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The two changes an epidemiologist says Victoria must make to hotel quarantine this time around

Neil Mitchell
Article image for The two changes an epidemiologist says Victoria must make to hotel quarantine this time around

An epidemiologist says the success of Victoria’s future hotel quarantine program hinges on whether or not two major changes are made.

The state government will this morning make an announcement on the return of international flights and hotel quarantine.

It comes six weeks after the state suspended international flights, following the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel outbreak.

Epidemiologist and head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne, Nancy Baxter, says vaccination and greater focus on airborne disease are essential to stopping COVID-19 leaks from quarantine.

“We need to know that everybody who is caring for these people has been fully vaccinated before we restart the program,” she told Neil Mitchell.

“We know that part of the reason there was transmission in the hotels is because the chance for airborne transmission was not considered strongly enough.

“We need to make sure the ventilation has been assessed in all these hotels and is appropriate, and we need to make sure the workers are protected so they have the right masks and they’re fitting properly.”

Dr Baxter urged the state government to be more transparent about the quarantine program than it has been in the past.

“They need to be honest and they need to try and not hide what they’re doing with weasel words,” she said.

“We really need to know that everyone has been vaccinated and that they’re taking airbornes seriously.”

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Neil Mitchell
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