Australia: States launch investigation into coronavirus outbreak in quarantine hotels

WION Web Team
Sydney, Australia Published: Apr 22, 2021, 09:23 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Australia Photograph:( Reuters )

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This has raised concerns that people who tested negative and were allowed to leave quarantine hotels may already have been exposed to the virus

After three suspected cases of travelers contracting the deadly coronavirus during hotel quarantine, two Australian states are urging staff and guests in the quarantine hotels to get tested immediately and self-isolate.

The authorities have also launched an investigation into the three suspected cases.

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These cases have shocked the authorities as the country had closed its borders to non-citizens and permanent residents more than a year ago, to contain the widespread of the deadly virus. All travelers are also asked to undergo a compulsory two-week hotel quarantine at their own expense.

New South Wales (NSW) and Western Australia state officials have stated that the genetic sequencing found links to the same sequence that was found in the guests in Sydney and Perth. However, the cases may not be connected.

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"We don't have a definitive conclusion around the way the transmission occurred at this point in time," NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said.

A guest who was staying in a quarantined hotel in Sydney has tested positive for COVID-19 with the identical genetic sequence as one of the people infected in the nearby room.

This has raised concerns that people who tested negative and were allowed to leave quarantine hotels may already have been exposed to the virus and risk being a carrier and spreading it in the community.

"Because of the implications if that transmission event occurred in the hotel, the question is could other people have been exposed?," Chant said.

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