Victoria announces 372 new coronavirus cases and another 14 deaths as fears grow over contract tracing failures plaguing Melbourne
Victoria has recorded another 372 new coronavirus cases overnight and 14 deaths.
The figures take the state death toll to 289 and the national toll to 375.
The state government is now launching new testing sites at Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo after the towns collectively recorded more than 250 cases in the past 14 days.
This morning it was reported that ‘patient zero’ for the state’s deadly second wave was a hotel manager, not a security guard as previously thought.
The Age newspaper is reporting leaked emails identify a night duty manager at one of the quarantine hotels in Melbourne’s CBD became infected on May 25, presumably catching the virus from a returned traveller.
Victoria has recorded another 372 new coronavirus cases overnight and 14 deaths
Several security guards also caught the virus and spread it to their close contacts.
It later emerged guards had breached social distancing rules and some were accused of allowing separate families to play cards and even having sex with returned travellers.
It comes as Premier Daniel Andrews cops criticism over the state’s ‘woefully slow’ contract tracing regime.
Contact tracing is the process of interviewing infected people to find out who they have come into contact with while infectious.
Close contacts are then told to isolate in case they also have the disease.
Victoria’s tracing regime has faced criticism since July amid claims officials have been too slow to interview patients.
On Thursday Mr Andrews said that 99 per cent of close contacts of positive cases are being contacted with 48 hours.
But some Victorians believe this is not the case.
Brighton MP James Newbury told Daily Mail Australia that his constituents are ‘regularly waiting for days to receive testing results and are often given faulty advice.’
In another extraordinary bungle, he said one business owner received written confirmation that their COVID positive worker could return to work even though they were only half way through their two-week isolation period.
Australian Defense Force personnel and policemen on patrol in Melbourne last week
‘After the quarantine door was left open, Daniel Andrews oversaw a half baked contract tracing system that didn’t do much more than watch the second wave grow,’ Mr Newbury said.
‘Maybe the Victorian inquiry into quarantine should consider adding contract tracing to its review.’
Radio 3AW Mornings host Neil Mitchell also received messages from listeners saying the contract tracing regime was not working effectively.
‘The messages I’m getting tell me that’s fantasy,’ he said.
‘I know the system is overloaded. I know they’re trying hard, but there’s no point in pretending it’s working when it isn’t.
‘If it is not working well enough, and it isn’t, admit it and fix it!’