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Victorian Health Department handling of Perth flight ‘a dog’s breakfast’

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Victorian Health Department handling of Perth flight ‘a dog’s breakfast’

Victoria’s Health Department’s handling of a flight containing a COVID-positive passenger from Perth last week is being described as a “dog’s breakfast”.

Cameron Stewart, associate editor of The Australian, says his wife, who was one of 250 people on board the flight, received contradictory messaging on at least five occasions.

It began with a text message on Friday night telling her to isolate, which didn’t provide any information on what her close contacts should do.

“I couldn’t find any clear guidance as to what I should do and my son should do,” Mr Stewart told Neil Mitchell.

Initially, Mr Stewart was told he and his 12-year-old son could continue to move around the community.

Then, they were told they would have to isolate for 14-days, unless his wife went into hotel quarantine.

That advice was then contradicted by another Health Department worker, and then again by yet another one.

On Monday night, four days after the flight, Mr Stewart’s wife was taken to hotel quarantine for 10-days — the remainder of her quarantine period.

“It was so hard for us to follow what was happening and what the rules were, we got contradictory advice several times form the same department,” Mr Stewart said.

“I did think, Neil, what about people for who English is their second language?

“Having watched what Victoria went through last year I was just stunned that it was still such a mess.”

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Neil Mitchell
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