In a shocking incident, hundreds of ex-residents of Australia’s COVID19 quarantine facility have been asked to take a test for blood-transmitted diseases such as HIV due to a blood-testing blunder. The authorities at the facility have confessed that they have used the same blood-testing device for multiple residents of the quarantine center. This is the latest incident in the string of setbacks caused by the pandemic, which has hit the country and the state of Victoria especially. Earlier, many violations at the Victoria hotels have resulted in a COVID19 outbreak in Melbourne. It has led to the city going through a strict lockdown. The officials of the Victorian Health Agency have said that they are approaching nearly 243 people who have undergone a blood glucose level test before August 20 to take a test, as there has been cross-contamination of blood. It can lead to blood-borne diseases including HIV.
The authorities have said that though the clinical risk of infection is less, however for safety, confidential blood testing will be arranged for all those people. In the wake of the pandemic, Australia has shut its borders for all non-citizens and residents in the month of March. Authorities have asked returning travelers to pay 3000 Australian dollars for staying in the state quarantine center for two weeks. Since then, many travelers have stayed in Australia’s quarantine hotels but not all of them have gone through a blood glucose level test. These blood test devices take a finger prick for blood samples, which are used to determine blood glucose levels in diabetes patients. Such blood test devices are used for pregnant women, people who have passed out, and those who are sick. These devices are usually made for multiple uses for one person. However, in this incident, one device has been used for many residents.
Experts say that needles attached to this device can be changed but it can keep the tiny amount of blood traces. These devices cannot spread the COVID19 infection as the SARS-CoV-2 virus does not spread through blood. There are other diseases like Hepatitis B and C, and HIV, which have a low clinical risk of transmission through blood. This testing mistake has happened after Australia has declared its so-called travel bubble plan with New Zealand. Australia has allowed people to travel from New Zealand to two states New South Wales and the Northern Territory. Meanwhile, the border restriction has remained intact in Australia. New Zealand, which has reported less than 2200 COVID19 cases and 25 deaths, has asked the returning travelers to spend 14 days in quarantine in a state facility and pay 3100 New Zealand dollars as a fee. The problem with the plan has occurred soon after the first flight from New Zealand has landed in Sydney. More than 65 travelers have traveled to Melbourne, which is not included in the bubble plan. Many travelers from New Zealand have traveled to South Australia and Western Australia as well, which are not a part of the travel bubble plan. The authorities have said that they have been contacting such travelers who have not been in quarantine and traveling all over the places in Australia.