Tony Neal, QC has told the enquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine programme, which saw security officers fraternising with quarantined people, may be responsible for almost all new cases of COVID-19.

“Comments made by the chief health officer to the media have suggested that it may even be that every case of COVID-19 in Victoria in recent weeks could be sourced to the hotel quarantine programme,” Neal said.

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton told the Victorian Government recently that several coronavirus cases in the community have been linked through genomic sequencing to an infection control breach in the hotel quarantine programme.

The Victorian hotel quarantine programme has been suspended since its failures were revealed, returning citizens have been flown other cities, none of which employed private security officers to police hotel quarantines.

Meanwhile the slowly growing outbreak in NSW – there were 20 new cases today – has been genomically linked to Victoria’s hotel quarantine programme.