Health officials are bracing for a potential Covid-19 outbreak after a Sydney man with a “high viral load” visited 14 suburbs over five days.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant announced the news yesterday afternoon – putting at least 19 venues across the city’s north, east and west on alert.
Global biosecurity and infectious disease expert, the University of NSW’s Professor Raina MacIntyre, said the next two weeks will be critical in knowing “if the virus’ spread is growing or not”.
“It is worrying because it’s unknown where this man acquired this infection. Who did they get infected from? That’s the real question of interest.”
It comes as more than 42,000 residents in Sydney’s inner west have been warned to look out for any Covid-19 symptoms after virus fragments were found in wastewater from a sewage plant.
Queenslanders are also being told they must quarantine if they’ve been to a venue connected to the Sydney coronavirus case.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young stressed people must home quarantine and get tested today.
A man in his 50s is from Sydney’s east had been “very active in the community” while infected.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new case was a “wake-up call” after she’d seen people in the state become complacent.
The man visited a number of venues across Sydney while potentially infectious, in Bondi Junction, Rushcutters Bay, Silverwater, Annandale, Casula, Mascot, Double Bay, Brookvale and Moore Park.
The new community Covid-19 case in Sydney hasn’t impacted the transtasman bubble so far – with New Zealand health authorities deeming it a low risk to public health.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health said it did not recommend any change in quarantine-free travel with Australia, which started on April 19.
The ministry said it would remain in close contact with its Australian counterparts with another update expected today based on further testing results and health assessment.
“Anyone planning to travel to New South Wales should take into account that advice from health authorities could change at any time, and be prepared for their travel plans to be disrupted.”
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