Health

Western Australia to enter lockdown after quarantine worker tests positive

Sydney, Australia, Jan 31 (efe-epa).- Much of Western Australia is to enter a snap lockdown Sunday night after a quarantine hotel worker tested positive for Covid-19.

The case ends a 10-month virus-free streak in the state and the lockdown will run for five days.

“Beginning at 6 pm (10:00 GMT) tonight the whole Perth metropolitan area, the Peel region and the South West region will be going into full lockdown,” state premier Mark McGowan told reporters in a press conference. “This lockdown will last until 6 pm on Friday.”

The quarantine hotel security officer in his 20s is believed to have been working on the same floor of the Sheraton Four Points hotel as a person infected with the more contagious United Kingdom variant, McGowan said.

There were four active cases in the hotel at the time, with two UK and one South African variant among them.

“Exactly how the infection was acquired remains under investigation,” McGowan said. “He developed symptoms on Thursday 28 January, and phoned in sick and did not go to work at the quarantine facility.”

Extensive contact tracing is underway.

The guard’s household members have tested negative but are now in state quarantine facilities.

Residents in the affected lockdown areas will be required to stay home, with the only exceptions being shopping for essentials, going out for medical or healthcare needs, exercise for one hour per day and essential work outside the home.

The use of masks will be mandatory in public.

A wide range of businesses will close, including bars, gyms, sporting and recreation venues and cinemas, while restaurants are to provide take-out and delivery services only. Schools were to open Monday but will remain closed for the week.

Australia has recorded 28,806 cases of Covid-19, and 909 deaths since the country’s epidemic began a year ago. It currently has 78 active cases. EFE-EPA

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