10 October 2014: KAP Leader and the Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter today called on the Federal Government to immediately implement a mandatory 21 day quarantine period for our health worker ‘saints’ returning from Ebola effected countries.
“We must emphasise that the people who go to these countries are our saints, our Christians, they are the people as Australians we should be most proud of; but it does not help the people on planet earth with another nation becoming an Ebola affected nation,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter’s comments follows Queensland Health’s announcement this morning confirming the Cairns nurse suspected of contracting Ebola has returned a negative result for the virus. Mr Katter is appalled at the current quarantine protocol which requires people returning from Ebola affected countries, to stay in ‘self-regulated’ home quarantine until the maximum 21-day incubation period for Ebola has elapsed.
“All I can say is our current protocols are ridiculous. You can come into Australia, walk around the Perth airport, fly to Melbourne, walk around, get back onto plane, then go to Cairns – all whilst potentially infecting thousands of people. Then the authorities say ‘will you please stay at home’ – and this is an adequate protocol?” Mr Katter asked.
“This is not a protocol, this is a joke.
“We are angry at the Government and their statement that everything has been ‘hunky dory’. Well it is not, the Federal Government’s health authorities have accepted that this poor lady may have Ebola; so you have accepted that your protocols do not work.
“A person has come through immigration and the authorities have admitted she could have Ebola. This protocol offers no protection to the Australian people whatsoever,” Mr Katter said outside the Cairns Base Hospital today.
Mr Katter said that the current screening processes are ineffective, and that three weeks of Government isolation quarantine should be implemented immediately to all people re-entering Australia from known Ebola affected nations.
“We understand that there is currently no advice from medical officials to step up screening or make any changes to the screening process. This is simply appalling.
“The solution is fairly simple. Introduce a mandatory three week period to properly quarantine people re-entering Australia. Before you depart, the immigration authorities will ensure that travellers are informed that when you return to Australia you will be placed in mandatory isolation and quarantined for 21 days. “The current processes are simply appalling and falls unacceptably short of any protocol that could be considered remotely acceptable in protecting our great nation” Mr Katter said.