No COVID-19 at HMAS Watson – official

Defence says the story run by Channel 9 last night, Tuesday 14 April 2020 – which said HMAS Watson was in lockdown because of a COVID-19 outbreak among foreign visitors – was misleading and incorrect.

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of Royal Australian Navy establishment HMAS Watson, Sydney. Photo by Able Seaman Leo Baumgartner.

“HMAS Watson has not been placed in lockdown for COVID-19, nor any other reason,” an official Defence statement, issued just three hours into the working day, said.

“Members living on base are not confined, however they are following the direction of the Federal and NSW governments, to stay in their local area and refrain from all non-essential travel.

“This is in line with broader community actions and expectations, and applies equally to all Defence establishments.

   

“There has not been an outbreak of COVID-19, nor any positive cases of COVID-19, at HMAS Watson.

“Defence continues to follow the advice issued by the Department of Health and state authorities to implement the necessary COVID-19 preventative measures across all establishments.”

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: CONTACT is surprised by the speed and clarity of Defence’s response to the Channel 9 story, aired less than 14 hours earlier [noting that it is impossible to get answers to specific questions from Defence in anywhere near that timeframe]. However, while we sympathise with Channel 9 for jumping on a plausible rumour amid Defence’s COVID-19 information vacuum, we would also like to point out that CONTACT did not regurgitate Channel 9’s story, because we could find no corroborating evidence after much searching 🙂

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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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