Health authorities are investigating a report a woman carrying the highly infectious UK variant of coronavirus left quarantine to accompany her father to hospital on Monday night, not long after the three-day Greater Brisbane lockdown was lifted.
The Courier-Mail report said the incident involved a woman aged in her 20s who had arrived from Lebanon with her father, aged in his 40s, on New Year’s Day.
The Lebanese father and daughter had been quarantining at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in inner-city Brisbane where four cases of the mutant strain have now been detected, along with a hotel cleaner and her partner.
Health authorities have confirmed the woman had been allowed to accompany her father who had a medical complaint, on compassionate grounds, in an ambulance and in full PPE to the hospital.
It had been reported the woman was left unattended at the hospital and had travelled back to the hotel either via a taxi or ride share, but this has since been confirmed by health authorities as untrue.
A Queensland Government spokesman said the woman returned to quarantine at the Grand Chancellor in an ambulance in full PPE, as per health protocols, on Monday night.
Just hours after the woman went back to her “quarantine bubble”, the duo were formally notified they were carrying the mutant UK strain of COVID-19.
The spread of the virus to other returned travelers on level seven of the hotel, and then to the Lebanese family, sparked a mass evacuation of all 129 guests in a major medical emergency yesterday.
Overnight all guests were moved by ambulance to other media-hotels including The Westin in Brisbane’s CBD.
It is understood police are investigating after Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said earlier today she could not be confident all guests stayed inside their rooms during the 14-day isolation, as per Queensland Health’s hotel quarantine protocol.
Queensland Health has been contacted for comment.