If there’s one thing Daniel Andrews’s government is good at, it’s avoiding responsibility for its catastrophic stuff-ups.

Victoria’s second wave of the Wuhan plague made it the far and away worst performer in all of Australia. Victoria recorded twice the infections and nine times the deaths of the rest of the country combined. It’s also closely edged out WA as the most authoritarian COVID dictatorship.

All of that was linked directly to Victoria’s Keystone Kops implementation of the already-risky policy of hotel quarantine.

Still: not our fault, Dan and his minions chirp. It was aged-care workers, then migrant communities, even some poor asthmatic sap with a nebuliser. Victoria’s latest whipping-boy is the federal government – which ignores the fact that Victoria flatly refused federal offers of assistance from the get-go.

And now Victoria’s enduring its third wave, and fourth lockdown… and guess what? Hotel quarantine again.

Victoria’s Delta variant corona­virus outbreak has been linked to another breach in hotel quarantine, representing the sixth time the virus has escaped one of the state’s quarantine hotels, and the 22nd such breach nationwide.

IStandWithDan apologists are trying to blame this on someone else, of course. This time, they’re latching on to the fact that the apparent Typhoid Raji was released from hotel quarantine in South Australia to fly to Victoria. But, meanwhile, the standard incompetence was afoot in Dandrewstan.

The BFD recently reported that infectious medical waste from a Melbourne quarantine hotel was dumped in open bins in an underground carpark shared with an adjoining apartment complex. What happened next should surprise absolutely no-one.

News that genomic sequencing had connected the coronavirus case of a returned Sri Lankan traveller with that of a cluster of 15 cases centred on west Melbourne came six days after The Australian revealed that residents at a CBD apartment complex were gravely concerned about interactions with staff and medical waste at the Novotel/Ibis Melbourne Central quarantine hotel, where the traveller stayed overnight while highly infectious in early May[…]

Acting Police Minister Danny Pearson confirmed on Tuesday morning that genomic sequencing established a link to a man in his 40s who tested positive for coronavirus on May 8, having arrived that day from Sri Lanka.

The positive test result saw the man moved from the Novotel/Ibis Melbourne Central quarantine hotel to the Holiday Inn “health hotel” the next day, where he completed quarantine before being released to his home in the Glen Eira local government area in Melbourne’s southeast on May 23.

If Victoria’s hotel quarantine system is a sad, running joke, its COVID tracing is even worse. Weeks into the latest outbreak, and Victoria’s clown show health authorities are still trying to connect the infected dots.

For real comedy gold, though, nothing beats Daniel Andrews’s boast that “We have a different model and I believe higher standards … I can say that because it’s true”. In fact, Victoria’s rate of hotel quarantine breaches is nearly three times the rest of Australia.

Analysis of Australia’s hotel quarantine breaches by Covid Live data analyst Anthony Macali shows that since it resumed taking international arrivals in Oct­ober 2020, Victoria has had the worst hotel quarantine leak rate of any state or territory[…]The analysis does not take in breaches at Melbourne’s Rydges and Stamford Plaza quarantine hotels this time last year, which prompted Victoria’s second wave of coronavirus, resulting in 801 deaths and a 112-day lockdown.

The Australian

Naturally, the Victorian government is refusing to accept any blame at all.

Covid-19 Quarantine Victoria Commissioner Emma Cassar insists Novotel/Ibis hotel staff and apartment residents next door don’t share a stairwell and carpark and are at no risk, despite the revelation on Tuesday that the hotel was the source of the deadly Delta variant outbreak[…]

Photographs of the basement show unbagged linen in open bins, contrary to assurances from the government that all linen is double bagged and the outsides of the bags sanitised.

The Australian
“Safely double-bagged”. “Didn’t use the stairwell”. Are you sure about that, Minister? The BFD. Photoshop by Lushington Brady.

Testimony from apartment residents, and security camera footage and photographs of the medical waste bins, tell a very different story.

But this is Victoria, where the truth is whatever Chairman Dan says it is. Now, shut up and put your masks back on.

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Oh, Look: It’s Hotel Quarantine Again

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...