South Australia officials said on Friday that an ongoing Covid-19 lockdown across the state will be lifted on Saturday. This turn of events took place after it was found that contact tracers incorrectly recorded an infected man as one with a particularly infectious strain of the virus.
State Premier Steven Marshall confirmed that the lockdown would end at midnight on Saturday. It was determined that the lockdown would no longer be necessary because the virus in question was far less contagious than had initially been believed.
How the Lockdown Began
The lockdown had originally been imposed after a man from the state capital of Adelaide had become infected. He was a security guard at a quarantine hotel who also had a part-time job at a restaurant known as the Woodville Pizza Bar. This man was infected after coming into contact with an infected traveller from the United Kingdom.
Another worker who worked at a different quarantine hotel in the city subsequently became infected. According to authorities, this man claimed to have bought food from the restaurant. However, it was later discovered that he had worked multiple shifts there.
Thus, authorities believed that the man contracted the disease despite only being exposed for a short time as he bought food. They then concluded that he had been exposed to an extremely infectious Covid-19 strain.
Premier Marshall was quick to criticize the dishonest man. “Had this person been truthful to the contact tracing teams, we would not have gone into a six-day lockdown,” he said during a news conference today.
Marshall added, “There is an absolute need for us to move quickly over the next 24 to 36 hours to identify and locate these people so we know we have eliminated the risk of this particular strain spreading further into the community.”
Despite averting a serious problem, authorities in South Australia have refused to become complacent. They are currently attempting to locate thousands of people who may have been exposed to the virus. Many of these people either ate at or purchased food from the Woodville Pizza Bar.
Professor Nicola Spurrier, South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer, noted that over the next several days, an increase in the number of cases in the state could be expected. However, infected individuals would be likely to already have been isolated.
Covid-19 in Australia
To date, almost 28,000 cases of Covid-19 have been detected in Australia. South Australia has largely been spared the worst of the outbreak. As of Nov 19, the state had only recorded 553 cases and four deaths. Both of these figures are among the lowest in the country.
The vast majority of cases in Australia have been in the state of Victoria. Over 20,000 cases as well as 819 deaths have been recorded there.
20th November 2020 19:03
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