Chaos surrounded the Australian Open today as over 600 players and officials had to get tested for COVID-19. The development took place after one of the hotel workers tested positive for Coronavirus. According to the guidelines, the players and staff must isolate themselves until further notice.
Players forced into Isolation as hotel worker tested Covid positive
Victorian state chief Daniel Andrews stated that the virus affected man last worked at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne on January 29. Hence, anyone who stayed within proximity can be a potential carrier of the deadly virus.
This seems like an unexpected situation in a country like Australia, which went almost Virus-free weeks back. Over 1,000 players, coaches, and staff arrived here and went straight into a 14 day lockdown period before starting the first Grand Slam of the year.
It must be mentioned that the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where everyone stayed during the quarantine period, is one of the best in the country. So, the onset of such a situation out of nowhere is undoubtedly disappointing for everyone.
Daniel Andrews held a late-night press conference to brief the media and officials about the overall situation. As per him, “There are 500, 600 people who are players and officials and others who are casual contacts. They will be isolated until they get a negative test that will take place tomorrow.”
Most of the COVID-19 Test results return within 24 hours. So Andrews wrote off the possibility of a significant impact on the Australian Open out of this precautionary situation. The Australian Open kick starts on 8th Feb, and it would be interesting to see how it goes from here.
“It may have an impact on tomorrow’s play in the lead-up events. But at this stage, there’s no impact to the tournament proper,” Andrews told the media persons.
What is the situation currently in Melbourne?
Melbourne did not witness a single COVID-19 positive case for the past 20 odd days. Additionally, Six ATP and WTA tournaments were held at Melbourne Park to provide the required practice to all the players. However, each of them was permitted to participate only after completing 14 days in the Hotel quarantine.
Except for 72 players, most of the participants got permission to train, even during their quarantine period. These Seventy-two players were stopped from participation after the detection of 8 Covid infected people in their respective chartered flights.
Timely lockdown and efficient policies have helped the authorities in containing Coronavirus. Hence, Andrews is staying composed and focused on the situation while calling it a ‘Precautionary measure’.
“I must say that is important to us, but the issues are much broader, and that is about public health and public safety,” He added.
Victoria didn’t witness a single COVID-19 case in the last 28 days. Still, the health officials and authorities leave no stone unturned while handling this specific case found at Grand Hyatt.