More than 20 returned travellers in forced quarantine at five-star hotels in Sydney have been confirmed to have COVID-19, it can be revealed. Abo
More than 20 returned travellers in forced quarantine at five-star hotels in Sydney have been confirmed to have COVID-19, it can be revealed.
About 3,000 people are staying at 11 hotels across the city after arriving from overseas, as part of tough Federal Government measures to stop the spread of the deadly bug.
A NSW Health Department spokesman on Tuesday said 84 of those had been tested for the virus after displaying symptoms, with 24 returning positive results.
Daily Mail Australia has been told some of the infected were taken to hospital, though it is unclear if others will be forced to extend their stays at the hotels.
Across the country, there are currently more than 5,000 people cooped up in hotels, the first of who will be able to walk free from midnight on Tuesday.
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Of the more than 3,000 returned travellers (pictured) placed into forced quarantine in five-star hotels across Sydney, a total of 24 have been confirmed to have COViD-19, it can be revealed
A NSW Health Department spokesman said that 84 people staying in 11 hotels across Sydney had been tested for the virus after displaying symptoms, with less than one per cent positive
The first of 5,000 returned travellers will walk free from the Swissotel (pictured), in Sydney’s CBD, on Wednesday morning after spending 14 days locked inside
Those travellers have spent 14 days locked in their rooms at the Swissotel in Sydney’s CBD, after returning from Hawaii on an emergency Qantas flight on March 26.
They received military escorts from the airport to the hotel, monitoring around the clock and regular temperature checks.
In a statement, NSW Police said all travellers would undergo a final health check on Wednesday before being allowed to leave.
‘Police have been coordinating with the travellers to collate onward travel plans and determine how best to assist their repatriation home, whether in NSW or interstate,’ NSW Police said in a statement.
‘All travellers will undergo a final health check before departing the hotel and will still be required to adhere to all other directions under the Public Health Act as they make their way home.’
Despite the threat that Australian Border Force officials would be standing watch on every floor, brazen travellers proved that $1000 fines were not enough to deter them from contacting their quarantine companions.
Pictured: Australia’s coronavirus infection rate between February 27 and April 7
A woman holed up in the Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney is seen from her window on March 31
Return travellers are required to spend two weeks in quarantine at hotels across the country to curb the spread of COVID-19. Pictured: Cruise ship passengers arrive at the Duxton Hotel after their Qatar Airways flight to Perth International airport on March 30
Four guests inside one Sydney hotel breached the rules and left their rooms to share beers with their compatriots in the hallway.
A video shared to social media showed the group sitting on the floor outside their room and rolling bottles of beer towards each other.
Captioning the video ‘ISO trades’, they also showed each other standing at the doors to their room chatting without concern – even receiving alcohol service from a hotel worker as they chatted.
Meanwhile, Australia suffered through its deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday as seven people died, taking the death toll to 48.
The latest casualties included an international traveller in his 70s who caught the deadly respiratory infection on the Arcadia cruise ship, and a woman in the same age bracket who is believed to have contracted the virus overseas.
So far 48 people have died from coronavirus in Australia, including seven deaths confirmed on Tuesday
Data presented today shows how Australia’s new coronavirus cases have been decreasing since 28 March
Australians have been urged to avoid the beach on the Easter long weekend to ensure there is not a resurgence in the virus. Pictured: Shelly Beach on Sunday, April 5
Despite the spike in deaths, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Tuesday that it appeared Australia was flattening the curve as the number of newly diagnosed cases decreases daily.
But health advisers warned Australia would wade back into dangerous waters quickly if people stop abiding by social distancing measures.
Government data presented today showed the number of new daily cases spiked at 460 on 28 March and has been decreasing since. On 6 April there were 104 new cases.
One of the scientists who worked on new modelling released today suggested Australia has passed the peak of the infection rate but faces an ‘explosive resurgence’ if restrictions are relaxed.
Professor James McCaw of Melbourne University’s Doherty Institute warned: ‘We expect to see a further decline in cases… [but if we] went back to normal we would see a rapid and explosive resurgence in epidemic activity.’
Mr Morrison said it is crucial that people stay home during the Easter long weekend.
