Infected person’s flatmates have tested negative
The infected person’t housemates have tested negative, which McGowan says is a relief as – though they may test positive in coming days – means that they are unlikely to be infectious. They have been placed in hotel quarantine.
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Premier Mark McGowan says that the government believes the case – a hotel security guard – acquired the infection on Tuesday or Wednesday:
We think he acquired the illness on Tuesday or Wednesday of the last week. His last days were Tuesday and Wednesday. So therefore, he got tested, I think, yesterday or the day before because he was feeling unwell, he went to a GP and then to to the clinic.
We got the result last night. We are advised he has not worked a second job in the time since he last worked in hotel quarantine.
McGowan urges anyone at all who feels unwell to get tested. But, he warns:
I will just say as well, this is a hot day and there are hot days ahead. The hours that the Covid clinic operating our long, that I would be prepared but there may be a wait. This is the normal practice around Australia and around the world. We expect that there will be a wait when you go to get tested. Take a hat, take sunscreen, take water.
Measures go into effect from 6pm tonight
WA premier Mark McGowan says the measures announced moments ago will come into effect at 6pm tonight. But he stresses there is no need for people to rush to supermarkets:
The measures will start from 6pm this evening and in the time. Between now and then I just urge people to be sensible and do the right thing.
There is no need to rush to the supermarkets. They will not be a shortage of toilet paper or other goods. You will be able to go out and shop for essentials over the course of this week. I urge everyone to remain calm and to act responsibly. Why didn’t daily testing happened much earlier to ensure that this particular case would be called earlier?
So in case you are just joining us, the Australian state of Western Australia has imposed a lockdown on large parts of the state in response to a single coronavirus case – the first case of community transmission in nearly 10 months.
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Premier Mark McGowan explains why the case is feared to be the new UK variant:
The reason why we are particularly interested around the UK variant is because we know he was on the floor with an active case, we do not know if that is the active case that he courted from or if it is from some other interaction in the work place full did he say if he went into a room? We know he did not go into a room and he did not expose himself unnecessarily and asa result of that we will undertake necessary investigations.
This is obviously a very fresh situation and we are trying to get to the bottom of it. Over the coming 24-48 hours we will be undertaking extensive contact tracing and our contact tracing teams were stood up early this morning and they are working hard.
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List of possible exposure sites in WA
People who have been to the following areas must be tested:
- Coles Maylands supermarket on January 25, between8pm and 10pm.
- KFC Maylands on the 27 January from 6pm to midnight.
- Mitsubishi motors car dealership in Midland on January 27 from 7pm to close.
- Spud Shed, Coventry Village, on January 27 from 8pm to midnight.
- ECU Joondalup onJ anuary 28, from 11am to 2pm
- The Consulate general of India on Saint Georges Terrace in Perth on the 28th January, from 12pm to 5pm.
- Halal Grocery Store in Cloverdale onJanuary 28, from 7pm to 9pm.
- Venus Ladies and Gentlemen Hair Design in Maylands on January 29 from 1pm to three p.m.
- Perth Convention Centreon January 29 from 4pm to six p.m.
- Nedlands family practice GP surgery on 29 January, from 5pm to six p.m.
- Chemist Warehouse in North Perthpharmacy, from January 29 from 530pm to 7:30pm.
- 7-11 Ascot petrol station on January 29, from 8pm to9pm.
- Paul’s Maylands supermarket onJanuary 29 from 8pm until nine p.m
- The Puma service Station in Burswood on January 13 from 11am until 12midday.
- Coles express shell servicestation in Cloverdale on January 30 from 12pm until 3pm.
- Pharmacy 777 at Mayland Park shopping centre.
Health Minister Roger Cook continues:
Now people who have been to these venues on these dates must attend a Covid clinic and be tested.
In addition, people who live or work in the Kirk Avenue Maylands area including Coles, Liquor Land and the shopping precinct should present for a test also. After undertaking the test they must go home and isolate until a negative test result is returned.
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Premier Mark McGowan ends – before handing over to the health minister – by saying:
I urge the community to act calmly. This is crucial … We have maintained a careful, cautious approach throughout, and our measures have worked.
Despite our state’s success we have been well prepared to respond to any situations as they emerge. We will provide further updates as they come to hand. All relevant information will be posted on websites as it comes to hand.
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Western Australia cancels some elective surgeries, extends school holidays
Further restrictions in WA following the confirmation of the first community case in nearly 10 months:
Elective surgery and procedures for categories two and three will be suspended from Tuesday, 2 February, and category one and urgent category two surgery will continue.
