Four new WA virus cases linked to family

Roger Cook says WA will tighten monitoring of high-risk quarantine cases after several breaches.
Roger Cook says WA will tighten monitoring of high-risk quarantine cases after several breaches.

Four new coronavirus cases, all related to a family who returned from overseas, have been reported in Western Australia.

All four are in hotel quarantine and the state now has nine active cases, the Department of Health said on Wednesday.

It comes as authorities move to tighten monitoring of high-risk quarantine cases after several audacious breaches.

South Australian women Isata Jalloh, 19, and Banchi Techanna, 22, faced Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday accused of sneaking out of quarantine to attend a party.

Police say the women arrived in Perth on a flight from Adelaide on Monday night intending to holiday and visit family.

They were refused entry and directed to quarantine at the Novotel Hotel in Perth until return flights could be arranged.

It's alleged the women, who had not applied to enter the state, left the hotel early on Tuesday and caught a taxi to a unit block in Coolbellup.

They have been remanded in custody and will face court again on Thursday.

A 31-year-old Perth man faced court earlier this week accused of escaping from hotel quarantine using a ladder left by an accomplice.

"Obviously these are two very audacious attempts to get around our hotel quarantine restrictions and we continue to learn from these experiences," Health Minister Roger Cook said on Wednesday.

"We're constantly reviewing the hotel quarantine arrangements."

Authorities were also left frustrated by a breach of the AFL's quarantine hub arrangements.

Sydney player Elijah Taylor has been banned from playing again this year after his partner last week snuck into the team's biosecurity bubble at a Perth hotel.

Taylor, 19, and his partner will both receive infringement notices from WA Police.

Opposition spokesman Zak Kirkup said the recent breaches highlighted WA's potential vulnerability to a second wave of infection.

The government has continued to refuse calls by the Liberal opposition for an independent review of the state's pandemic handling.

Mr Cook said most people were doing the right thing, but backed plans to ensure police officers were present at hotels in "high-risk" cases, where people had been denied entry or were deemed to be a threat of leaving quarantine.

He confirmed Premier Mark McGowan had written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking for more Australian Defence Force assistance if it was possible.

"We want assistance in our hotels, on our borders, in the airports," he said.

"ADF can play an important role, and it's important that the Commonwealth share the responsibility with our police and health personnel."

Mr McGowan said in parliament WA had requested an additional 134 ADF officers, including 20 to be trained in COVID-19 contact tracing and a doubling of the 40 personnel already supporting state authorities in quarantine hotels.

Australian Associated Press