ACT Health still can’t confirm how Canberra’s second coronavirus death, a man in his 80s who barely left his home, got the disease, a mystery that was labelled concerning by Canberra’s acting chief health officer this afternoon (April 6).
“It is concerning. This was an elderly gentleman that did not venture a lot outside of his local area,” Dr Vanessa Johnston said in a press conference this afternoon.
“That’s why we’ve gone to great lengths to try and get to the bottom of this and we still have some tests on some members of the community in relation to this and we’ll have more to say about that towards the end of this week or early next week.”
The man, who had pre-existing health issues, died at Canberra Hospital over the weekend.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith commented at the press conference, too, saying they are actively testing for community transmission.
“We do have some spare capacity, that’s why we started moving towards the random testing of people who don’t meet the criteria,” she said.
“The reason that we are doing that is to ensure that we have the capacity to detect as quickly as possible, if we are starting to see community transmission here in the ACT. We still have two cases currently under investigation in the ACT where we haven’t clearly identified a source of transmission for those people. So we are on the lookout for community transmission.
“If you look at that matrix of symptoms which break down COVID-19 versus cold versus flu, and your symptoms are much more like the COVID-19 symptoms than they are cold and flu symptoms, please do go and talk to somebody at the Weston Creek respiratory centre or at the EPIC drive through and see if you meet the criteria for testing or you might be one of those people who are randomly tested. But if you look at that and you have symptoms that are more likely to be a cold or flu, please don’t go and seek testing. Call your GP, call the coronavirus hotline for further device and information.”