On Tue (27 Apr), Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan angrily hit out at the accuracy of COVID-19 testing in India.
A flight which flew from KL to Perth last Sat (24 Apr) showed that 78 of the 79 passengers onboard had recently been in India. So far, 4 COVID-19 cases have been found during hotel quarantine by Tue.
“I have just been advised at this morning’s emergency management team meeting that 78 of the 79 passengers on this flight had been in India recently,” McGowan said.
“Our expectation is the number of positive cases from this group of people will grow and potentially grow significantly.”
He said the accuracy of India’s Covid-19 testing methods could not be trusted.
“We obviously have a problem with India,” he said.
“Some of the tests conducted in India either aren’t accurate or aren’t believable and clearly that’s causing some issues here.”
The WA premier said while he sympathized with the situation in India, his priority had to be protecting Western Australia.
“It’s obviously a diabolical situation that is going on in India at the moment, but it does put extreme pressure on our systems here in Western Australia and indeed in other states,” he said.
“I’m advised that other states are going through exactly the same experience.”
McGowan was one of the loudest voices demanding the federal government suspend flights from India, and the Morrison government on Tues finally announced a suspension of all commercial and charter flights until mid-May.
Earlier in Perth, 2 locally acquired infections were found from more than 29,000 tests after the virus leaked out of Perth’s Mercure quarantine hotel. WA’s health department was aware of ventilation issues at the Mercure but had believed the risk could be mitigated.
The outbreak has renewed hotel quarantine concerns and prompted calls for the federal government to invest in purpose-built facilities.