‘Flabbergasted’: Premier’s PPE warning

By | January 7, 2021

The WA Premier says he was “flabbergasted” to learn three COVID-19 frontline workers breached personal protective equipment rules and has warned against allowing complacency to creep in.

A nurse, paramedic and airport worker all failed to wear full PPE when they had contact with a coronavirus-infected elderly woman, who had travelled to Perth from the United Kingdom, forcing them all into quarantine.

Premier Mark McGowan said he was very disappointed and shocked to learn of the breaches.

“This was an event that I was exasperated and flabbergasted by, and I advised Health of that – that complacency can’t be allowed to creep in,” he told reporters on Thursday.

Mr McGowan said a full review of the breaches was underway, but he was assured there was no risk to public health.

“Clearly, there is complacency and mistakes are creeping in,” he said.

“I just 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 warned outbreaks were happening in Australia and around the world via frontline workers.

“We don’t want to see that happen here,” the Premier said.

“Don’t think it will be OK. It won’t be OK.

“Listen to the advice, do the right thing … by your workers, your family and your community.”

Asked about the hotel cleaner who tested positive in Queensland, the Premier said at this point in time he had not been advised of any community spread.

“We’ll get health advice and see whether there is a problem and whether we need to do anything about it,” he said.

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“Obviously, one case is different to five or 10 cases.”

WA recorded two new cases of COVID-19 overnight, both overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

It brings the state’s total number of confirmed infections to 874, including 18 active cases.

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