Shocking new details have emerged about security personnel working in Melbourne’s quarantine hotels.
Employees have been accused of spreading COVID-19 by going to McDonald’s and driving Ubers during their lunch breaks.
While others used JobKeeper while being paid cash for closing work and many were spotted without personal protective equipment.
A security guard, named only Sam, has worked as a quarantine hotel security guard in Melbourne for the past two months.
Speaking anonymously 9News, Sam said his colleagues would share elevators with groups of travelers, escort them for exercise, and then go to the community normally, despite the risk of the virus spreading.
“During their break, guards took a break, and they went everywhere to 7-Eleven, McDonalds, KFC, and they exposed everyone to that,” he said. 9News.
Sam, a security guard assigned to quarantined hotels in Melbourne in the past two months, said his colleagues exposed the community to coronavirus by having lunch at 7-Eleven and McDonalds during their breaks
“We tried to control the virus, but as they did everything, I think we spread the virus, not control the virus.”
The security guard also claims that he was told not to do a test for COVID-19 in case he tested positive and could not work.
“When I knew there were positive cases at the hotel, I asked them, should I do a test or something? And they said no, no, don’t worry, don’t worry because we need people, so if you (go) for a test, they will ask you to isolate themselves, so don’t go, we’ll let you know when you have to do a test, “he said.
Another anonymous security guard told Today that he received five minutes of training before starting his first shift.
The Victorian government announced on Thursday that the troubled state hotel quarantine program would be investigated by Justice Jennifer Coate during a second spike in coronavirus infections.
There have been allegations of under-skilled personnel, inadequate personal protective equipment, billing by private security companies, and even claims that some hotel guards have been sleeping with guests.
Pictured: The staff at Melbourne’s Stamford Plaza will see luggage carrying guests in the hotel quarantine on June 25
‘This item is closed’: signs can be seen in the windows of Melbourne’s Stamford Plaza
The Herald Sun. industry insiders said some guards were paid cash for their hotel quarantine shifts while receiving JobKeeper payments from the government.
A respected security subcontractor reportedly had terminated their agreement abruptly at a hotel with a coronavirus cluster and another company got the job.
A senior industry figure told the publication that some providers hired for quarantine were not using the “right procedures, the right people, and most importantly, the right oversight.”
“The writing was on the wall from the beginning,” said the figure.
“You pay peanuts, you get monkeys. You end up with a man who doesn’t get dough. You get the bottom of the barrel. ‘
The figure claimed that the hotels worked with subcontractors who emphasized making money rather than safety.
The Victorian government announced on Thursday that the state’s troubled hotel quarantine program would be investigated by Judge Jennifer Coate during a second spike in coronavirus infections. Pictured: A taxi driver outside Melbourne’s Stamford Plaza is wearing a face mask
Much of the recent cases of coronavirus in Victoria can be traced back to hotel intrusions that accommodate returned travelers for their 14-day government-imposed quarantine. Pictured: Guests at Melbourne’s Stamford Plaza wear masks as they hail a cab
Guests and health workers who have been in Melbourne quarantine hotels all week claim that guards have not worn protective equipment, The age reported.
A security source at Stamford Plaza said guards were seen together without face masks.
At least 31 cases of coronavirus have been linked to an outbreak in the hotel.
Dr. Vyom Sharma, who worked in several quarantine hotels in Melbourne, said guards had not received the same level of training as medical professionals.
“Yes, it is true, this is the second outbreak associated with security / hotel staff,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The hotel / security personnel are not trained in the same way as nurses / doctors. I am sure they have received introductory training.
‘But medicos train during a study / career. We STILL make mistakes, often identified by infection control when we are monitored. ‘
Pictured: An employee at the Stamford Hotel moves luggage. At least 31 cases of coronavirus have been linked to an outbreak in the hotel.
A general view of the Rydges on Swanston hotel in Melbourne. A coronavirus cluster was reported in the hotel between late May and early June
Justice Coate, one of the state’s most experienced bailiffs, will lead the investigation into the corona virus quarantine schemes for returning travelers.
“It is abundantly clear that what has happened here is completely unacceptable and we need to know exactly what has happened,” said Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.
Justice Coate will investigate allegations that infection control protocols have been violated in quarantine hotels.
The research will examine decisions and actions by government, hotel operators and private contractors, as well as staff training.
Opposition leader Michael O’Brien told reporters on Thursday that the hotel’s quarantine program had been a complete and utter debacle and demanded the pillage of Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.
“The government has decided to establish poorly trained, unqualified private security guards to provide hotel quarantine,” he said.
Healthcare workers are seen at a COVID-19 drive-through testing facility in Keilor, Melbourne
The curve in Victoria has skyrocketed in recent weeks as coronavirus infections continue to grow from Melbourne’s suburbs
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 8.001
New South Wales: 3,211
Western Australia: 611
South Australia: 443
Australian Capital Territory: 108
Northern Territory: 30
TOTAL CASES: 8.001
He also expressed concern that the investigation would be a “cover-up” rather than shedding light on what had happened.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said that the role of the police in the hotel’s quarantine was to assist returning travelers and ensure they reached their accommodation, not to oversee hotel security.
Secretary of State Lisa Neville added on Thursday that the government and agencies had little time to implement the quarantine program, saying the investigation will scrutinize decision-making during that process.
“It was up to agencies to work out the best system for doing that, to get hotels that raised their hands at the time,” she said.
“We did it within 24 hours, so the various authorities made decisions quickly and I don’t throw anyone under the bus again.”
All international flights are diverted from the state for two weeks because the program is put on hold.
As soon as it resumes, Corrections Victoria has taken over the operation of the program from private security contractors.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Thursday that he was unaware of breaches by hotel staff, but hoped the investigation would help uncover potential errors.
The Victorian government has made $ 3 million available for the study, which will be reported on September 25.