Friday, February 26, 2021

Tennis stars told not to serve Melbourne hotel mice while in Covid quarantine

There has been confusion over infection numbers with several positive test results reclassified as 'viral shedding' from previous infections, which is not contagious.

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Many of the tennis players in Australia for the Australian Open tournament are undergoing hotel quarantine in Melbourne and several of them have not been shy about making their dissatisfaction known.

Yulia Putintseva, the world number 28, demanded to change rooms after spotting a mouse but said her new room is also infested, says ABC.

The 26-year-old is among more than 70 players and their entourages confined to their hotel rooms for 14 days after Covid-19 positive cases were found on their flights into Australia.

Victoria state police minister Lisa Neville encouraged players to “minimise interaction” with the mice, saying: “As I understand it, there may have been some feeding going on. Hopefully the pest control work now done will have fixed the problem.”

She also said 10 people in total who flew into Melbourne for the tournament have now tested positive for coronavirus, with two players and a support person being new cases on Wednesday.

Kazakhstan player Putintseva, who was one of the first players to complain about hotel quarantine rules for the Grand Slam event, again used social media to post a video she recorded of a mouse in her room jumping out from behind a cupboard.

Putintseva says she has lost sleep because of the rodents scampering around, and also expressed frustration about being unable to open any of the windows in her room, posting, “We need fresh air to breathe,” on Instagram.

There has been confusion over the infection numbers with several positive test results later reclassified by authorities as “viral shedding” from previous infections, meaning they are not contagious.

The allowances given to travelling players compared to residents is also causing upset at the year’s first major tennis tournament.

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said a “tightrope” was being walked, but that the safety of Victorians would not be compromised.

“I do understand the players. This is a new experience for them, and I don’t think anyone expected what the 14 days would be like but they are adapting to it,” he told ABC News Breakfast.

“At the beginning, it was pretty challenging, but it’s got a lot better, I think the majority of the players understand and accept it. There is a minority struggling with it but we are going to do whatever we can to make it better for them.”

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