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Australian city of Perth to enter snap 3-day lockdown

11 Comments
By Swati Pandey

Western Australia's capital of Perth and the neighboring Peel region will enter a snap three-day lockdown from midnight on Friday after two people tested positive for COVID-19, the first cases of community transmission in Australia in a week.

Australia has all but stamped out the virus thanks to mandatory hotel quarantine for returning residents and citizens and snap lockdowns to arrest the infection.

The first case related to a man in Melbourne who likely contracted the disease during his two-week quarantine stay in a Perth hotel.

The second was his close contact in Perth, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said in a televised news conference, where he announced the lockdown.

"I know this is hard to take and I wish we didn't need to do this. But we can't take any chances with the virus," McGowan said.

The lockdown will close down most public spaces including pubs, restaurants, places of worship, libraries, and cinemas. Several sporting events scheduled for Friday night will go ahead, however, with masks mandatory.

Footage broadcast on national television showed instances of panic buying at supermarkets in Perth, and authorities said they were aware of heavy road traffic as people try and escape the lockdown for the long weekend marking ANZAC Day.

Dawn services on Sunday in Perth on the national day of remembrance to honor the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during the First World War, have been cancelled for the second year in a row.

HOTEL QUARANTINE

Having closed its borders more than a year ago, Australia lets mostly citizens and permanent residents return from abroad. Returned travelers, except from New Zealand, have to undergo two weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine at their own expense.

The hotel quarantine policy has helped Australia to keep its COVID-19 numbers relatively low compared with other developed countries, with just over 29,500 cases and 910 deaths.

But the system is not fool-proof either.

"The hotel quarantine system, despite all of its improvements, has to face increasingly complex variants of concern," Victoria state Health Minister Martin Foley said earlier in the day.

Western Australia and New South Wales states are separately investigating cases of travelers in quarantine contracting the virus from infected guests staying in nearby rooms.

McGowan said he has requested the federal government to cut the number of international arrivals per week into Western Australia to 512 from 1,025.

Australia has already tightened its border controls by reducing the number of travelers from India and other virus hotspots.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

11 Comments
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Another indication that this disease is now like any normal endemic disease and these bespoke measures will never be foolproof.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

People working in the hotel have obviously carried the virus in...

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

transmission vectors can never be assumed

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@kurisupisu

Highly unlikely, given there hasn’t been any community transmission in WA for months.

More likely brought from returning international travellers.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Another indication that this disease is now like any normal endemic disease and these bespoke measures will never be foolproof.

This is in no way indicates the disease is endemic, it simply indicates the same we know well and that is that it is very easily transmitted, that and endemicity are not a fixed set. For a disease to become endemic you would need evidence that immunity in the population is not enough to prevent new cases, low duration of the protection, a wild animal as a reservoir, new serotypes (not the same as variants), etc.

People working in the hotel have obviously carried the virus in...

Or guests are not following properly the protocols of isolation, or cleaning is deficient, or the ventilation system is compromised, etc. As mentioned before, the lack of community transmission makes your explanation very unlikely.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

If he got virus during quarantine then there is a serious flaw in quarantine protocol.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

He brought a contaminated item back with him, and in the last couple of days of quarantine had physical contact with that item and infected himself.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It is known in small % of cases to show symptoms up to 21 days past infection date. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7816956/

5 ( +6 / -1 )

As research has long found out and published that the viruses (original ones) can survive approximately 70 days in vivo, that’s living or not decomposed organic material like ourselves or even dead corpses, pets, wild animals etc.) , of course two weeks of any measures cannot be sufficient by common sense and logic. A shutdown or quarantine below that amount of time, plus standard deviation(s), doesn’t make sense at all. Learn it or accept the consequences. Very simple and easy to understand, isn’t it?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The person is likely to have contracted the virus during his two-week quarantine in a Perth hotel, health officials say, raising concerns about community transmission as more virulent virus strains emerge.

Does anyone know how they sequester each incoming cohort? For example if you are on day 14 and ready to roll, but a newbie on day 1 brings in the coronavirus, is there any possible way the earlier cohort could get infected on the last day by the newbie thus ruining his big plans to party?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Does anyone know how they sequester each incoming cohort? For example if you are on day 14 and ready to roll, but a newbie on day 1 brings in the coronavirus, is there any possible way the earlier cohort could get infected on the last day by the newbie thus ruining his big plans to party?

that seems to be exactly what has happened here: tested negative and so was discharged, but got infected by another positive case within the hotel before he left (not sure what day of quarantine they were on). finally tested positive days later due to incubation period.

they should seal off entire floors for incoming groups, but logistically it'd be almost impossible, given the numbers still returning home or coming into the country. ideally quarantine would be in smaller groups of 10-15 at a fully isolated, self-contained facility--any positive test result and that person is moved into further isolation, while the rest of the group restart their quarantine count from zero...rinse and repeat.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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