The Victorian Government should use better ventilated quarantine facilities rather than cutting the number of arrivals, the Victorian Greens have said.
Growing concern about airborne transmission of more infectious viral variants has made ventilation more important than ever in preventing COVID-19 transmission.
Belated recognition by CQV that more staff need N95 masks capable of blocking aerosols has indicated that the state government needs to take this issue more seriously.
Quarantining returned travellers in separate cabins that open to the outdoors, similar to the facilities at Howard Springs NT, would reduce the risk of transmission to other guests and to staff.
These do not need to be in rural locations. Portable cabins like those in holiday parks could be assembled sufficiently close to a hospital and airport as an alternative to CBD hotels.
With thousands still waiting to return to Australia and many months of vaccination ahead of us, investing in safer quarantine accommodation will be safer than the cost of ongoing leakage of virus into the community.
As stated by Victorian Greens spokesperson for health, Dr Tim Read:
“Bringing home stranded Victorians and staying on top of a potential COVID-19 outbreak shouldn’t be mutually exclusive ideas.
“Let’s set up rows of quarantine cabins, separated by fresh air, to reduce the risk of transmission to guests and staff.
“The state government shouldn’t have to shut the door on thousands of interstate or overseas Victorians to handle this pandemic.”