02/02/2021 - 12:00

No new cases of COVID-19

02/02/2021 - 12:00

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Western Australia has recorded no new local cases of COVID-19 overnight, according to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

No new cases of COVID-19
Premier Mark McGowan. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Western Australia has recorded no new local cases of COVID-19 for the second consecutive day, according to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

More than 16,400 Western Australians have been tested for the virus in the past 24 hours, with more expected to present for testing today.

The state is now two days into a five-day lockdown of the Perth metropolitan area, Peel and South West regions after a hotel security guard at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Perth's CBD tested positive for the highly-infectious UK strain of the virus.

The guard, a man in his 20s, is understood to have been working on the same level as a returned international traveller with the same strain of the virus, which is reportedly up to 70 per cent more infectious.

It has now been confirmed that the man is suspected to have become infected after delivering goods to the traveller's room, but the circumstances surrounding the incident remain the subject of an investigation by WA Police.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook clarified today that the man began experiencing symptoms on January 28, before calling in sick to work and presenting at a medical centre for assessment on January 30 and returning a positive test result at midnight.

The man visited various locations throughout Perth’s CBD and eastern suburbs in the days after he is believed to have become infectious, travelling as far north as Joondalup to attend Edith Cowan University.

All 151 of the man's contacts, including his three roommates, have been tested, or will be, and remain in quarantine for 14 days. The number of contacts is expected to increase.

So far, of those, 104 have returned a negative result.

Testing sites across the Perth metropolitan area have received additional resources and extended hours of operation until 10pm each night.

The state government has also announced that no new overseas arrivals will be accommodated at the hotel in question.

Mr Cook confirmed that the state was working with the Health department to implement a scheme that would prevent frontline workers from having second jobs, with that scheme expected to be implemented next week.

The news comes less than an hour after state opposition leader Zak Kirkup demanded the state government immediately establish a 24-hour COVID-19 testing clinic and stop frontline workers from holding second jobs.

Mr Kirkup said the information that had come to light since the state was placed in a five-day lockdown was proof that something had gone wrong, and called on the state government to implement the recommendations to address gaps in the state’s hotel quarantine system.

“The state cannot even tell us how many hotel quarantine workers have second jobs,” he said.

“Hotel quarantine workers are at the coalface, they shouldn’t be working as Uber drivers and the like.”

More to come.

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