ACT hotel tests reveal contagious South African strain

Share Canberra's trusted news:

GENOME sequencing from the two travellers in ACT hotel quarantine who returned a positive COVID-19 test show they have been infected with the more contagious South African COVID-19 variant (also known as B.1.351). 

ACT Health reports that the two males, a man in his 40s and another younger than 20 – who are not related – have moved to a separate area of the hotel for further care and support. Both are well.

Last month chief medical officer Dr Paul Kelly warned that variants of coronavirus which originated in the UK and South Africa were on their way to becoming the dominant COVID-19 strains around the world.

“We need to be prepared for those strains, which are definitely more able to be transmitted between people [and] may be associated with more severity. That is still information we need to continue to watch carefully.”

Additional testing in Canberra of the other returned passengers is taking place today (March 6) on day five of their hotel quarantine period to help identify any further cases early during the quarantine period. Any returned traveller who experiences any symptoms of COVID-19 at any point during the 14-day quarantine period will also be tested.

ACT Health is liaising with NSW Health authorities and Singapore Airlines about the two cases to support other contact-tracing efforts.

Health says the ACT has strong systems in place for hotel quarantine that are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“As part of this, all staff working in hotel quarantine follow stringent PPE and infection control processes, and participate in the Safeguarding Canberrans (SCAN) program in which they undergo daily symptom screening and regular COVID-19 testing,” the directorate says.

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleBelco Party turns its hand to rubbish
Next articleReview / Passion, tango and tapping feet

Leave a Reply