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Sack them: AMA demands WA Health axings over ‘bad advice’

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Sack them: AMA demands WA Health axings over ‘bad advice’

The WA branch of the Australian Medical Association is again calling on the state government to implement all of the recommendations from a report into Perth’s hotel quarantine system.

Health officials say they are still trying to determine how a hotel security guard caught COVID-19 from infected returned travellers staying at the Pan Pacific Perth hotel.

AMA WA President Dr Andrew Miller told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett the government needs to act on mounting evidence the virus is airborne.

“This is spreading in the air, that has clearly been shown, it will be happening in all of these enclosed buildings,” he said.

“It is spreading because the airflow comes out from in the room … and just like cigarette smoke the guard is breathing it in around their surgical masks, which is inadequate PPE for the job.”

The state government has continued to resist making N95 masks standard practice because they are “uncomfortable on long shifts”.

“A face mask and a face shield is nonsense, that’s not the PPE that you need for airborne COVID, you have to have an N95 mask, and goggles, and a plastic suit,” Dr Miller said.

“The people in charge of hotel quarantine within the Health Department are badly advising the Premier and Health Minister and they need to be removed.”

Pan Pacific Perth general manager, Rob Weeden, said he has reviewed the CCTV of the latest infected security guard and handed it over to the Department of Health.

“He was wearing his mask, he had his gloves on and in that respect he was doing the right thing,” he said.

He said security guards are contracted by the Department of Health and the hotel has no oversight on what they do.

“When we operate these red zones or a quarantine hotel, our livelihoods, our brands, our reputations are at the mercy of every stakeholder that works in that area.”

Press PLAY to hear the full impact on quarantine hotels 

Liam Bartlett
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