A mining worker who decided to travel to Bali for a holiday has been slammed as ‘selfish’ after he brought coronavirus back to Australia.
The Rio Tinto employee tested positive for COVID-19 after a company-wide screening of 1600 employees in Western Australia this week.
WA Premier Mark McGowan slammed the worker by for taking a holiday during the coronavirus pandemic, during a media briefing on Saturday.
‘I just want to express my disappointment at this case,’ he said.
‘It was pretty selfish and irresponsible to travel to Bali last month during these circumstances we were facing. It makes me so angry.’
Authorities understand the worker self-isolated after arriving back home however contact tracing is underway as a precaution by health authorities.
Western Australia’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Andrew Robertson said the miner’s case was no cause for alarm.
‘The case had become mildly symptomatic shortly after returning from a trip to Indonesia which would indicate he most likely contracted the virus overseas,’ Dr Robertson said.
Dr Robertson said the pin-prick test performed by Rio Tinto was not an acute diagnostic test or even a reliable means of screening for current COVID-19 infection.
He said public health officials were currently working to verify the results of the individual at an accredited laboratory because the validity of the point-of-care test was unknown.
The mining giant announced on Friday it would be ramping up screening measures for fly in fly out (FIFO) workers in Western Australia.
Rio Tinto will be conducting screening controls at the Perth airport to minimise the risk of COVID-19 being brought in from out of state.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said they’re confident the new measures will reduce health risk to their workers and the communities they operate in.
‘Our number one priority through this period is to protect the health of our employees and communities where we operate. We believe the introduction of rapid screening adds another layer of control to help prevent the transmission of the virus in WA,’ he said.
The worker was one of three new cases in Western Australia overnight, bringing the state’s total to 544.
The other two cases were from the Artania Cruise ship.