Travellers evacuate Melbourne hot hotel
Travellers infected with or at-risk of COVID-19 are being evacuated from a Melbourne CBD quarantine hotel and being moved to a new site after the site was severely water damaged.
The Holiday Inn on Flinders Street - a hot hotel which houses international arrivals diagnosed with COVID-19 - is being cleared of guests after a sprinkler system broke and flooded a room on Saturday.
Residents started boarding SkyBuses about 10am today in order to be transferred to the Pullman Albert Park hotel.
Some travellers were pictured holding garbage bags close to their heads as they boarded the bus, while others wore face masks.
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The logistical operation appeared to involve travellers being transported one-by-one to the hotel, which would likely take a number of hours.
The Pullman was one of the quarantine hotels used for the Australian Open.
The Holiday Inn Flinders Street hot hotel was being run by medical professionals at Alfred Health, overseen by COVID Quarantine Victoria (CQV).
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The operation remains high-risk as authorities must ensure COVID-19 does not escape into the community.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd said authorities were "very experienced" in moving people either infected with COVID-19, or those potentially incubating the virus.
"I'm sure this will be carried out very carefully and appropriately, making sure that all the appropriate security measures are in place to make sure that we don't see any transmission of COVID-19 occurring while these folk are moved from one hotel to another," he told Today.
Professor Kidd said the hotel had experienced issues with its water pipes, causing leakages in rooms.
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"I guess that can happen in any facility anywhere in the country," he said.
"They're acting very quickly to move people to a place where they'll be safe and secure."
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The Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport was similarly evacuated last week following a COVID-19 outbreak which prompted the state's five-day snap lockdown.
The cluster linked to the hotel currently stands at 19 cases.