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Calls for mandatory testing before flying

Article image for Calls for mandatory testing before flying

The Australian Medical Association is backing calls from the Premier to have people tested for COVID-19 before they board long-haul flights, especially now the highly infectious UK strain has hit our shores.

Mark McGowan said everyone should have to return a negative test result before being allowed onto a plane.

WA branch President Dr Andrew Miller told Karl Langdon he believes testing will become mandatory in the future.

“Of course you need to test people before they get onto a long-haul flight.

“The fact they are not doing it already shows we are not on the front foot enough.

“We should have been doing this before we got the more infectious strain in the country.”

Dr Miller said PPE needs to be upgraded for hotel quarantine workers to avoid an outbreak.

“We haven’t been taking the airborne risk of transmission seriously enough especially with the new strain around now,” he said.

A paramedic who took a COVID-19 patient to hospital is now quarantining. An investigation is ongoing as to whether proper PPE protocols were followed in the ambulance. Dr Miller said the PPE guidance “isn’t strong enough.”

“Our argument is we need to have proper respirator protection if we are going to be dealing with patients with COVID.”

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Oliver Peterson
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