Temperatures are expected to reach a comfortable 28C and sunny in Brisbane, 27C in Perth and 21C in Sydney, but families have been urged to resist the temptation to head to the nearest beach to celebrate.
The PM warned that people who flout social distancing rules could cause the rate of increase to pick up once more.
‘Failure to stay at home this weekend would completely undo everything we have achieved so far together – and potentially worse,’ he said.
On Tuesday the government released the Institute’s modelling based on global data, showing how restrictions reduce the spread of the virus.
If no action were taken, 89 per cent of Australians might catch the virus and only 15 per cent of people requiring ICU beds would get one, causing mass deaths.
That is a ‘horrendous scenario’ which is highly unlikely, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said.
A woman wears a mask on a near-deserted street in Sydney’s CBD following an outbreak of coronavirus
Medicall personnel testing for coronavirus dress in full protective equipment to minimise the spread
Scott Morrison (right today at a press conference) has told Australians to stay at home this Easter to save lives
With social distancing measures and strict quarantine of the sick, the proportion of people infected is 12 per cent and only five per cent require some medical care, meaning the health system can cope.
In Western Australia, an additional 10 new cases were diagnosed overnight, bringing the total known infections to 470. Of the new cases, nine are in metro areas while one is regional.
Nationally, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases soared to 5,906 by Tuesday afternoon.
Premier Mark McGowan said people can’t be complacent, despite the overall infection rate lowering.
‘This is a marathon, not a sprint,’ Mr McGowan said.
‘Even though the numbers in WA are promising … we have no reason whatsoever to get complacent now.’
Earlier on Tuesday, a 14th Ruby Princess cruise ship passenger died in Tasmania.
The Ruby Princess cruise ship is docked in Port Kembla, near Wollongong, as a criminal investigation begins into why 2,700 passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney Harbour on March 19 despite multiple travellers displaying symptoms of coronavirus.
The investigation will cover the actions of the port authority, ambulance, police, NSW Health and ship operator Carnival Australia.
The ship is expected to spend up to 10 days in Port Kembla as its 1,040 crew members undergo medical assessments, treatment or emergency extractions.
Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan speaks to the media during a press conference regarding coronavirus
Some 200 have symptoms of infection. Two of the crew members were taken off the ship on Sunday for medical assistance.
Border Force officials and health workers will reportedly board the ship and test crew members displaying coronavirus symptoms as well as deliver medical supplies.
The ship will remain docked at the port for up to 10 days, with no crew to be let off without permission from NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller.
NSW police said the Ruby Princess will dock ‘to allow for safer access for medical assessments, treatment, or emergency extractions of her crew’.
Mr Fuller said NSW Police will work closely with the 1,040 crew members on the ship, who are from 50 different countries.
‘Obviously the health and wellbeing of the crew members is essential,’ he said.
‘Between NSW Health, NSW police and the emergency management team a plan has been developed that will be around isolation on the ship.
‘And then from that, from that 10-day period of isolation we can then continue to work with Carnival in relation to repatriation of the individuals on the ship.’
A Ruby Princess cruise ship passenger in his 80s has died from coronavirus in hospital, taking Australia’s death toll to 48
Labor’s health spokesman and Shadow Minister for the Illawarra and South Coast Ryan Park accused the NSW government of trying to ‘dump’ its problems on the Illawarra.
‘It is unbelievable that in the cover of darkness the vessel that has been the epicentre of coronavirus in NSW sails into the harbour,’ he told reporters at Port Kembla on Monday.
‘Everyone wants to see the crew on board this ship get the medical attention they need and deserve, but the majority of health and hospital resources are located just a few kilometres from Sydney Harbour.
‘It beggars belief that a government has made a decision to move this ship down to the Illawarra when they have a large number of ICU beds and hospital resources located within close proximity of Sydney Harbour.’
Mr Park said he is ‘extremely concerned’ that an influx of sick crew members needing medical treatment will put a strain on Wollongong Hospital and its intensive care capacity.
The Ruby Princess cruise ship is docked in Port Kembla, near Wollongong, as a criminal investigation begins
The ship will remain docked at the port for up to 10 days, with no crew to be let off without permission from NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller