SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia on Friday reported its first locally acquired coronavirus case in more than a week after a 26-year-old man tested positive, prompting authorities to place restrictions on hospitals, retirement homes and disability centres.
The person who contracted the virus has been infectious for a week but stayed mostly isolated at home since Monday after developing symptoms, Queensland state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Visitors will be banned in hospitals and retirement homes in state capital Brisbane starting Friday as authorities urged the city’s residents to wear masks indoors and when using public transport.
“I hope we don’t need to have more restrictions, but it just depends what unfolds over the next 24, 48 hours,” state Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young told reporters.
Health alerts have been issued for shopping centres, an Italian restaurant and supermarkets exposed to the virus as officials rushed to trace the source of the infection.
Snap lockdowns, social distancing rules and speedy contact tracing systems have helped Australia to contain fresh clusters. It has reported just over 29,200 cases and 909 deaths since the pandemic began.
(Reporting by Renju Jose. Editing by Gerry Doyle)