
In the last four days, 44 new infections have been detected in returned travellers quarantining in hotels across New South Wales
Eight cases were recorded on Monday, 12 on Tuesday, and Wednesday saw nine new infections
Professor of International Health at the Burnet Institute Michael Toole urged health authorities to move quarantine out of city hotels.
‘It’s now time to invest in similar facilities in every state and territory. Quarantine is our first line of defence against the virus,’ he wrote in The Conversation today.
‘It needs to be 100 per cent effective to maintain our hard-earned status of having zero community COVID cases.
‘Given the rate of quarantine leaks during the past six months, without improvements, the system will likely see over a dozen more leaks by October, causing frequent disruptions to our lives. The impact on the economy and public confidence will be immeasurable.’
Dr David Berger, an emergency flying doctor who practices in Lightning Ridge, NSW, published a paper in the Medical Journal of Australia last week which called for regional worker camps to be used instead of high-rise hotels.
His paper says that between November and mid January ‘approximately 1 in 200 hotel quarantine cases led to infections outside the system’ causing outbreaks in Sydney, Melbourne Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth.
Discussing his paper on 2GB radio, Dr Berger said: ‘Almost all of those are variants. This virus is airborne. There is no documented case of transmission from contact such as lift buttons or surfaces. It can be transmitted over significant distances and ventilation is critical to this.
‘Unfortunately these hotels that we’re using were never designed for people to be cooped up in them for two weeks with no opening windows.
‘They have gaps under the doors, the ventilation is not designed to be infectious disease proof. They’re just not suitable. These facilities are just not designed for it.’