Aus quarantine hotel Covid-19 cluster grows to 10 cases

Melbourne, Feb 11 : Two more people linked to Covid-19 outbreak at quarantine hotel in Australia's Melbourne city have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of the cluster to 10.

The Department of Health in Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, said on Thursday that the two new cases were both household primary close contacts of the currently infected staff at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Holiday Inn cluster now stands at 10, including a family of three who is believed to contract the virus overseas, three quarantine hotel workers, two household members of the hotel workers and two former guests who exited the facility on February 7.

The state's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said a working theory was that at least three of the cases were exposed to mist from a nebuliser.

As investigations into the outbreak continued, the hotel was closed on Wednesday for terminal cleaning.

Forty-eight residents were transferred to Pullman Melbourne to quarantine for an extended number of days and more than 135 hotel staff were asked to isolated at home for 14 days.

A planned increase to Victoria's cap on international arrivals was also put on hold.

Other states and territories in the country were also on high alert as the Holiday Inn cluster in Melbourne expanded.

South Australia (SA) has acted swiftly to close its border to residents from Greater Melbourne.

"People wishing to enter SA on or after 12.01 a.m.

Thursday having been in Greater Melbourne (including Sunbury) at any time on or after 12.01 a.m. on February 4 are not permitted to enter," the state's latest COVID-19 direction said.

"Exemptions do apply for Essential Travellers, SA residents, genuine relocations and people escaping Domestic Violence with approval prior to entry."

Meanwhile, the state of Queensland will reinstate a border pass system for people travelling from Victoria from 1 a.m.


Queensland's Deputy Premier Steven Miles said Thursday the border would not be closed at this stage, and Victoria had handled the Holiday Inn outbreak well.



Source: IANS