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Infectious diseases expert confident quarantine program can handle Indian COVID-19 variant

Article image for Infectious diseases expert confident quarantine program can handle Indian COVID-19 variant

An infectious diseases expert says he has faith in Australia’s hotel quarantine program as the government schedules repatriation flights from India.

Up to 6 flights will be scheduled from India to Australia in the next month.

No commercial services will be operating and vulnerable Australians in the country will be given priority.

Infectious diseases expert at Sydney University, Robert Booy, said the Indian variant was not more severe but it is highly contagious.

“The reason it is really nasty right now is because it is so much more transmissable and still severe so the combination is really nasty,” he said.

“The measures being put in place will work, but they need to be quite special.

“We have had good quarantine, 99 per cent protection, but we need to get even better because it is more transmissable, it could easily get through the air, through the ventilation system. So we need to make sure that that works in the best possible way.”

He said the hotel quarantine was working better than before and he doesn’t believe people in the community will be at risk.

“There’s been 16 mistakes in 6 months, and that’s accounted for really less than 200 people getting infected out of hundreds of thousands who’ve returned.

“The statistics are still good and they are getting better.”

Press PLAY below to hear his full insights

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Image: iStock

Jim Wilson
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