24/04/2021 - 12:34

No new local cases: McGowan

24/04/2021 - 12:34

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WA has recorded no new local cases of COVID-19, as those in the Perth and Peel regions spend their first day in lockdown.

No new local cases: McGowan
Premier Mark McGowan called an emergency press conference yesterday afternoon after it was confirmed that a close contact of the man, a Kardinya woman in her 40s, had tested positive for the virus. Photo: David Henry

WA has recorded no new local cases of COVID-19, as those in the Perth and Peel regions spend their first day in lockdown.

The state government enforced a snap three-day lockdown at midnight last night after Victorian authorities confirmed that a man onboard a flight from Perth to Melbourne had tested for COVID-19 upon landing.

The 54-year-old man, who had returned from Shanghai, is understood to have contracted the virus while quarantining at the Mercure Hotel Perth; a facility at the centre of an outbreak earlier this month.

After testing negative for the virus on day 12 and leaving quarantine on April 17, the man visited locations across the Perth metropolitan area over a five-day period, including several restaurants in Northbridge, Kings Park, a medical centre in Subiaco, a recreation centre in Booragoon and a shopping centre in Willeton. He also spent a number of days at UWA's St Catherine's College in Crawley.

Premier Mark McGowan called an emergency press conference yesterday afternoon after it was confirmed that a close contact of the man, a Kardinya woman in her 40s, had tested positive for the virus; the state's first case of community transmission in more than a year.

With as many as 17 potential exposure sites, the state government announced it would be updating its health advice, making mask wearing mandatory and urging people to stay at home unless for work, shopping for essentials, health care or exercise.

Today, Mr McGowan told reporters that the total number of cases recorded in the last 24 hours remained at two; including the Kardinya woman and a returned traveller currently in hotel quarantine.

WA health authorities have swung into action in the last 24 hours, identifying 337 contacts, including 71 close contacts, all of whom have been or are being tested and will remain in quarantine.

There are currently 157 other contacts. A total of 2,588 people were tested yesterday, including 27 of the 71 close contacts identified. The tested contacts have already returned negative test results.

Mr McGowan said the situation was evolving rapidly, but said that if everyone worked together and did the right thing, WA would be able to stop the virus in its tracks.

The news comes just hours after Mr McGowan revealed that genome sequencing had confirmed that a couple who had returned from India had spread the virus to others quarantining on the same floor of the Mercure Hotel Perth earlier this month.

Guests exposed to the virus were moved to a different floor, while others who had left quarantine have been tested and required to self-isolate.

WA health officials are investigating the matter.

More to come.

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