Australia falls back to zero COVID-19 cases after hotel infection - GulfToday

Australia falls back to zero coronavirus cases after hotel infection


A medical worker swabs a member of the public in Sydney, Australia. File/Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Fears of a new cluster of coronavirus cases in Australia eased on Tuesday, as the city of Perth has been locked down for five days after Western Australia state’s first case of local infection in almost 10 months.

Perth maintained a strict lockdown and no new cases were detected across the country for a second day, Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

People wait in line to be tested for Covid-19 at Royal Perth Hospital in Perth, Australia. AFP

The city of 2 million people and coastal towns to the south were locked down from Sunday night until Friday night.

Australia ended two weeks without any local cases of the coronavirus on Sunday when a security guard working in hotel quarantine in the Western Australian state capital tested positive for COVID-19.

This followed a security guard who worked at a Perth quarantine hotel contracting a highly contagious British variant of the virus. Overseas travelers who arrive in Perth must isolate in hotel quarantine for 14 days.


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The unnamed man most likely contracted COVID-19 from a person who recently returned to the country, Western Australia state Premier Mark McGowan said on Tuesday.

“One of those recent arrivals was accommodated on the same floor as the security guard was working. We are advised that the guard did deliver medication to the door of this quarantine guest,” McGowan told reporters in Canberra.

A general view shows an empty restaurant in the normally busy Elizabeth Quay area in Perth. AFP

McGowan said 101 close contacts of the security guard had so far tested negative to COVID-19. Another 50 people deemed close contacts were awaiting test results.

The vast, largely isolated state has been known in Australia for a hardline COVID-19 response that included keeping its border closed to the rest of the country until recently when it reopened to some regions.

Australia has managed to largely contain its novel coronavirus epidemic - limiting cases to less than 29,000 and deaths to 909 - with the sort of decisive action seen in Perth, and tight border controls.

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