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One Local Virus Case Spotted In Australian State, 19 On Ship

Queensland has recorded another local Covid-19 case in Brisbane in a possible quarantine breach with 19 cases on a ship offshore.

BRISBANE, Australia — Queensland has recorded a new local Covid-19 case that has been infectious in the community in Brisbane for six days, and 19 new infections have been reported on a ship offshore.

The man completed hotel quarantine in Brisbane on July 17 and then stayed at a backpacker hotel in the Central Business District before becoming unwell and getting tested on July 26.

“Queensland #COVID19 update 28/07/21 Today, we have recorded 20 new cases of Covid-19, 1 case was locally acquired, and 19 cases were overseas acquired aboard an offshore ship off the coast of Queensland,” tweeted the Queensland Health Department.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the man has likely been infectious in the community since July 22.

“Now we will go and contact trace the people in that backpackers’ hotel and other people that this gentleman’s been in contact with,” she said.

“Now, this is our 13th incursion of the virus into the community in Queensland over the last six weeks, so it is becoming increasingly concerning that we are having these repeated incursions of the virus into Queensland.”

Health care workers are seen leaving the Roma Street City Backpackers Hostel in Brisbane, July 28, 2021. A man who has been staying at the Roma Street City Backpackers after leaving quarantine on July 17 on his return to Australia from the Philippines, has now tested positive to Covid-19. (Darren England/AAP Image)

Young said that the hotel quarantine system was clearly insufficient in containing the Delta variant of Covid-19.

She had also asked for all politicians in the state to be prioritized for vaccination due to the risk of them bringing the virus from Brisbane into the regions.

“I think this is escalating now; we have had 13 incursions of the virus into the community, into the Queensland community over the last six weeks,” said Young.

“That is more than we’ve seen before for a long time, so I’m very worried. And most of those have been the Delta variant, so I just want to manage every single risk that I can think of as much as I can.”

Authorities have also recorded another 19 Covid-19 cases on a ship off the state’s coast after 17,816 tests overnight.

Young said the ship is due to arrive in Weipa on July 28, and the sick crew members will be transferred to hospitals onshore for treatment.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Queensland will relax quarantine requirements for residents and people with travel exemptions in Victoria and South Australia after both those states lifted virus lockdowns overnight.

She said those travelers will be allowed to quarantine at home rather than in hotels on July 30.

“If anyone is found to be in breach of home quarantine, not only can they be fined, but they also can be required to go into hotel quarantine,” D’Ath said.

There have been a total of 1,790 cases in Queensland since the inception of the pandemic in 2020, as per reports.

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra

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