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Australia Coronavirus infections in hotel quarantine workers makes it 'wrong time' to increase international arrivals, epidemiologist warns

23:43  08 february  2021
23:43  08 february  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

Australian hotels say COVID-19 quarantine contracts 'far from a licence to print money'

  Australian hotels say COVID-19 quarantine contracts 'far from a licence to print money' Hotel quarantine contracts are keeping some companies afloat, but occupancy rates are still well-down on pre-COVID levels and it could take years before many city hotels return to profitability.Quarantine contracts with state governments and federal agencies have provided business for many otherwise-empty Australian hotels, with Sydney's CBD hotels taking in the bulk of overseas arrivals.

Hotel quarantine workers should be at the front of the queue for vaccinations, a Melbourne epidemiologist says, and Australia should not be letting more people into the country until vaccinations are complete. " It 's absolutely the wrong time to be increasing the amount of people coming in … until we have vaccination in place," she said. "Although it 's not perfect, it (vaccination) will add a really thick layer of protection for the community against COVID-19 from these international travellers coming."

A dramatic increase in coronavirus cases in Moscow, pushed the city’s health care system to its limit. The United States recorded more than 1.9 million new infections in July, nearly 42 percent of the more than 4.5 million cases reported nationwide since the pandemic began and more than double the number documented in any other month, according to data compiled by The New York Times .

a tall building: A hotel quarantine worker was wearing full PPE and worked behind a perspex shield before becoming infected. (ABC News: Billy Draper) © Provided by ABC News A hotel quarantine worker was wearing full PPE and worked behind a perspex shield before becoming infected. (ABC News: Billy Draper)

A leading epidemiologist says now is not the right time to allow more overseas travellers into Australia without having vaccinated all workers in hotel quarantine.

Nancy Baxter, who is the head of the School of Population at the University of Melbourne, said coronavirus was becoming more infectious and a Melbourne hotel quarantine worker's positive test on the weekend was cause for concern.

The woman was the second quarantine worker in less than a week to test positive, with the cases leading to more than 100 people being placed in quarantine.

We’ve learnt nothing about the perils of insecure work during a pandemic

  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.

The thickened, stiff tissue makes it more difficult for the air sacs to work effectively. In some cases this can lead to breathing difficulties and fatigue, as well as leaving the patient more susceptible to other lung infections in the future. More detailed data from two other earlier coronavirus outbreaks, Sars and Mers, found between 20% and 60% of patients experienced some form of health problem consistent with pulmonary fibrosis. Whereas those earlier outbreaks were contained relatively successfully, the virus that causes Covid-19 has spread across the world, with more than eight million

Health workers outside a London hospital on Thursday during the weekly “clap for our carers.” Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times . Other lawmakers were annoyed that Mr. Johnson opted to make his announcement on TV, rather than to Parliament. Publication of the documents outlining the Since his close call, Mr. Johnson’s demeanor has been graver. Gone are the breezy promises of a quick end to the crisis. Instead, he has laid the groundwork for a long siege and has begun talking like an amateur epidemiologist . Mr. Johnson has repeatedly emphasized the rate of transmission of the

The woman tested negative when she finished work on Thursday and developed symptoms when she returned to work on Sunday.

Professor Baxter said the virus was changing and "things that worked for us yesterday may not work for us today or tomorrow".

"[This person] had a lot of PPE (personal protective equipment) on, a shield between the people speaking to them and themselves, and yet still managed to acquire COVID-19," she said.

"It does make me feel very nervous about continuing the [hotel quarantine] program at the current levels before these workers are vaccinated."

National Cabinet decided on Friday to allow more people into the country, lifting a cap on arrivals from 4,127 to 6,362 people each week.

Victoria will take 1,310 passengers a week.

Family of guard who sparked Perth lockdown blast quarantine system

  Family of guard who sparked Perth lockdown blast quarantine system The infected 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.

Restrictions on international travel and strict quarantine measures for anyone returning to Canada are being extended for at least another month. Canada is once again extending emergency orders that place restrictions on international travel and make mandatory 14-day quarantines for anyone entering the country during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

What are the new rules for hotel quarantine ? Arrivals will be met at the airport or point of entry and taken to the hotel . If travellers wish to go outside, for example to smoke, they will be accompanied by security guards. Supports firms hit by coronavirus by temporarily helping pay the wages of some staff. It allows employees to remain on the payroll, even though they aren't working . Herd immunity. How the spread of a disease slows after a sufficiently large proportion of a population has been exposed to it .

Professor Baxter said lifting the cap now was not advisable.

"It's absolutely the wrong time to be increasing the amount of people coming in … until we have vaccination in place," she said.

"Although it's not perfect, it (vaccination) will add a really thick layer of protection for the community against COVID-19 from these international travellers coming."

Hotel quarantine workers should be in the first tier for vaccination

Hotel quarantine and border workers will be among those in the first group of 70,000 to be vaccinated.

Frontline health care workers, aged care and disability workers and residents are also in group one.

However Professor Baxter said the quarantine workers needed to be the priority — the "first tier of the first tier".

"The first 70,000 doses better be targeted at these hotel quarantine workers because this is going to happen more and more," she said.

What we know about Victoria's new COVID-19 hotel quarantine cases

  What we know about Victoria's new COVID-19 hotel quarantine cases Victorian authorities are investigating a positive case of COVID-19 in a hotel worker as well as the spread of the virus from one quarantine room to another. Here's what we know so far.Late on Wednesday night the Department of Health and Human Services announced a 26-year-old Australian Open quarantine support worker had returned a positive test result after working at the Grand Hyatt.

The International Film Academy has announced that it would be postponing its awards ceremony, also known as Bollywood's Oscars, due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak. According to official numbers, India has been until now relatively unscathed by the epidemic. On February 28, the Swiss government imposed a ban on events of more than 1,000 people until March 15, making it the first European country to do so as a preemptive measure to fight against the spread of the illness.

The quarantine rules were introduced in June, with travellers asked to nominate an address where they would self-isolate, with fines of up to £1,000 for those in England who failed to comply. As some international travel to and from the UK is opened up, the Foreign Office is continuing to warn against journeys on cruise ships, however. But with infections in the UK falling, the government continues to ease coronavirus restrictions in England while devolved administrations also do so, at their own pace.

Lisa Neville, the minister responsible for hotel quarantine, has said hotel quarantine workers, who were being tested every day at work, would now also be tested on their days off.

Ms Neville said the hotel quarantine program was constantly changing and evolving in response to what was learnt from each new case.

Quarantine workers are now wearing eye shields instead of protective eyewear, a review of ventilation is underway and meals are being delivered at staggered times.

A residential support officer at the Grand Hyatt quarantine hotel tested positive on Wednesday and health authorities are still investigating a case of possible transmission between returned travellers at the Park Royal Hotel, where the virus appears to have travelled between rooms.

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