The Greens say that quarantine will be part of managing the pandemic for the foreseeable future and purpose built facilities should be built now.
“The Western Australian Government needs to urgently close the quarantine hotels that have been identified as high risk and improve other areas of its approach to quarantine. These hotels are not fit for purpose and we cannot go any longer using these sub-par facilities that can result in outbreaks.
“Hotels were never made to be medical facilities. While they may have been an emergency solution, we are now over a year into this pandemic and making the same mistakes over and over again.
“Mr McGowan went to the election on a promise of keeping Western Australians safe. At the moment our safety is in jeopardy if we don’t fix hotel quarantine. This is a state and national responsibility.
“There is no doubt that airborne transmission is playing a role in hotel quarantine outbreaks. The Federal Government must urgently update its own guidelines to recommend minimum ventilation and PPE standards that reflect the scientific evidence.
“It’s not good enough after the outbreak in WA last week that we still don’t have updated guidelines. Nor is it sensible to have Covid positive people near other people in quarantine, they shouldn’t be next door, on the same floor and ideally not in the same hotel.
“Under questioning at the Senate Select Committee into COVID-19 last night, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners confirmed that people over 50 years old who have underlying health conditions, including a history of blood clots, can get AstraZeneca. There is a good body of evidence that there are no underlying health conditions that predispose people to the rare side effect of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome.
“The Commonwealth Government must urgently update its messaging and play a role in addressing vaccine hesitancy, particularly amongst those who are hesitant because of discussions about the risks of blood clot.
“Australia clearly needs a no-fault vaccine compensation scheme to help increase vaccine confidence and secure other vaccine deals. Having such a scheme in place will ensure people don’t need to pursue compensation through the legal system in the rare event of adverse side effects.”