The medico for big-name touring artists and architect of the Horn-Tszyu COVID plan has touted an alternative to hotel quarantine.
The medico for big-name touring artists and architect of the Horn-Tszyu COVID plan has touted an alternative to hotel quarantine.

Celebrity doc’s hi-tech plan to fix quarantine

A Gold Coast celebrity doctor who manages COVID-19 plans for Hollywood A-listers, sports stars and musicians is offering his company's services to help fix Australia's much-maligned hotel quarantine scheme.

Bill Anseline - a senior clinical lecturer who has also spent more than two decades as a tour medico and security co-ordinator for some of the world's biggest stars - says hotels have been a stopgap measure, risk spreading coronavirus and are severely impacting mental health.

He has teamed up with two of Australia's top epidemiologists to call for a radical rethink of the system, including placing overseas arrivals in self-contained cabins and making them wear GPS trackers.

Dr Anseline has acted as an Australian tour medico for the likes of the Rolling Stones, Queen, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John.

 

Bill Anseline with boxing champion Tim Tszyu last year
Bill Anseline with boxing champion Tim Tszyu last year

 

His medical, security and logistics company, the Hemisphere Group, arranged private quarantine for Dannii Minogue on the Gold Coast last year, and worked on COVID-19 plans for the Jeff Horn-Tim Tszyu fight in Townsville, Opera Australia, the Indian cricket team and the I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here cast.

The State Government is pushing ahead with controversial plans to establish quarantine camps in central Queensland and Toowoomba.

Dr Anseline, together with epidemiologists Professor Marylouise McLaws and Dr Henning Liljeqvist, is lobbying for a similar national scheme.

They said recent evidence suggested hotels were far from optimal for quarantine, as the virus could easily spread among guests and workers.

Dr Anseline said locking people up in hotel rooms for 14 days - often without fresh air or exercise - was having a huge impact on mental health.

He said while state and federal governments had done a great job thus far containing the virus, changes were needed as the pandemic dragged on.

"Hotels have been a stopgap solution, but we have to look at the medium and longer term because even with a vaccine, this virus could be with us for years," he said.

 

Dr Anseline has handled tours for major artists such as Queen, seen here on the Gold Coast last February.
Dr Anseline has handled tours for major artists such as Queen, seen here on the Gold Coast last February.

 

"There are still tens of thousands of Australians waiting to return home, as well as overseas students and tourists hoping to travel to Australia again in the not-too-distant future once travel bans are lifted.

"We need to come up with safer, novel and more effective solutions, and we believe that new technology and processes, which can be overlaid on existing hotel quarantine protocols, are the answer."

Under Hemisphere's plan, overseas arrivals would be rapid-tested on arrival in Australia, with those testing positive housed in separate quarantine accommodation.

Those testing negative would be quarantined in single-level cabins with their own kitchens, outside CBDs but close to airports and hospitals.

"This would reduce worker and guest transmission but also significantly improve mental health outcomes," Dr Anseline said.

The plan also involves guests and staff wearing new hi-tech wristband trackers to monitor movements and vital signs.

The wristbands could also be used for home quarantine, Dr Anseline said.

Quarantine facilities would have COVID marshals and on-site sewage testing.

Dr Anseline said masks should be compulsory on all flights and quarantine facility staff needed to be given special COVID-19 safety training.

 

 

 

Originally published as Celebrity doc's hi-tech plan to fix quarantine



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