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Public health expert calls for national quarantine reset

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Public health expert calls for national quarantine reset

One of Australia’s leading public health experts is calling for a national approach to Australia’s hotel quarantine system.

President of the Public Health Association of Australia, Tarun Weeramanthri, who led an independent review into WA’s hotel quarantine system in February, said the issues in the system won’t be resolved unless the national cabinet work together.

“We quickly identified that airborne transmission was the most likely route of transmission and recommended a series of ventilation audits, because poor ventilation is the reason why you get transmission between these hotel rooms,” he said.

“What we now need to do is to use that information, share it nationally and come up with some minimum criteria.

“They need to get on the front foot in terms of hotel quarantine now, and the biggest missing bit is the advice around ventilation standards.

“National cabinet needs to act together not individually.”

He said Australia can not solely rely on vaccination to keep coronavirus out of the community.

“Vaccination and quarantine are equally important.

“That will need to be maintained for the long term, regardless of whether or not we have achieved a complete vaccine rollout.

“So of course the vaccination rollout is critical, but so is quarantine policy.”

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Liam Bartlett
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