Daniel Andrews warns that 20 Victorians have entered the state from the mutant Covid-infected Brisbane hotel
Twenty travelers who arrived in Victoria from Queensland in the past two weeks have been ordered to isolate and get tested for coronavirus, fearing they may have been exposed to a highly contagious strain of virus in the quarantine of hotels.
Health authorities are on high alert amid fears that an outbreak of the British mutant strain at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane has spread across the highway.
Contract tracers have tracked down 18 people who were in hotel quarantine in Queensland who have arrived in Victoria since Dec. 30, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews confirmed Thursday.
Another two travelers have since crossed the border into South Australia.
The bottom line is that for the eighth consecutive day, Victoria has not registered any new cases of the coronavirus out of 16,533 tests conducted on Wednesday.
Some of the 18 in Victoria may need to be quarantined for the full 14 days, while others only need to isolate themselves until they return a negative test.
Victoria did not register coronavirus cases on Thursday for the eighth consecutive day. Pictured are health workers at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, who will welcome the arrival of Australian Open players and officials in the coming days
“There isn’t one general answer,” Mr. Andrews said Thursday.
“It depends when they were in hotel quarantine.
‘There is a specific window where we think there is a chance that because of the infections already registered in the hotel quarantine, between staff and residents, and it is that British tribe, without any other link, the circumstances are strong on each one’s travel movements and when they were in hotel quarantine. ‘
Anyone who has completed mandatory hotel quarantine at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Brisbane on or after December 30, and has since arrived in Victoria, should isolate themselves and immediately contact the state’s coronavirus hotline.
They should be tested at home and quarantined until they get a negative result.
‘The Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Logan, Ipswich will remain in the Red Zone and travel to Victoria is not permitted without an exemption, exception, or permitted workers’ permit, ” Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services added in a statement.
“Anyone who has arrived in Victoria from one of these LGAs since December 30 should be tested at home and quarantined until they get a negative result.”
Travel from the other ‘red zone’, Greater Sydney, also remains banned, with the state government defending strict border restrictions.
Anyone who has completed the hotel quarantine at the Grand Chancellor hotel in Brisbane on or after December 30 (shown Wednesday) and has since arrived in Victoria will be instructed to isolate themselves
New South Wales has issued a similar health warning, asking anyone who has been in the hotel since December 30, as a returning traveler or employee, to be tested immediately and isolated for 14 days regardless of the result.
The new outbreak in Brisbane could also slow the Victorian government down back-to-work plans for Melbourne employees.
Plans to open 50 percent of private office buildings and 25 percent of civil servants were originally scheduled to start this week, but were delayed for another week due to recent outbreaks in Victoria and NSW.
The Victorian government is expected to release more details in the coming days, the Herald Sun reported.
Victorian health authorities remain very vigilant about the virus, despite no new cases being recorded in the past eight days. Pictured are health workers preparing personal protective equipment at a Melbourne hotel ahead of the Australian Open next month
The cluster associated with the Brisbane hotel currently ranks six, including four quarantined guests, a cleaner and her partner.
The Grand Chancellor Hotel is now closed for thorough cleaning after 129 quarantined guests were transferred to alternative accommodation Wednesday night after two guests on the same floor mysteriously contracted the virus.
Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk admitted on Wednesday that the cluster is a national concern.
There are currently 29 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria.
Meanwhile, the first of 1,200 tennis players, support crew and officials are expected in Melbourne on Thursday evening for next month’s Australian Open.
They will have to be quarantined for two weeks in one of three hotels dedicated to the Australian Open, ahead of the first tennis grand slam in 2021.
The photo shows health workers preparing for the arrival of 1,200 tennis players, support staff and officials who will check into three quarantine hotels in Melbourne in the coming days
The British Mutant Covid Strain Explained
Covid’s highly contagious mutated strain now has 27 variations after it was first identified in Kent County, England, on Sept. 21.
It now represents more than 50% of new cases diagnosed between October and December, making it the most common Covid strain in England today.
The deadly strain is believed to be more contagious and affect children worse than the original, prompting the government to plunge England back into its third nationwide lockdown.
The new variant is between 50 and 74 percent more contagious than the previous one, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be more deadly.