It’s like the plot of one of those cheesy disaster or horror movies. You know, where the shonky mayor or property developer builds a skyscraper on top of an active volcano, or a housing development on an old Indian burial ground.
Of course, we’re talking about Victoria, where “shonky” doesn’t even begin to describe the state’s governance.
Now, in the middle of a pandemic, what do you think quarantine authorities would do with potentially infected bed linen? Burn it? Sterilise it immediately?
Or dump it in open bins in the carpark of an apartment complex?
Hotel quarantine linen marked “Terminal/Positive Cases” is being stored in an underground carpark accessed by more than 450 residents of a Melbourne CBD apartment complex.
Where else but Victoria?
The shocking revelation has led the 408 Lonsdale St owners’ corporation to consider legal action over what it says are dozens of daily actions by staff at the neighbouring Novotel/Ibis Melbourne Central hotel, who are putting residents at risk of Covid-19 infection.
The concerns follow three resets of Victoria’s troubled hotel quarantine program, leaks out of which have so far caused two lockdowns and 801 deaths.
It comes as Victorians contend with their third hotel quarantine-generated lockdown – this time sparked by an outbreak emanating from an Adelaide hotel – and as the nation’s chief medical officer Paul Kelly confirmed a subsequent instance of Covid transmission within a Perth hotel was the 21st such breach in Australia.
Miraculously, there are still those who “StandWithDan”, the Victorian premier, despite the running disasters in the state. If there’s one thing Andrews’s government is actually good at, it’s spinning excuses and shifting blame – and his admirers eat it up like ice cream. Yet, no matter how much they insist that “Dan’s doing a good job!”, the brute fact is that Victoria has had twice the number of infections and nine times the deaths of every other state and territory combined.
Like the shonky mayor in a disaster movie, the latest debacle in Victoria is a long-running sore. The body corporate of the apartment complex has been fighting the quarantine hotel management for months over the shared underground carpark.
While the hotel owns the strata title of some of the parking spaces, the owners’ corporation owns an adjacent roller door exit onto a nearby laneway, a bike store, hard rubbish room, emergency exits and an alarm system, all of which require access to the car park.
The hotel initially tried to seek an assurance from the 408 Lonsdale St owners’ corporation that they would not allow residents or subcontractors to access the area without prior agreement, but the owners’ corporation managers have refused, arguing the hotel has no right to use the carpark for Covid quarantine purposes.
Particularly at issue was medical waste being stored in wheelie bins sealed only with some masking tape. The owner’s corporation manager wrote to the quarantine hotel manager on May 17, asking them to stop storing the medical waste there.
But photographs taken in the carpark this week show the trolleys and bins have merely been moved to one side, with temporary fencing erected around them.
When an owner’s corporation employee tried to conduct an inspection of the carpark in April, he was detained and questioned by armed Police.
The apartment owners were also alarmed by quarantine staff using the common lifts and lobby areas.
“This is extremely concerning … not only are the residents restricted from accessing common property in the carpark, but they are also then subjected to a greater risk of exposure to Covid-19 as these personnel are getting in common lifts, potentially touching common surfaces such as door handles, etc. Such access must cease immediately”[…]
A spokeswoman for [Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria ] said all staff followed strict infection prevention and control protocols while working, and participated in a mandatory testing regime.The Australian
Except, as we’ve seen previously, not all staff are following “strict protocols”.
But then, this is Victoria we’re talking about, isn’t it?
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