Melbourne’s outbreak of Covid-19 was possibly due to lax training and behavioral breaches at isolation hotels, claims one of the contracted security guards.
The allegations were made in a bombshell interview with Nine News. A man identified only as Sam said he worked at some of the Melbourne hotels being used for quarantining returning overseas travellers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Among his claims, Sam said he was told not to get tested for Covid-19, even as guests were testing positive for the disease, as it could have meant he would have to himself isolate for 14 days and not be available for work.
“When I knew that there was positive cases in the hotel I have asked them, do I need to go for a test or something? And they said no, no, no don’t worry, don’t stress because we need people, so if you (go) for a test they will ask you to self-isolate, so don’t go, we will let you know when to go for a test,” he told Nine News.
Close contact, poor equipment and poor training
Sam also claimed security guards were sometimes in very close contact with isolated guests, like sharing lifts. However, disease control training for the contracted security guards amounted to five minutes, he said, while protective equipment amounted to a glove and a mask.
He also told Nine News the guards would go out into public, possibly contributing to the current Melbourne outbreak.
“On their break, guards were going for a break, and they were going to 7 Eleven, McDonalds, KFC, everywhere, and they were exposing everyone to that,” he said.
He also claimed some guards were working as Taxi and Uber drivers outside of their hotel security roles, further risking spread of Covid-19.
“I think we were spreading the virus, not controlling the virus,” he said.
Outbreak in Melbourne: claims security guards had sex with isolated guests
There have been claims some Covid-19 security staff had been sexually active with isolated guests, leading to the Melbourne outbreak. The allegations will form part of an independent inquiry into the outbreak, according to the Herald Sun.
As he put parts of Melbourne back into lockdown, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews acknowledged there had been serious breaches.
“That left me in no doubt that if not right now, but certainly back weeks and weeks ago, there was a significant infection control problem,” Andrews said.
“That is unacceptable to me. I’m sure that will be unacceptable certainly to all of those who will be impacted by the restrictions that we have had to reimpose.”
There were 73 new cases of coronavirus infection reported in Victoria on Thursday as the state battles to contain the outbreak in Melbourne.