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The alternative to hotel quarantine that could cut the risk of COVID-19 leaks

Ross and Russel
Article image for The alternative to hotel quarantine that could cut the risk of COVID-19 leaks

An infectious diseases expert has floated an idea for an alternative to hotel quarantine, amid concerns over COVID-19 possibly spreading in hotels.

Five new COVID-19 cases have been linked to leaks in Victoria’s hotel quarantine system in the past fortnight.

Infectious diseases physician at Monash University, Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, says it’s “unlikely” that the person who tested positive to COVID-19 yesterday, two days after leaving hotel quarantine, had a 16-day virus incubation period.

“They might have caught it in the hotel,” she told Ross and Russel.

She says not enough has been done to address the risk of COVID-19 spreading through fine aerosols.

“We haven’t really seen this addressed in any meaningful way by any level of government,” she said.

Dr Ananda-Rajah urged more investigation into alternatives to hotels for quarantine.

She said there are “feasibility issues” with quarantining people in their homes with electronic tracking bracelets, and while purpose-built facilities would be ideal, they would take too long to build.

But she floated another alternative which would reduce the risk of the virus spreading through aerosols and improve conditions for returned travellers.

“I’ve been thinking to myself whether caravan parks would work,” she said.

“At least people then would get access to fresh air.

“I think there are options and I think we need to start talking about them.”

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Ross and Russel
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