WA premier flabbergasted by virus breaches

·2-min read

Western Australia's premier says he's flabbergasted by recent personal protective breaches surrounding a COVID-19 patient who returned from the United Kingdom.

A paramedic, a nurse and a third person are all in hotel quarantine in Perth after coming into contact with the woman aged in her 80s.

Mark McGowan has pledged to hold a review into the three breaches which were revealed on Wednesday.

"Clearly there is complacency and mistakes are creeping in," the premier told reporters on Thursday.

"I urge our health workforce, our security workforce, our cleaning workforce (to) continue to adhere to your training, continue to listen to the advice."

Mr McGowan praised frontline workers for their dedication during the pandemic but urged them to not get complacent.

"We've seen outbreaks occur around Australia and around the world through staff who work in quarantine hotels and those sorts of facilities," he said.

"We don't want to see that happen here."

Mr McGowan said the health department had given him an "absolute assurance" there was no risk to public health as a result of the breaches.

The woman arrived from the UK on January 2 already showing symptoms of the virus and later tested positive.

It was confirmed on Thursday she has the UK strain of the virus.

She was initially placed in hotel quarantine, but her condition required a transfer on Tuesday to the Royal Perth Hospital where she is stable.

When the woman first required medical assistance a nurse responded while not wearing full personal protective equipment, in breach of protocols, health officials say.

The second breach occurred when a St John Ambulance officer not wearing PPE was less than 1.5 metres from the woman as she was transferred into an ambulance.

A review of CCTV footage at Perth Airport found a third person had also gone to the aid of the woman when she first arrived.

That person has returned a negative test for the virus and remains in isolation.

"We were disappointed, in fact I was shocked," Mr McGowan said.

"This is an event I was exasperated and flabbergasted by."

WA recorded two new COVID-19 cases, both people who were already in hotel quarantine, on Thursday.