Covid 19 coronavirus: Electrical fire forces evacuation of 69 people in managed isolation in Rotorua

An electrical fire has forced the evacuation today of 69 returnees staying in a Rotorua managed isolation facility.

Associate deputy secretary Managed Isolation and Quarantine Andy Milne said at 12.48pm a fire alarm went off at the Sudima Hotel on Eruera St.

Milne said staff have advised the cause was an electrical fire in a light bulb in a corridor connecting two adjoining rooms where one bubble of returnees was staying.

The fire was extinguished but as a precaution 69 returnees in the affected block were evacuated, according to fire evacuation processes.

Milne said everyone had returned to the facility and their rooms by about 1.45pm.

“The returnees staying in the two rooms connected by the corridor where the fire was located have been moved to other rooms.”

All Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities operate as an alert level 4 environment.

Milne said in evacuation situations where guests need to be evacuated outside, strict infection prevention controls, developed by the Ministry of Health, are followed to manage the risks of spreading Covid-19.

“These protocols include use of PPE and masks and physical distancing rules.

“Throughout the situation, NZDF staff, wearing high-visibility vests, assisted hotel security and MIQ staff in cordoning all guests in the allocated assembly areas.”

The facility has been declared safe, he said.

“Cleaning of areas used by returnees during the evacuation has taken place.”

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