Australia’s Covid-19 quarantine blood test error prompted hundreds of people to get tested for HIV | Instant News


This is the latest in a series of Covid-19 setbacks to hit the country and the state of Victoria in particular. Previous offense in Victoria’s quarantine hotel caused the Covid-19 outbreak in Melbourne, prompting the country’s second largest city to spend months under tight lock.
In a statement On Monday, Victoria’s health agency, Safer Care Victoria, said it had contacted 243 people who had their blood glucose tested before August 20 because there was a risk of cross-contamination and blood-borne viruses, including HIV.

“The clinical risk of infection is low. However, for certainty, access to covert testing will be regulated,” Safer Care Victoria said in a statement.

Victoria has more than reported 20,000 cases of coronavirus, including more than 800 deaths, making it a Covid-19 hotspot in Australia. The country has reported more than 27,400 cases and at least 905 deaths in total, according to Johns Hopkins University.

What’s wrong with the test

Australia closed its borders to all non-citizens and residents in March, and any returning travelers must pay 3,000 Australian dollars ($ 2,110) to spend two weeks at a state quarantine facility.
In the months since, thousands of travelers has passed through Australia quarantine hotel – but not all of them require a blood glucose level test.

This device – which can be used to drip blood – is used to test blood glucose levels in diabetics, but can also be used for pregnant women, people who have passed out, or people who are generally unwell.

Although the device is designed for multiple uses by a single person, it is used for multiple occupants, says Safer Care. Needles can be changed between uses, but the device can maintain microscopic blood counts.

According to Safer Care, there is no risk that the device can transmit the corona virus because it does not spread through blood. But there is a “low clinical list” of the spread of Hepatitis B and C, and HIV.

“The clinical risk is low,” the word Safer Care Deputy CEO Ann Maree Keenan. “At this time, we cannot answer the many questions people will ask about how this happened. Rest assured that Safer Care Victoria is conducting a complete review of how and why this device is used.”

But experts told CNN affiliate 9News the situation is worrying.

The President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Omar Khorshid, told 9News that the incident was another mistake in the country’s flawed hotel quarantine program. Investigations into state quarantine schemes still ongoing.
“This is more evidence of the failure of the system,” he said the word.

Exploding travel bubbles

The test blunder also came when Australia’s so-called travel bubble with New Zealand – heralded as one of the world’s firsts – launched into some confusion.

Australia announced earlier this month that it would establish a “safe travel zone” with neighboring New Zealand, allowing people to travel quarantine-free from New Zealand to two states – New South Wales and the Northern Territory. Border restrictions remain in place in Australia.
They went to India, now they are stranded by coronavirus rules that are set for 6,400 miles
Just the bubbles one way: New Zealand – which has reported fewer than 2,000 Covid-19 cases and 25 deaths – still requires returning travelers to undergo a 14-day quarantine at state facilities for a fee 3,100 New Zealand dollar ($ 2,040).

Problems with the policy came soon after the first flight from New Zealand to Australia landed in Sydney on Friday.

Up to 65 New Zealanders are reported to have traveled to Melbourne, which is not included in the bubble, according to Australia’s national broadcaster ABC. Authorities then contacted most of those believed to be in Melbourne, and they are not in quarantine.
Other travelers from New Zealand had flown to South Australia and Western Australia – neither of which were part of the bubble at the time, the ABC reported. South Australia now join the bubble.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said he was “disappointed” and “frustrated” that travelers were able to leave Melbourne airport, according to CNN affiliate SBS. But in a statement, a spokesman for the federal government said the bubble was working exactly as it was outlined.

“It is the exact same arrangement if a traveler from any Australian state goes to WA, they will be required to carry out a hotel quarantine,” the statement said.

There are numerous relations between Australia and New Zealand, which – under normal circumstances – have some of the most open border rules in the world.

An estimate 685,000 New Zealand citizens live in Australia, while there are about 70,000 Australians living in New Zealand, according to government data.

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