Australia Family of guard who sparked Perth lockdown blast quarantine system
Large parts of WA head into lockdown after hotel guard tests positive
The state recorded its first locally acquired COVID-19 case in almost 10 months - and there are fears it could be the UK variant.WA Premier Mark McGowan revealed the new case and lockdown measures during an emergency COVID-19 press conference today.
The family of a young security guard who sparked Perth's draconian five-day lockdown after contracting Covid-19 have lashed out at Western Australia's quarantine system.
The guard - an international student in his 20s who is originally from Bangladesh - worked at the Four Points by Sheraton while there were four Covid-positive patients inside.
Two of those quarantined were carrying the highly-infectious UK variant while another had the South African strain.
The guard and part-time ride-share driver was preparing to graduate from an engineering course at Edith Cowan University when he caught the virus by delivering medication to the door of one of the infected travellers on January 24.
WA enters first full day of COVID lockdown as contact tracing system ramps up
Western Australia's contact tracing capabilities are being tested for the first time after a hotel quarantine security guard returned a positive COVID-19 result, sparking a five-day shutdown of the state's most populous regions.Western Australia's contact tracing capabilities are being tested for the first time after a hotel quarantine security guard returned a positive COVID-19 result, sparking a five-day shutdown of the state's most populous regions.
The young man's family on Wednesday described him as a 'studious bachelor' who was worried about the impact the virus would have on him.
'He's a human being, it's human nature to worry... so obviously he is upset, very upset,' a relative told.
Coronavirus lockdown prompts questions over how hotel quarantine system failed
An investigation is underway to find the weak link in WA's hotel quarantine system after a security guard tested positive to COVID-19, plunging most of the State's population into a five day lockdown.After nearly 10 months with no community cases, a security guard in his twenties contracted COVID-19 after working at Sheraton Four Points in Perth, throwing the majority of the state's population into a five-day lockdown.
The guard - who has not yet been officially identified - is now in quarantine at a hotel in the centre of Perth.
His family hit out at the decision to quarantine travellers in Perth rather than in remote areas where the threat of rapid community transmission would be far lower.
'Only he got infected [but] it could have been other guys infected at the same place. It's a hotel with everyone passing [through],' the relative said.
They said it would have been safer for state authorities to quarantine overseas arrivals 'somewhere remotely'.
The guard is believed to have visited the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre - one of the 16 locations visited by the guard while infectious - to pick up his gown and regalia ahead of his graduation ceremony.
We’ve learnt nothing about the perils of insecure work during a pandemic
Mark McGowan says the problem of stopping second jobs in hotel quarantine is hard. Recent history shows the alternative is harder.The guard had also been working as a rideshare driver. The last time he worked his second job was on January 22. It’s believed he contracted the virus on January 26 or 27 while working in the Perth CBD. It’s sheer luck he didn’t contract it sooner.
Health officials said the man claimed he was wearing PPE while working at the hotel.
The security firm the guard worked for - Ace Security and Event Services - on Tuesday night remained tight-lipped as authorities in WA investigate the cause of the outbreak.
Perth, Peel, and WA's South West were plunged into lockdown on Sunday after news broke that the guard had tested positive.
Officials temporarily stopped overseas arrivals from staying at the hotel and asked anyone who left the hotel from January 25 to isolate until they get tested.
Authorities believe guard was infectious for five days before he tested positive to Covid-19.
And during the time he was infectious, he visited 16 locations across Perth - including a Coles, KFC, hair dresser, halal grocery store and the Indian consulate.
Contact tracers in Western Australia are scrambling to locate all potential contacts.
The man returned negative results as part of routine testing on January 15, 17 and 23 but started to become unwell on January 28 - and called in sick for his shift on January 30.
Perth shopper is JAILED for refusing to wear mask amid lockdown
The 41-year-old man was outside a shopping centre on Great Eastern Highway in Midland when he was approached by police officers on Monday. Police allege the man was not wearing a face mask and asked him to do so, in accordance with the latest restrictions in the city.Face masks were made mandatory as metropolitan Perth, the Peel region and the South West region were plunged into a five-day lockdown after a hotel quarantine security guard tested positive to Covid-19.
Western Australia's chief health officer Andy Robertson said the security guard was most likely infectious from January 26 - five days before his positive test result came through on Saturday night.
WA's health incident coordinator Robyn Lawrence on Tuesday claimed the guard 'did everything right' despite failing to isolate when he first fell ill.
He eventually attended a GP practice in Nedlands and got tested.
'He was unwell, he stayed home, he sought medical advice and then subsequently the following day when he was still unwell, sought a Covid test,' Dr Lawrence told Perth radio 6PR.
'There is no bungle at this point in time.
'I will agree that the State Health Incident Control Centre is responsible for the hotel quarantine program and we take that responsibility incredibly seriously.'
Anyone living in the lockdown zone, including school students, must stay at home unless shopping for essentials, attending to medical or healthcare needs, exercising within their neighbourhood or working if unable to do so remotely.
Metropolitan testing clinics are staying open until 10pm, but Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup called for the government to open a 24-hour clinic.
He also wants an immediate end to some hotel workers holding second jobs.
Mr McGowan has said the government is close to enforcing such a ban which is likely to be softened by a 40 per cent pay increase.
The Sheraton guard is also a rideshare driver but is not believed to have worked in that job since January 22 - several days before likely becoming infected.
He is said to be fully cooperating with a police investigation.
Relief for Perth businesses announced after lockdown .
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has announced a financial relief measure as businesses struggle to emerge from the state's brief COVID-19 lockdown.The locked-down areas of WA are set to emerge from lockdown at 6pm local time, after a quarantine hotel worker was diagnosed with the virus last weekend.