COVID-19: Uh-Oh – South Australia now a pandemic pariah with 17 cases
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Victoria and Queensland have now declared South Australia a ‘hotspot’. From midnight tonight (Monday 16 November), Queensland will require all arrivals from that state to quarantine for 14 days. This means that Queensland and Victoria join the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia who have also introduced quarantine restrictions for South Australians.
The Australian Capital Territory is also asking Canberrans to reconsider any travel to South Australia.
The only holdout state on quarantine for South Australians looks like its New South Wales, with the Premier Gladys Berejiklian saying, that South Australia seems to have it pretty much under control in terms of ‘contact and trace’.
Peppers on Waymouth Street is the ‘medi-hotel’ in question. You can read my review of the hotel here.
South Australia recorded its first locally acquired case in the last three months on Sunday November in an 80 year old woman. That case has now been identified as part of cluster, which is currently running at 17 cases.
One of the identified cases, a 60 year old man has been working in hotel quarantine for travellers returning to Australia is believed to be the source of the locally acquired cases.
Border closures to South Australia
With the disaster of Victoria fresh in our minds, which also had its genisis when infections escaped international traveller hotel quarantine, states are reacting quickly and decisively, closing borders to South Australia (SA).
The Northern Territory and Tasmania have joined with Western Australia (WA) in restricting South Australian travellers
Nasty surprise for SA flyers to Perth on Sunday
Western Australia has only recently opened its borders, and South Australians were regarded as the ‘safest’ travellers given their history of no community transmission. Not any more. On Sunday afternoon, passengers on a flight between Adelaide and Perth were forced into quarantine, as the WA Premier re-imposed travel restrictions on South Australians.
The Federal government is worried that this outbreak is going to see a domino effect of state borders closing to South Australia and possibly more widely, just as some recalcitrant states like WA and Queensland are opening up.
Consequently everyone from the chief scientist Alan Finkel to the federal health minister Greg Hunt is commenting with assurances that the SA government can handle the outbreak, and that states should not re-impose border closures.
State governments are going to have to get used to these sorts of scares. Until there is an effective vaccine this is what COVID-19 life is going to be like – lots of bumps along the highway.