A leading epidemiologist criticizes Australia’s “insecure quarantine system” and Scott Morrison’s persistent claims that it became 99.9 percent effective during a coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the size of the PM, the country’s quarantine system for international travelers has resulted in 24 intrusions and a series of leaks across Australia, said Mary-Louise McLaws, professor of epidemiology at the University of NSW and WHO adviser, told Yahoo News Australia.
Nearly 21,000 cases – 70 per cent of total infections – have been confirmed since Australia closed its border, he said. They were a direct result of leaking the hotel quarantine.
“If the authorities are trying to get credit for a 99.9 per cent safe quarantine system, what they don’t mean is all the cases we’ve had since our borders closed,” Ms McLaws said. .
“And if you take away all the international cases, you’re left with more than 21,000 community -acquired cases.
“The only way they got through was the failures of the program. It didn’t tell me it was 99.9 percent perfect at all. ”
Hotels are not built for infectious agents
The quarantine system could be more effective and save government money if the facilities built were purpose -built and quick antigen testing was done, according to Ms McLaws.
The epidemiologist says hotels are not built for an infectious agent because of the airflow that is half the expectation of a hospital – 10 perfectly clean air changes per hour, per person, per ward , he said.
“If you have a couple in a room and they’re positive, their airflow change doesn’t increase like a hospital.
“The particles build up fast and when you open the door they enter the passage.”
He said people would also not be given rooms across the hall from each other.
Spending hundreds of millions on a special mobile facility is more than $ 1 billion a week Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said would cost the economy if the borders were closed and Melbourne was in lockdown.
Rapid antigen testing is cheaper
Another improvement is to perform quick antigen tests, which last 15 to 20 minutes for a result, on travelers as soon as they can land.
Those who return a positive outcome will be taken immediately to the prepared facility and those not taken to hotel quarantine, according to Ms McLaws.
Both groups had to be tested repeatedly as long as they remained.
Rapid antigen tests work well when people are pre-symptomatic, while PCR tests are now used well when they have symptoms, he added.
While some pathologists argue that a quick antigen test can produce false positives, the result is “better than a false negative because it can be followed by a PCR test, which can there is a negative error, “according to the epidemiologist.
Rapid antigen tests also cost between $ 15 and $ 30, while Medicare should rebate $ 110 per PCR test, he added.
It can cost $ 100 million to test every hour there is a violation and a community outbreak, according to Ms McLaws.
States must ship Pfizer vaccines to Victoria
In an effort to help Melbourne prevent the latest outbreak, all other states will have to donate their Pfizer vaccines to Victoria, according to the professor.
“Every person in Victoria who is 20 to 39 yeas of age should get it now, next should be 40s and 50s,” he said.
Melbourne was at a disadvantage during the Covid pandemic because it was highly mobile, social and had a large young population, he added.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese on Saturday also condemned the government’s defense of the hotel quarantine.
“Scott Morrison talks about the success rate. What he’s not saying is that with every failure, there are serious consequences – for health, for our economy and for the people who can make their lives,” he said.
Because “they failed” to protect Victoria, Mr Albanese added, the government should introduce financial support for the people during the lockdown.
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