IndustryNews In Brief

Lessons from latest WA COVID-19 outbreak

Just as Western Australia entered phase 2 of easing restrictions, it was reminded how vital strict border control is to contain the pandemic. Premier Mark McGowan announced that the state recorded six new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, all relating to a live export ship that arrived in Perth from the UAE.

Announcing the “serious” news Mark McGowan stated: “The six confirmed cases have been moved off the ship to quarantine in a Perth hotel.

“People who have come in contact with the ship, and their confirmed close contacts are now in isolation. For the time being, the remaining 42 crew members, who are well, will remain on board the ship and will be monitored and undergo health assessments as required.”

Mr McGowan had received some criticism from the tourism industry and businesses for remaining firm on the closure of WA state’s interstate border “for months” to come.

How did this situation evolve?

McGowen outlined the issue on his Facebook page.

“Straight away I had thoughts of the cruise ship saga, and I thought these kinds of situations were behind us. It goes to show that strong border controls are important as we continue to handle this worldwide health crisis.”

He was advised the ship was granted permission to enter the Port of Fremantle by the Federal Government – through the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture on the 20th of May. However, it wasn’t until Sunday evening, that the Fremantle Port Authority learnt of some health issues on the ship. Clearly this is not a good situation.

Mr McGowen stated: “We want to get to a resolution as soon as possible, so the ship is in a position to leave our port. The Police Commissioner has reached out the Australian Border Forcer Commissioner and the Federal Department of Agriculture to try and get an understanding as to why the ship was allowed to berth at our port.”

“This is a live situation that we are working on with the Federal Government and the exporter. I want to stress that we are well prepared for this situation and have strong processes in place to manage all crew members. We will continue to do everything we can to protect Western Australians and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our State.”

He added: “We can confirm that, in line with current procedures, no crew members disembarked off the ship at any point, except the six now in hotel quarantine.”

Image Credits: ©eMirage – stock.adobe.com

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