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Newmarch House evacuation would cause ‘spot fires’ says Aged Care Minister

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After 16 deaths and more than 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19, there’s growing pressure to evacuate the remaining Newmarch House residents.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has taken regulatory action against the Anglicare aged care facility, appointing an independent advisor to provide additional support.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck is adamant moving residents to hospital would deviate from medical advice.

“We’re effectively running a hospital-in-the-home process, with the assistance of the local public health unit and Nepean Health, so the services that you might normally find in a hospital are being provided to the residents,” he told Ben Fordham.

“I’ve spoken to some of the specialists … and all of them are providing us with the appropriate advice.

“Had we done as was suggested on day one of this discussion, if we decanted everyone we thought was negative for example, … we could’ve had ‘spot fires’ of COVID-19 in a number of locations around Sydney.”

Mr Colbeck maintains families who want their loved ones removed to hospital are nevertheless welcome to do so, but they’re still “working on the protocols” to make it happen.

“I know what I would want, I’d want them out of there,” Ben commented.

“How many protocols do you have to work through?”

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Image: Nine News