COVID-19: Australia’s largest state reports first case in more than a month
Australia’s largest state reported its first COVID-19 case in more than a month and health authorities are working to trace the source of the infection.
The New South Wales ministry of health said in a statement that Australia has largely eradicated COVID-19, but a man in his 50s with no known links to hotels used to quarantine people who have arrived from overseas tested positive for COVID-19.
The man visited several venues in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, the capital of NSW and Australia’s biggest city, it is NSW’s first local COVID-19 case since March 31.
Testing on the man showed his viral load was higher than typically seen in other infected people, potentially increasing the chance he has spread the disease, the ministry said.
NSW’s Chief Health Officer, Kerry Chant said, all close contacts of the man have been told to self-isolate and get tested, Chant said e man is considered to have been infectious since April 30.
“The case elevates the chance that social distancing restrictions will once again be imposed in NSW. Many curbs had been eased as local infections dwindled.
“Testing is underway to find if this case is genetically linked to anyone in the quarantine system or cases in other states, Chant said.
Australia has taken a hard-line approach to curtail the spread of COVID-19, including snap lockdowns, border controls and speedy contact tracing systems.
It has recorded just over 29,800 cases and 910 deaths since the pandemic began.
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s decision to block all travel for two weeks from India, which is in the midst of a massive wave of COVID-19 infections has been widely criticised.
He said it is a necessary step to ensure that Australian citizens and residents get home safely, in a way that did not risk a third wave in Australia.