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Hundreds In Melbourne Hotel Quarantine Now Have To Get HIV Test After Covid-19 Testing Bungle

Hundreds In Melbourne Hotel Quarantine Now Have To Get HIV Test After Covid-19 Testing Bungle

Blood glucose tests were reused on people in quarantine and there are fears they could be infected with a virus

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

More than 200 people who were in hotel quarantine in Melbourne will now have to be tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C after a testing error.

People who had to stay in a hotel room for two weeks to ensure they didn't have coronavirus were given glucose level tests during their stay.

The test involves pricking a person's finger to produce blood, with a tiny drop then placed on a tab, which is then read by a machine to determine the amount of sugar in their system.

The testing devices are intended for use by one person only. However, several of the testing devices were given to multiple people, hence the need for screening tests for blood-borne diseases.

Safer Care Victoria has revealed there are 243 people who were given these tests between 29 March and 2 August.

Diabetes WA

The organisation said in a statement: "Blood glucose level testing devices intended for use by one person were used across multiple residents. This presents a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and blood borne viruses - Hepatitis B and C, and HIV."

The error goes against health practices that were set up in the 1980s and '90s to prevent the spread of HIV and other viruses that are transmitted via blood.

A review and investigation has been ordered to see why the tests were reused on different people.

CEO Safer Care Victoria Adj Assoc Prof Ann Maree Keenan said in a statement: "The health of past quarantine residents is our immediate concern, so arranging screening for them is our absolute priority. The clinical risk is low. But if you are at all worried you had this test - and we have not contacted you yet - please call us.

"Right now, we won't be able to answer the many questions people will have about how this happened. Be assured that Safer Care Victoria is conducting a full review into how and why this device came to be in use.

"I hope that we will be able to bring peace of mind through getting people in for testing, and through the findings of our review."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia