Guests demand to leave ‘putrid’ hotel

Guests are demanding to be moved from a “putrid” quarantine hotel in Melbourne, with reports of mass bed bug infestations in the rooms.

People returning from overseas have been accommodated in the Rydges on Swanston hotel by the state government for mandatory 14 day coronavirus isolation.

But at least one guest was moved on Monday after waking to find a swarm of bed bugs in her bed.

The Herald Sun published photos taken by the woman, known as Rosie, which show a bunch of bed bugs and blood stained white bedding.

The publication also claimed allegations of bed bug infestations at the hotel were raised with officials as early as April.

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Chief health officer Brett Sutton defended the hotel at question, saying bed bugs were often transported via luggage during travel.

“They are picked up internationally, frequently if people leave their luggage open then bed bugs get on clothes, and they survive very easily,” Professor Sutton said.

“Bed bugs are part and parcel of the hospitality industry.

“It’s not the fault of hotels at all necessarily.”

A Department of Health and Human Services investigation is currently underway to determine the source of the infestation.

It comes after the same hotel suffered a coronavirus outbreak earlier this month and was completely empty up until Friday.

“We know how infectious coronavirus is and we have strict measures in place to manage positive cases and control outbreaks,” a DHHS spokesperson said.

“Following the outbreak at Rydges on Swanston the hotel was emptied on 1 June and underwent a deep clean of every room and common area in line with the Chief Health Officer Guidelines for coronavirus cleaning procedures.

“The department is working with all returned travellers to make them as comfortable as possible and assist with anything they made need during their time in quarantine.”

It comes as Victoria is potentially headed for a second wave of the coronavirus, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying the capital is “on a knife’s edge” as a result of the spike over the past week.

Australia has recorded 85 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, including 75 in Victoria, seven in NSW and three in South Australia.

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