Bizarre images have emerged from the centre of Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak, as returned travellers evacuate a quarantine hotel wearing what appears to be rubbish bags as makeshift PPE.
The Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport has been forced to close over the outbreak, which grew to eight people on Wednesday.
Those caught up in the latest outbreak include three hotel workers, two released guests and a family of three who contracted the virus overseas.
Forty-eight guests were relocated from the Holiday Inn to the Pullman Hotel on Wednesday to complete their quarantine.
While many arrived at their new accomodation in a mask, several travellers took a more cautious approach and wrapped purple bin liners around their waists, shoulders and heads.
The images were captured by 9News, who said it was unclear why the guests were wearing the plastic bags or if PPE had been supplied to the guests.
Guest’s device suspected of spreading virus through hotel
Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says authorities suspect the cases are linked to the use of a nebuliser, a device that vaporises medication or liquid into a fine mist.
"If that's breathed in and someone is infectious or later tests positive, then that picks up the virus and then that mist can be suspended in the air with very fine aerosolised particles," he told reporters on Wednesday.
The nebuliser was used by one of the family members, who has an underlying health condition and was taken to intensive care on Tuesday.
Professor Sutton said it was possible everyone on that floor of the hotel had been exposed to the virus.
"The risk with an aerosolised virus is very substantial and so I think we should expect more cases," he said.
COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria Commissioner Emma Cassar said the guest had not reported the nebuliser when arriving at the hotel, and would have been taken to a medi-hotel if they had.
"I'm sure they didn't believe they were doing the wrong thing, but we are taking extra steps to make sure those machines are not in the hotel," Premier Daniel Andrews said.
- with AAP
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