Health Minister Yvette D’Ath has committed to implementing the recommendations in a report into hotel quarantine sparked by the infection of a worker in Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor.
Minister D’Ath said the joint Queensland Health-Queensland Police Service report made seven key recommendations for improving training, procedures and hotel quarantine compliance.
“While we’ve successfully contained the Hotel Grand Chancellor cluster, we’re determined to learn the lessons outlined in this report,” she said.
“The government accepts the report’s recommendations and we’ll work closely with Queensland Health and Queensland Police Service to implement them.
“Queensland’s hotel quarantine system works but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it even stronger.
“Our quarantine processes are already very safe – Queensland has accommodated 64,800 people across 74 hotels in quarantine and this is the first time a worker has been infected.
“It’s especially important in light of the new, more infectious strains coming in from overseas that we seek further improvements to our hotel quarantine system.”
The extensive hotel quarantine review considered a range of issues including genomic analysis, policies and procedures, CCTV, environmental factors, deep cleaning procedures, and infection prevention and control.
The review found no evidence of a quarantine breach or that the hotel air-conditioning system transmitted the infection.
It identified a number of factors associated with infection prevention and control systems that likely contributed to the transmission of infection.
These include the need for enhanced PPE training and the reduction of unnecessary movement of people and items into and out of rooms occupied by international travellers, which may have resulted in the potential for indirect contact or spread from an object.
“I want to thank the residents of Greater Brisbane for their cooperation during the three-day lockdown in January as well as the government workers, staff and hotel quarantine guests who were so cooperative during this review,” the Minister said.
“As a result of this great response, Queensland is once again living with amongst the fewest economic and lifestyle restrictions of anywhere in Australia.”
Queensland Health Director-General John Wakefield said 99 per cent of the state’s cases in the past three months have been overseas-acquired, highlighting the importance of hotel quarantine.
“As soon as the cluster became apparent, we acted quickly. We had excellent support and cooperation from Metro South Hospital and Health Service and the Hotel Grand Chancellor and I thank them for that,” Dr Wakefield said.
“While we cannot determine the exact cause of transmission in this instance, we have developed a suite of recommendations aimed at strengthening security and reducing the risk of infection in quarantine hotels. Many of these initiatives are already well underway.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said a thorough investigation was conducted in partnership with Queensland Health which included conducting interviews, reviews of procedures and analysis of intelligence and CCTV.
“No direct breaches in quarantine or security were found and no matters were identified to support any conclusion that offences were committed,” Commissioner Carroll said.
To view the report, visit:
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath