Mark McGowan complained of Covid risk at Royal Perth Hospital – staff seen without PPE

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Covid risk in a major hospital was triggered by ‘Mark McGowan’s government complacency’ – after staff mixed in elevators without PPE

  • The McGowan government struck after the Royal Perth Hospital staff were endangered
  • A man in his sixties infected with Covid was put on an elevator, followed by other personnel
  • The staff did not wear PPE and could easily have been contaminated there

The McGowan government has been accused of complacency after Royal Perth Hospital staff were at risk of exposure to COVID-19.

An investigation into the infection control breach involving the captain of the AquaGenie bulk iron ore tanker.

A service elevator was not properly dropped off after it was used on Saturday to transport the man in 60 from the RPH emergency room to intensive care.

“CCTV investigation revealed that three staff members, who were not wearing PPE, unknowingly entered the elevator within 15 minutes of patient transport before it was cleaned,” said Liz MacLeod, East Metropolitan Health Service chief executive.

Liberal health spokeswoman Libby Mettam said the breach revealed 'gaping holes' in health department protocols for managing infected patients (photo, Labor Prime Minister Mark McGowan)

Liberal health spokeswoman Libby Mettam said the breach revealed ‘gaping holes’ in health department protocols for managing infected patients (photo, Labor Prime Minister Mark McGowan)

“WA Health public health officials assisted RPH, saying the three personnel involved had followed proper current procedures and any risk of COVID-19 transmission was considered very low.”

Employees have been self-quarantined ‘with plenty of caution’ and are monitored daily for symptoms.

Two of the three had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while the third had received their first dose, the statement said.

“There is no public health risk to other staff or hospital patients or visitors,” said Ms. MacLeod.

A service elevator was not properly cordoned off after being used on Saturday to transport an infected man in his 60s from the RPH's emergency department to intensive care

A service elevator was not properly cordoned off after being used on Saturday to transport an infected man in his 60s from the RPH's emergency department to intensive care

A service elevator was not properly cordoned off after being used on Saturday to transport an infected man in his 60s from the RPH’s emergency department to intensive care

Liberal health spokeswoman Libby Mettam said the breach revealed “gaping holes” in the health department’s protocols for managing infected patients.

“This seriously raises the question of what the McGowan government has been doing for 12 months in a pandemic where treating one patient may not be effective,” she said.

“The McGowan administration has had more than a year to prepare and such basic measures and procedures should be well and good.”

The AquaGenie vessel has departed Australian waters and set sail for the Philippines after docking off the coast of Karratha.

A legal directive had been issued preventing the ship from entering WA waters after a crew member returned a positive coronavirus test.

Both he and the ship’s captain were taken off the ship and transported to Perth, where they were hospitalized.

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