Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has not been responsible for overseeing compliance under the state’s hotel quarantine program, and an investigation has heard of the sinister scheme.
the main points:
- Professor Sutton told the investigation that his team had provided infection control advice to the “gigantic beast” of the bureaucracy
- But he said that once the advice was given, it had no role in monitoring compliance
- The investigation also heard that Professor Sutton’s team chose not to use the laws to compel individuals to be tested
Professor Sutton told the hearing today that their Public Health team provided advice and guidance on PPE and hotel cleaning policies.
But he said that once the advice was given to the huge bureaucratic task force, which he referred to as the “Big Beast,” his team was unaware of whether the directives were actually being followed.
Associate Counselor, Ben Il, investigated Professor Sutton about the role of his team.
“Is it fair to say that [your team] He does not supervise how they are [health directions] Is it proliferating and complying with it? Ihle asked.
Sutton replied, “Yes I think that’s a fair statement.”
He later said that “overseeing those directives or policy directives was not part of our mandate.”
Professor Sutton said his team was responsible for advising on how to monitor PPE, cleaning and hygiene across “countless places” across the state.
Sutton chooses not to use ‘coercive powers’
Professor Sutton also told the session that his office had decided not to use sections of the Public Health and Welfare Act that could compel individuals to take the exam.
The law can also prohibit “certain activities” and force people to quarantine, regardless of whether or not the state government has declared a public health emergency.
Professor Sutton said he did not take it into account, explaining that the rules usually apply to specific individuals for diseases such as hepatitis.
He also told the investigative committee that key departments in his public health team felt this was unnecessary.
He said, “There were no cases … they felt that such coercive powers would be beneficial to them.”
Some travelers may have left quarantine during the infection
Professor Sutton acknowledged that the tests could have been strengthened in hotels, since they were not made mandatory.
He said that he learned that there was a person in quarantine who had tested positive for the virus after leaving the Stamford Plaza Hotel, and then transmitted the infection to the person who led them to the house.
If you wanna do [hotel quarantine] As robust as possible, making more stringent requirements for testing is a reasonable consideration. “
When asked whether it was possible that people had left the hotel quarantine with the virus, he replied: “It is likely that this is the case. They would have been questioned on the basis of their symptoms and they would have declared that they had not displayed symptoms.”
“Part of thinking about strengthening the hotel quarantine testing system for this very purpose.”
On Tuesday, the investigation heard that Victoria Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp did not believe the Australian Defense Forces were necessary to support the hotel’s quarantine program.
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