Victoria's hotel quarantine scheme cost $195m and over 800 lives

Victoria's disastrous hotel quarantine scheme cost the state about $195 million and the lives of more than 800. 

As Victoria recorded its seventh day with no new coronavirus cases, Hotel Quarantine Board of Inquiry chair, retired judge Jennifer Coate, on Friday published 69 steps that ought allow the state to re-open to international travellers.

The recommendations were provided to expedite the return of international travellers to Victoria.  

Board of inquiry chair, retired judge Jennifer Coate, handed the interim findings to Governor Linda Dessau abount midday on Friday

Board of inquiry chair, retired judge Jennifer Coate, handed the interim findings to Governor Linda Dessau abount midday on Friday

Quarantine breaches involving private security guards seeded 99 per cent of Victoria’s deadly second wave of COVID infections, which killed more than 800 elderly Victorians. 

The Board's final report, which will contain a full examination, findings and recommendations in respect of the decisions and actions taken in establishing and operating Victoria's disastrous Hotel Quarantine Program, was supposed to be released today.

It will now be submitted just days before Christmas on December 21 after further submissions from key government figures was required. 

An interim report released this afternoon has revealed Victoria's Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions spent about $133.4 million to June 30 on the doomed hotel scheme. 

Victoria's health department spent a further $51.288 to September 16 while the justice department spent about $10.90 million to September 30.

The public inquiry into Victoria's COVID-19 hotel quarantine efforts came to a close last month without ascertaining who actually made the decision to employ the private security guards. 

Health minister Jenny Mikakos resigned soon after and Premier Daniel Andrews' right hand man Chris Eccles quit.  

Victoria's disastrous hotel quarantine program caused COVID-19 to break loose into the community and killed hundreds of elderly people

Victoria's disastrous hotel quarantine program caused COVID-19 to break loose into the community and killed hundreds of elderly people  

'Another day of double zero,' Victoria's Department of Health announced on Friday. There are still currently two 'mystery cases' in the state from an unknown source

'Another day of double zero,' Victoria's Department of Health announced on Friday. There are still currently two 'mystery cases' in the state from an unknown source

Recommendations for hotel quarantine 

Hotels be sufficiently placed close to a hospital

Be within commuting distance for adequate numbers of skilled workers

Allow for the physical separation of people

Properly implement all necessary infection control requirements

Capacity to make necessary modifications and additions to minimise the risk of transmission

Provide safe access to outside areas for fresh air and exercise breaks

Provide for specific needs such as mobility issues or the need to cater for infants

 

Advertisement

Among the recommendations are that the Chief Commissioner of Police be requested to provide a 24/7 police presence on-site at each quarantine facility.

The inquiry had heard Victoria Police had not been keen to take on responsibility for the hotel quarantine role. 

The hotel quarantine inquiry has recommended international arrivals to Victoria be quarantined both in hotels and, for lower-risk returned travellers, at home. 

It further recommended the government consider electronically monitoring those quarantining at home using smartphone technology or ankle monitoring systems. 

The Board suggested the responsible Minister and Quarantine Governing Body ensure that infection prevention and control expertise be embedded in each hotel, together with the necessary clinical personnel, to meet the mental and physical health needs of people in quarantine.

'All personnel working at the

read more from dailymail.....

PREV 'D-Day' for Pakistan's lonely elephant as handlers prepare airlift to Cambodia
NEXT Texts North Queensland Cowboys star sent club staffer after having sex with her ...