Limited Medical Supplies Amid Failed COVID-19 Quarantine Efforts in Australian State, Nurses Say

Nurses told an inquiry on Victorias failed hotel quarantine program about a chaotic first week of limited medical supplies for COVID-19 testing and PPE shortages posing risks to infection control protocols.

Veteran nurse, Michael Tait, joined the hotel quarantine program at the time of its inception on March 29. Through a nurse agency named Your Nurse Agency (YNA), he worked at four quarantine hotels, including Rydges on Swanston, one of two locations noted as the source of 99 percent of Victorias CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases since June.

Tait told the COVID-19 Hotel quarantine inquiry on Aug. 20 that he was later blacklisted from working in the hotel quarantines program after sending an email in April voicing his concerns over infection control risks.

He wrote “[Crown] Metropol is struggling. We are taking care of 700 plus residents, lots of children … we have a challenging task, taking care of 150 folks each.”

Tait called the first shift chaotic, noting limited personal protective equipment provided to nurses where there were just three gowns, no gloves, and a handful of surgical masks.

Each guest was meant to be tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

However, due to an insufficient supply of swab kits, testing of returnees was intentionally kept at low numbers. Tait said that throughout his first five days at Crown Promenade only 25 guests were tested for the CCP virus.

“The nurses were also hesitant to do swabs because we did not have adequate PPE to protect ourselves. We didnt have medium gloves until day four. We did not get N95 masks until day eight. We never got hoods, face shields or shoe coverings even though we were told we would,” he said.

“No one had a clear-cut idea for how we were going to manage (COVID-19) positive patients.”

Tait told the inquiry he took it upon himself to conduct swabbing tests on new arrivals despite not having a face shield—risking COVID-19 infection. “I thought it was very important.”

In further comments on Victorias Department of Human Health Services (DHHS) policies, Tait criticised their paper-based record-keeping system, saying that “rules for guests seemed to change every dayRead More – Source