Unexpected theory emerges on source of new NSW Covid case

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

The NSW Health Minister has a theory as to where the state’s latest case of Covid-19 came from.

NSW’s streak without a case local case of coronavirus came to an end after 25 days on Thursday.

The state’s health minister Brad Hazzard confirmed on Thursday morning a female worker at the Novotel and Ibis hotels in Darling Harbour had tested positive.

Mr Hazzard told 2GB the woman commuted by train to Sydney from Minto. She also took the light rail to Darling Harbour from Central to get to work.

However, on Friday Mr Hazzard told reporters the case was not contracted through community transmission and it “appears it has come from overseas”.

In an unexpected twist, Mr Hazzard said it may have been a member of an international aircrew who infected he woman.

“We have more work to do to work out where it has come from, but highly likely it came from the hotel or possibly aircrew that of course can stay overnight, stay for a few days, before they turn around and go back overseas,” he said.

A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) speaks to a driver at a drive-in Covid-19 testing site set up in the Bondi suburb of Sydney.
People drive in for Covid testing in Bondi. Source: Getty Images

He added it comes as a “massive relief”.

"We will do some more work and report back to the community but it is extremely good news for all of us,” the minister said.

NSW Health was yet to determine which aircrew or person from overseas transmitted the virus.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Jeremy McAnulty said testing of the woman's contacts was continuing.

"There have been no further positive results so far," he said.

Workers at Novotel asked to isolate

Some staff at Sydney's Novotel Hotel who worked last Friday were being tested and placed in isolation, he said.

The woman’s colleagues who worked on November 28, 29 or 30 had already been tested and her five household contacts had tested negative.

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard pictured at a Covid-19 update press conference, Martin Place, Sydney.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said NSW's latest Covid case did not come from community transmission. Source: Getty Images

NSW Health is awaiting the test results of a small number of her close contacts.

The woman's infection sparked widespread alarm on Thursday, with fears Western Australia could withdraw its promise to open its border up to NSW and Victoria from next Tuesday.

WA Premier Mark McGowan says he will take the weekend to assess his options.

However, Queensland authorities say its borders will remain open for now after travel restrictions were lifted on Tuesday.

"The government is keeping a close eye on what is happening in Sydney and our health experts are in regular contact with their NSW counterparts," Health Minister Yvette D'Ath told Queensland parliament on Thursday.

with AAP

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