There were “limited” details on the learnings from a deadly NSW Covid outbreak when it tore through a Victorian facility, an inquest has been told.
There were “limited” details on the learnings from a deadly Covid outbreak at the Newmarch aged care home in NSW when the virus tore through Victoria’s St Basil’s facility months later, an inquest has been told.
Dr Naveen Tenneti, a health director at the Victorian department of families, fairness and housing, appeared on Monday at an inquest into the 50 deaths of residents at Melbourne’s St Basil’s residential aged care facility during the state’s second wave in July and August last year.
Dr Tenneti was pressed on whether he and his health department colleagues had failed to learn lessons from the earlier Covid outbreak at Sydney’s Newmarch House aged care facility, where 19 residents died after an outbreak between April and June, 2020.
“I‘d say to the best of my recollection that there was limited information available at that time around precisely the learnings or failings that occurred from that outbreak,” he said on Monday.
“That being said, national guidelines in a range of other things were constantly being updated at that time, and for example, there was a version of the aged care outbreaks national guideline that was updated around July.
“Presumably, there have been discussions at a national level around what had happened in Newmarch and what needs to change at a local level, I would have assumed that those were updated in that guideline and we certainly always adhered and worked to that guideline.”
The counsel assisting the inquest has previously said governments knew the Covid outbreak required a high degree of co-ordination following the Newmarch House failures.
St Basil’s experienced the worst outbreak of the deadly coronavirus that swept through Victoria’s nursing homes during the second wave of community spread.
The inquest is set down for five weeks.