Pressure mounts on Victoria after quarantine failure

Warnings about Victoria’s hotel quarantine program were raised before recent outbreaks.

The state’s chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton and others were alerted in April about inadequate supplies, poor infection-control and physical-distancing breaches in hotels, according to a report in The Age.

Melissa Skilbeck, deputy secretary of the health department, was relieved of her responsibilities in the days after Premier Daniel Andrews announced a judicial inquiry into the system which resulted in a flurry of cases that have been largely responsible for forcing more than 300,000 Victorians back into lockdown.

The state’s Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp asked the military for help ten days ago in an email, The Herald Sun revealed.

This is despite Mr Andrews insisting there was no request made, according to the paper.

Victoria recorded another 66 coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the state’s total active cases to 442 with most in Melbourne’s northwest corridor.

The Victorian government is expected to update the latest coronavirus figures on Saturday afternoon.

It was the only state in the country to record fresh cases, with the federal government voicing concern about Victoria’s impact on the national economy.

Twenty-three people with the virus are in hospital including six in intensive care.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos revealed a “super spreader” is potentially behind the spread of the virus through Melbourne’s lockdown suburbs, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Three stores closed after positive testes

Two Melbourne Kmart stores have been closed after a staff member at each location contracted coronavirus.

The retail chain’s Barkly Square store in Brunswick, an inner-city suburb, was closed on Saturday, as well as its store in Footscray.

A note attached to their respective doors stated they were “currently closed for cleaning following a confirmed case of COVID-19 of one of our team members”.

Another case has been confirmed at a Melbourne shopping centre.

The person went to the Bupa Health faciity at The Glen shopping centre in Glen Waverley, centre management confirmed on Saturday.

“We have been advised the risk to anyone who was in the store at the time is very low, and Bupa is assisting the DHHS to inform employees of the person’s recent visit and The Glen team is making direct contact with all of our retailers as a precautionary measure,” they said in a statement.

The business is closed and is being cleaned.

-with AAP

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