Hundreds in Covid quarantine as premier warns residents 'not over yet'

Ash Cant
·4-min read

Hundreds of people have been placed in quarantine as Western Australia recorded two new cases of Covid-19, Premier Mark McGowan has revealed.

However there were no new additional locally acquired cases overnight, with one of the two cases previously identified on Friday and the other a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

Addressing reporters on Saturday, Mr McGowan said the case identified on Friday was a woman in her 40s who tested positive.

Western Australia recorded no new cases of community transmission, as Perth starts off its three-day lockdown. Source: AAP
Western Australia recorded no new cases of community transmission, as Perth starts off its three-day lockdown. Source: AAP

The woman is a confirmed close contact of the man who completed two weeks quarantine at a hotel in Perth and later tested positive. 

Her locally acquired case is officially included in Saturday's numbers, there have been 984 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the state since the start of the pandemic.

The other case was a woman in her 50s, who returned from India.

Premier's warning to residents

While Mr McGowan said the development was promising, he urged residents to stay alert.

"These are encouraging signs, but we're not out of the woods just yet, particularly with number of contacts that we are waiting test results for," he said.

"Unfortunately Covid is not going away anytime soon."

The premier said over 2500 tests were conducted across the state on Friday and said hundreds of people remain in isolation.

"In total to date, we have identified 337 contacts, including 71 close contacts. They have all been tested or will be today — they will remain in quarantine," he said. 

"So far 27 close contacts have tested negative. There are currently 109 casual contacts with 60 of those returning a negative result so far.

Mark McGowan thanked all West Australians for their response to Perth and the Peel region's snap three-day lockdown and said people have followed the restrictions and adhered to the rules.

The premier encouraged people to stay at home during the lockdown.

"During this 3-day lockdown we want as many people to stay home and minimise movement as much as possible," Mr McGowan said. 

"There are four reasons only to leave home and I asked people to follow the rules."

The lockdown is expected to end at midnight on Monday.

McGowan calls for Commonwealth quarantine

The premier once again stated he wants Commonwealth assistance with quarantine.

"I have been calling for the Commonwealth's assistance with quarantine for many months now," he said. 

"CBD hotels are not fit for purpose quarantine facilities, and quarantine is the responsibility of the Commonwealth government under the Constitution."

Mark McGowan has called for Commonwealth quarantine facilities to be used. Source: AAP
Mark McGowan has called for Commonwealth quarantine facilities to be used. Source: AAP

Mr McGowan said there are "a number" of Commonwealth facilities which would be appropriate for hotel quarantine and said it was "time for the Commonwealth to step up and help".

He suggested Commonwealth facilities at Curtin Air Base near Derby could hold 1500 people, or Christmas Island could be used as a quarantine site.

He acknowledged while hotel quarantine, as it is right now, is "imperfect" it has worked well with some 45,000 people returning to Australia and being processed in WA.

Contacts of WA traveller in Victoria test negative

Four close contacts of a Covid-infected traveller who flew from Perth to Melbourne have tested negative along with dozens of fellow passengers.

Victoria's Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed the 54-year-old man's spouse, his two children and one child's friend have all returned negative test results as they continue to self-isolate.

The returned traveller tested negative throughout his quarantine period at Perth's Mercure Hotel and then moved freely in the city for five days before coming to Melbourne aboard a Qantas flight.

Victoria's testing commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed close contacts of the infected traveller from WA have tested negative for Covid-19. Source: AAP
Victoria's testing commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed close contacts of the infected traveller from WA have tested negative for Covid-19. Source: AAP

Some 265 fellow passengers, crew and ground staff associated with QF778 have been contacted by Victorian health authorities and told to get tested and self-isolate for two weeks.

"We spoke to around 200 of them last night and those conversations have continued this morning, and will continue throughout today and the weekend," Mr Weimar told reporters on Saturday.

Of those, 49 people have already tested negative. They will still have to remain in self-isolation for 14 days.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.