Australian authorities ordered a three-day lockdown in the western city of Perth on Friday after the coronavirus fled a quarantine hotel hosting infected international travelers.
Western Australia State Premier Mark McGowan said a man who was allowed to leave the hotel on April 17 after testing negative for the virus at the end of the standard 14-day quarantine period tested positive for several days. after.
One of his close contacts in Perth tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday in the state’s first case of community transmission of the disease in 12 months, prompting the lockdown order, McGowan said.
Authorities are monitoring other people who came into contact with the man during the five days he spent in Perth before flying to Melbourne, on the south-east coast of Australia, where he tested positive and was placed in solitary confinement on Wednesday.
Australia was among the most successful countries in the world in containing the pandemic, with fewer than 30,000 cases and just over 900 deaths for a population of 25 million.
The few cases of community transmission in recent months have been linked to the quarantine of hotels in major cities, and all outbreaks have been successfully contained with similar short blocks.
But there has been increased concern over the hotel’s quarantine process after several cases of the coronavirus being spread from infected people in one room to those in neighboring rooms.
There has also been a sharp increase in the number of infected arrivals to Australia, particularly from India.
On Thursday, the federal government announced restrictions on new arrivals from India, and McGowan said Western Australia would cut the number of returning Australians admitted to the state each week from overseas.
McGowan said residents of Perth and the adjacent Peel region were expected to stay in their homes for three days from midnight on Friday under the lockdown, except for a small number of activities.
Restaurants and pubs can only serve take-out food and entertainment venues will be closed, he said.
The blockade will also force the cancellation of Sunday’s events for Anzac Day, the annual remembrance day for Australian and New Zealand soldiers lost in the war.
“I know it’s hard to accept and I wish we didn’t need to (but) we can’t take any chances with the virus,” McGowan said announcing the measures.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by the NDTV staff and is posted by a syndicated feed.)