Australia

No new community cases in Qld

Greater Brisbane will enter a three day lockdown in a bid to contain a potential outbreak of a mutant strain of COVID-19. Residents in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay and Redlands council areas will enter a strict three day lockdown from 6pm on Friday until 6pm on Monday.It comes as the state recorded zero local…

Greater Brisbane will enter a three day lockdown in a bid to contain a potential outbreak of a mutant strain of COVID-19.

Residents in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay and Redlands council areas will enter a strict three day lockdown from 6pm on Friday until 6pm on Monday.

It comes as the state recorded zero local virus cases and nine in hotel quarantine.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was taking the drastic measure to prevent further spread of the highly contagious strain.

Residents of Greater Brisbane will only be allowed to leave their home for four reasons, and will have to wear a mask when they are outside their home.

“We are doing this to make sure we are keeping Queenslanders safe,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“These are tough, strong measures but this strain is incredibly infectious … I am declaring Greater Brisbane a hotspot, and I am also asking my colleagues to declare us a hotspot until we get through this together.

For the next three days, funerals will be limited to 20 people, weddings to 10, and authorities have urged people not to go to non-essential businesses, including gyms.

Greater Brisbane residents will be allowed to leave their homes for essential work, to shop for essentials, to provide essential care, and for exercise.

It comes after a hotel quarantine worker, a cleaner in her 20s, contracted the highly contagious UK variant of COVID-19. It was the first confirmed case of the virus in the Queensland community in 113 days.

She worked at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, and was tested on the same day she became symptomatic.

More than 13,000 tests were carried out in Queensland in the last testing period.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said she was confident Queenslanders could respond to this threat.

“If we can get on top of this today, we’ll be able to manage it and we won’t need to go back into a longer lockdown period,” Dr Young said.

“We need to act fast … and find every single case now. We need to find any person who might have had contact with that case and get them into quarantine.

“That’s what we have to do over the next three days.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath warned authorities would struggle to get any outbreak under control.

“We see what’s happening in the UK … We could see catastrophic results,” she said.

“This is not hypothetical.”

The woman spent five days in the community while unknowingly infectious, sparking an urgent contact tracing alert was issued for a number of locations in Calamvale and Sunnybank as well as two train routes.

Residents in Algester, Sunnybank Hills and Calamvale were told to immediately get tested for any symptoms, no matter how mild.

Aged care facilities, hospitalities and disability facilities were locked down to protect vulnerable people.

A special meeting of national cabinet will be convened on Friday to discuss mandatory testing of international arrivals before they board their flights to Australia, amid fears the spread of the mutant strain of COVID-19 could cripple Australia.

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