The lucky country strikes AGAIN: Australia defies Covid as no new cases come from a worrying Perth hotel outbreak – but Mark McGowan REFUSES to release millions from strict lockdown rules
- Perth and Peel were due to end the three day lockdown at midnight Monday
- Premier Mark McGowan is due to provide an update through the day
- On Sunday WA recorded two new cases among returned overseas travellers
A concerning Covid cluster in a Perth hotel appears to have been contained after no new community cases were recorded nationwide on Sunday.
However, WA Premier Mark McGowan said Perth will be subject to extended Covid restrictions past an initial lockdown period of three days.
The West Australian capital and neighbouring Peel region were due to emerge from three days of lockdown at midnight Monday, but Mr McGowan has tempered expectations, and is due to provide an update through the day.
‘I’m sure there will be some further measures that continue,’ he told reporters on Sunday.
‘What they are, we won’t know until tomorrow morning. We’ll get health advice … and I think people should get used to the prospect that there will be some further measures continue beyond Monday.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said Perth will be subject to extended Covid restrictions past an initial lockdown period of three days
The lockdown was sparked by two ‘local’ transmission cases which have been traced back to a Perth Mercure Hotel used for quarantine
‘We need to see more testing completed. Most importantly we need close contacts and casual contacts that is anyone who has visited the exposure locations during the specific times to be tested.
The premier was expecting there to have been more than Saturday’s 12,000 Covid tests completed on Sunday, which would help health officials determine the path forward.
‘If there’s further cases what we do will be more than perhaps there is now. It all depends on the circumstances. I can’t predict what will happen. There will be an extension of some form of controls.’
On Sunday the state recorded two new coronavirus cases among returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine. There were no further community-transmission diagnoses.
The lockdown was sparked by two ‘local’ transmission cases which have been traced back to a Perth Mercure Hotel used for quarantine.
Late on Sunday authorities continued to search for and test hundreds of close and casual contacts of the confirmed cases.
A man aged in his 40s tested positive on Saturday after dining at a restaurant along with two other confirmed cases. His household contacts have been cleared of the virus, but authorities have extended the list of possible transmission sites, including a childcare centre, based on his recent activities.
On Sunday night, a childcare centre and a busy ‘high risk’ restaurant were added to the list of venues visited by an infected case.
Late on Sunday authorities continued to search for and test hundreds of close and casual contacts of the confirmed cases
Thai Thyme at Lakeside Joondalup has been re-categorised as a ‘high risk’ site after an infected case dined there between 6.45pm and 8pm on Thursday.
Anyone at the restaurant at the specified time must get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.
Thai Thyme joins six other restaurants across Perth listed as ‘high risk’ exposure sites.
Landsdale Early Learning and Enrichment Childcare in Perth’s north appears on four occasions on the updated list of exposure sites released by WA Health on Sunday.
The times of concern are April 20 from 4.45pm-5.15pm, April 21 from 4.45pm- 5.15pm, April 22 from 4.30pm-5pm and April 23 from 5pm-5:30pm.
All affected parents have been contacted as health officials scramble to organise special testing arrangements for children and their families.
Mr McGowan remains locked in a verbal battle with the federal government over management of the states’ quarantine schemes.
He wants Canberra to open air bases and Christmas Island to accommodate the travellers, adding that it’s the Commonwealth’s constitutional responsibility to handle the quarantine scheme.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton says the facilities are not fit for purpose and that states had previously agreed to the quarantine scheme.