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Man tests Covid positive in Victoria after 14 days in quarantine

A Victorian man has tested positive for coronavirus after completing two weeks quarantine at a hotel in Perth.

Authorities say the man travelled from Perth to Melbourne on Wednesday where he was told to get tested and quarantine at home until he received the result.

All passengers on Qantas flight QF778 are now considered close contacts after he returned a positive result on Friday morning after getting tested on Thursday.

It is believed while he was in hotel quarantine, he had been staying in a room adjacent to a positive case.

The man's positive result brings Victoria's eight-week run without a locally acquired case to an end.

He had three household contacts and authorities were working to trace his movements in the airport and contact those on his flight.

The tails of three Qantas planes.
Passengers on the man's Qantas flight are being contacted. Source: Getty (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“We will be examining the gentleman’s movements, particularly through the airport, where he did where a mask, as he did on the flight,” Victorian Health Minster Martin Foley told reporters.

“It just goes to show here is a gentleman who did exactly the right thing, showed no signs of the illness and as a result of our friends in WA notifying him and notifying us we were able to immediately get on to this case.”

The health minister added the new case served as a reminder the pandemic was not over.

“Victorians have been down this path. We know the drill ... We will do the right thing to keep this [to] one case, at the moment,” he said.

The state has not recorded a locally acquired case since February 26 when two cases were linked to the Holiday Inn cluster sparked by a quarantine leak.

Concerns over WA's quarantine hotels

WA has been under the spotlight this week as cases in Perth hotel quarantine prompted concern.

A pregnant mother and her four-year-old daughter contracted COVID-19 while in hotel quarantine, with genomic testing confirming the virus spread to the pair at Perth's Mercure Hotel from a couple who had returned from India and were staying across the corridor.

It also emerged that the government had known for weeks that the Mercure was the highest-risk of WA's quarantine hotels due to ventilation issues.

West Australian Labor leader Mark McGowan speaks during a press conference in Rockingham.
Premier Mark McGowan announced the Mercure would no longer accommodate returned overseas travellers. Source: AAP (AAPIMAGE)

Premier Mark McGowan on Thursday announced the Mercure would no longer accommodate returned overseas travellers.

It will instead transition to a "low-risk" quarantine hotel for a flightload of seasonal workers expected to arrive from Tonga and Vanuatu next month.

The mother who contracted the virus, a nurse from Wales who is emigrating to Australia, is six months' pregnant, the ABC reports.

She and her daughter, who tested positive on day 12 of their initial quarantine period, will be forced to remain in isolation for another week.

There have been increasing numbers of positive cases in overseas travellers in Australia.

As of 8pm Thursday NSW recorded 18 new cases in hotel quarantine, while there were four in Queensland and two in Victoria.

Several overseas cases are being reported in travellers from India, with the number of repatriation flights from the country to be cut along with the number of direct flights allowed to land in Australia.

with AAP

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