Melbourne detention hotel outbreak rises

At least nine more asylum seekers detained inside a Melbourne hotel have tested positive for COVID-19 after three cases were confirmed on Sunday.

The Australian Border Force said in an update on Tuesday that 12 asylum seekers detained in the “alternative place of detention” at the Park Hotel in Melbourne have now tested positive for COVID-19.

Twenty-one detainees have tested negative and 13 are still awaiting results.

The ABF said positive detainees were being treated in the hotel and any eventual hospital admission will be based on clinical advice.

A total of 51 per cent of detainees in the ABF’s Immigration Detention Network have now been fully vaccinated and 61 per cent, the same amount who have consented to receive a vaccination so far, have been given a first dose.

The ABF said vaccinations for consenting detainees is ongoing, and they are “free to make personal decisions regarding their vaccination status”, including taking time to decide whether or not to get one.

Late on Tuesday, the Victorian Department of Health said 13 cases were now “linked” to the Park Hotel, however it is not clear if the additional case is a detainee or a worker at the facility.

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