Mark McGowan calls for ban on India arrivals after virus jumps Perth hotel rooms
Premier Mark McGowan is calling for a review into the amount of travellers coming into Australia’s hotel quarantine system and is pushing to have travel from India suspended.
270 people have come into Perth from COVID ravaged India this month, sparking fears the state’s hotel quarantine system won’t stand up to the influx of infected travellers.
Room to room transmission was discovered at the Mercure Hotel yesterday, between a couple who returned from India and a family of three in the adjacent room.
“Genome sequencing which came back yesterday afternoon linked these two families,” Mr McGowan said.
The Premier is meeting with national cabinet today, where he will recommend travel from the sub continent be suspended as soon as possible.
“Our system is under significant stress, we currently have nine hotels with more than 2,000 overseas arrivals on any given day, it is a major logistical challenge,” he said.
“Unfortunately we are seeing more and more positive cases as the pandemic rages around the world.
“I am going to raise with national cabinet my concerns about the volume of returning Australians who have the virus, and the pressure it is placing on us and our hotel quarantine system, and the risk it is proving to the broader community.”
The Mercure Hotel has now been classified as a higher risk hotel for transmission and will no longer take any overseas travellers.
Health Minister Roger Cook said the ventilation system was not as advanced as other quarantine hotels.
Instead the hotel will be transformed into accommodation for seasonal workers entering from low risk countries, which are expected to arrive next month.
Meanwhile, WA recorded two new cases of COVID-19 overnight.
The two cases, a woman in her 30s and a woman in her 20s, are both in hotel quarantine.
The total number of active cases in WA now sits at 29.
More than 83,000 vaccinations have been administered, including 19,361 who have received both doses.
(Photo: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images)