Health officials in Victoria are confident that a Melbourne man picked up COVID-19 in two weeks at a hotel quarantine in South Australia.
A man in his thirties returned to his home in Warat, northern Melbourne last Tuesday and developed symptoms on Saturday.
Since then, he has returned a positive result after the test on Monday, and a retest on Tuesday confirmed that his infection was active.
The incident triggered a complete public health reaction as two states are working to find the source of the infection.
“This incident is important to remind us that we are still on the verge of a pandemic,” Victoria Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters.
Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer of Victoria, believes the man did not acquire the infection after returning to Victoria.
“It’s absolutely true that he picked it up in the South Australian quarantine,” he said.
The contact tracer completed the first interview with the infected man and all three family contacts returned negative test results.
“It’s an early encouraging sign,” said Professor Sutton.
Four “Tier 1” exposure sites have been identified, including the Altona North Office, CBD Indian Restaurants and Bars, Epping Woolworths, Spices and Grocery Stores. Anyone who visits your site at a particular time should be tested and quarantined for 14 days.
Also on Tuesday, staff from Australia’s largest pathology lab software provider had to evacuate from its Melbourne office due to the incident.
Citadel Health on Collins Street was closed after staff discovered that it was in close contact with the Melbourne incident.
A dozen staff members were evacuated, but a colleague was negative on the test.
SA health officials say they do not believe the incident represents a risk of community transmission in their state.
“Given the timing of his symptoms, I don’t think he was infectious here in SA,” state chief health officer Nicola Spurrier told the Adelaide media.
Professor Spurrier believes it is unlikely that a man was infected during quarantine in South Australia or on a return flight to Melbourne, and predicts that his infection period began last Thursday. ..
However, she admitted that the hotel quarantine could have caused the infection.
Authorities are investigating whether the man caught the virus before entering the SA and whether it had an unusually long incubation period or was caught by someone in the room next to the Playford Hotel who had the virus.
Melbourne’s positive proceedings were returned from abroad on April 19, and flew from India via the Maldives and Singapore before the Australian no-fly zone came into effect.
He tested negative on the 1st, 5th, 9th, and 13th days of the hotel quarantine, but next to a returnee who tested positive on the 9th day of his two-week stay. I was staying in my room.
Staff checked CCTV and found no infection control violations, but are currently rechecking the footage.
Currently, new guests are staying on the floor where there was a positive case.
Professor Sutton said the case was likely to be classified as an interstate highway infection, with 73 consecutive days of continuous infection in Victoria without a local case.
Meanwhile, a Victorian police officer is isolated after rescuing a man who appears to have jumped from an oil tanker in Melbourne.
A 31-year-old Georgian citizen was rescued on Sunday night in Port Phillip Bay, about 5 km from where the international tanker was anchored.
Police Airwing found a man clinging to a sea mark, and a water police officer who rescued the man was quarantined as a precautionary measure.