Health

how secure is the system?

How watertight is the system, as hotel quarantine forms an important line of defense against SARS-CoV-2 variants?

In March 2020, a 14-day compulsory hotel quarantine was introduced for people entering Australia from abroad. Since then, the suitability of the hotel as a quarantine facility has been questioned, raising concerns about aerial transmission, more infectious strains of COVID-19, and some reports of violations. Each hotel has different setups and unique challenges, but what can be done to make the system more secure for guests and staff?

Many health professionals are calling for the establishment of national standards for hotel quarantine facilities to address the issue of ongoing violations.In the opinion piece published in Australian Financial Review, Professor Mike Tour Burnet Institute He expressed his concern that he did not do everything possible to ensure better control of the air quality and aerosol transmission of the quarantine hotel. Many medical professionals, with evidence that the virus can escape from one room to a corridor and even to other rooms via aerosol infection, have included N95 masks and face shields to handle hotel quarantine. Seeking higher quality, standardized PPE for workers Similar to clinical practice.

ventilation

The main concerns surrounding hotel quarantine are airborne transmission and the potential for the virus to circulate through the hotel’s ventilation and air conditioning systems. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can be used as an infection control measure, but if used improperly, they can contribute to the spread of airborne infections.

Emphasize the role of ventilation in the spread of COVID-19, Bulletin of the Royal Society A, Involving researchers at the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London, they discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads more than two meters in seconds in poorly ventilated areas.

Dr. Pedro de Oliveira of the Faculty of Engineering in Cambridge demonstrated by team mathematical modeling that small infectious droplets spread rapidly in seconds over a few meters, and these droplets spread in the long term indoor space. Said that it can show how it accumulates.Researchers built on their model Airborne.cam, A free open source tool that can be used by those who manage public spaces such as stores, workplaces and classrooms to determine if ventilation is appropriate.

Taghrid Istivan, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Senior Program Leader of Biological Sciences RMIT UniversityCombined with the highly infectious and contagious nature of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant and increased evidence of droplets and airborne transmission, it is necessary to consider shared ventilation and air conditioning plans in hotel quarantine facilities. I explained that there is.

“The hotel was not designed to control the airflow between different rooms and levels, for example in a respiratory ward. Howard Springs Facility In the Northern Territory, it is a safer option to have separate ventilation systems in each room, “said Associate Professor Istivan. “In addition, all staff working in hotels where infected travelers are isolated should consider using N95 grade masks and face shields in addition to other PPE measures.”

Air purification technology

Australian arm Delos Is importing a surgical air purification unit into Australia that can filter and remove SARS-CoV-2 particles to reduce viral load in hotel rooms quarantined by infected travelers. Air purifiers capture ultrafine particles and treat them with ultraviolet sterilization irradiation (UVGI) to physically remove the virus from the air and inactivate it.

Delos Australia President Bill Jannicos uses air purifiers in hotel quarantine to reduce potential viral load in rooms quarantined by returning travelers or diagnosed with COVID-19 Said that it could limit the risk of virus-infected workers and returnees.

“Many consider air purification systems to be an important supplemental approach to reducing infection rates by repairing pollutants and pollutants in the air.” Delos with Healthway “air Purification units can capture ultrafine particles and reduce the number of particles that carry bacteria and viruses in the air, “he explained.

“In these pandemic eras, science-backed air purification units and considered ventilation systems form an important element of the hotel’s safe quarantine environment, but limit them to quarantine programs only. Should not be. All building owners and managers are obliged to pay attention to the general public and to ensure that those who occupy the indoor space are safe from invisible aerial threats. , You need to keep track of the maintenance and service of your ventilation infrastructure. “

Giannikos also discussed the challenges of successful air purification in the hotel environment.

“Many hotels with original ventilation systems have not been upgraded since they were installed during construction and are not designed to properly filter the air in the room. Equipped with our new” Healthway. The Delos purifier can capture and remove suspended particles up to 0.007 µm with 99.99% efficiency, which is smaller than SARS-Cov-2 virus particles. These filters are self-contained units that are easy to move and can also be wall mounted in selected rooms. “

Delos has contacted several Australian hoteliers to deploy a new “Healthway-equipped Delos” unit. A recent partnership with workplace technology integrator CiGroup will bring units and other advanced Delos wellness technologies to a wide range of operators in hotels, health, geriatric care and commercial hospitality across Australia.

Australia’s hotel quarantine system faces many challenges, including the continued flow of international travelers, new variants of SARS-CoV-2, and the impact of various vaccine programs deployed around the world. Establishing national standards helps keep the community safe when living with the coronavirus.

Image credit: © stock.adobe.com / au / myboys.me

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