For a majority of schools, school was due to start tomorrow. That has now been put on hold, and schools will be closed until next week, following the lockdown measures. It is in effect an extension of the school holidays.
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Perth, Peel and south-west regions of Western Australia to go into snap lockdown
The areas under the restrictions below are Perth, Peel and south-west regions of WA.
In addition to this five-day stay home rule, if you do leave home for one of the four reasons you will be required to wear a mask at all times outside, and if you need to do work indoors, then wearing a mask is also mandatory.
To be clear, mask wearing on public transport is also mandatory.
People in the Perth, Peel or south-west regions need to stay inside their region for the next five days, unless for an essential reason.
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Western Australia imposes Covid restrictions, lockdown in specific areas
In light of the new case, McGowan has announced restrictions for specific areas – we will list these in a moment.
Here are the restrictions so far:
Following discussions with the chief health officer and police commissioner, the following measures will be put in place from 6pm. People in these regions are required to stay home:
Except for the following four reasons:
- shopping for essentials like groceries, medicine and necessary supplies;
- medical or healthcare needs, including compassionate requirements and looking after the vulnerable;
- exercise within their neighbourhood, but only with one other person and only for one hour per day;
- work, when you cannot work from home or remotely.
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“It appears this new case likely has the highly transmissible UK variant,” Mark McGowan has said. This has not yet been confirmed, however.
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Western Australia hotel quarantine worker tests positive for Covid in first case in state for nearly 10 months
Western Australia has confirmed its first community transmission case in nearly 10 months, premier Mark McGowan has announced.
The case is a hotel security guard in his 20s.
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Western Australia press conference begins
The emergency Covid press conference called by Western Australian premier Mark McGowan is starting now.
We’ll bring you the developments live.
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WHO team visits Baishazhou wet market in Wuhan
A World Health Organization team looking into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic visited a market on Sunday known to be the food distribution centre for the Chinese city of Wuhan during the 76-day lockdown last year, AP reports.
The team was seen walking through sections of the Baishazhou market – one of the largest wet markets in Wuhan – surrounded by a large entourage of Chinese officials and representatives.
The team, with expertise in veterinarian, virology, food safety and epidemiology, has visited two hospitals at the centre of the early outbreak – Wuhan Jinyintan hospital and the Hubei Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine hospital.
On Saturday, the members also visited a museum exhibition dedicated to the early history of Covid.
The WHO said on Twitter last Thursday that the team plans to visit hospitals and markets like the Huanan Seafood Market, which was linked to many of the first cases. It also listed the Wuhan Institute of Virology and laboratories at facilities including the Wuhan Center for Disease Control.
The mission has become politically charged, as China seeks to avoid blame for alleged missteps in its early response to the outbreak.
A single visit by scientists is unlikely to confirm the virus’s origins. Pinning down an outbreak’s animal reservoir is typically an exhaustive endeavour that takes years of research including taking animal samples, genetic analysis and epidemiological studies.
One possibility is that a wildlife poacher might have passed the virus to traders who carried it to Wuhan. The Chinese government has promoted theories, with little evidence, that the outbreak might have started with imports of frozen seafood tainted with the virus, a notion roundly rejected by international scientists and agencies.
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West Australian premier calls emergency coronavirus press conference
Mark McGowan, the premier of the state of West Australia, has called an emergency Covid media conference, the ABC reports.
Health minister Roger Cook will be present.
The state’s last community transmission of the virus was nearly 10 months ago. We will cover the conference live at 12.30pm AWST (15.30pm AEST).
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Countries tighten borders against Covid
A number of countries tightened their borders against a surge in variant strains of the deadly coronavirus as the United States ordered travellers to wear masks on most public transport, AFP reports.
With doses of the different Covid-19 vaccines so far approved for use still in relatively short supply – and mass inoculation programs in their early stages – Britain and the EU have become embroiled in an ugly row over the shots they had been promised by AstraZeneca.
The vaccine developed by the British-Swedish firm is only the third to be rolled out in Europe. But the company has said it can deliver only a fraction of the doses promised to Brussels and London because of production problems.
As the World Health Organization warned against “vaccine nationalism” both Britain and EU said on Saturday that they were confident the problems could be resolved.
But tensions showed scant sign of easing.
France’s European affairs minister Clement Beaune warned it would pose “a problem” if the UK was given preferential treatment.
“If there is an industrial problem, that can happen, people can understand that,” he said.
“But if preferential treatment is shown to Britain, that would be a problem.”
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