Australia’s Brisbane to enter 3-day lockdown over UK COVID strain case

at 12:04 pm
Representational /file image

New Delhi (NVI): The Australian city Brisbane will enter a three-day lockdown from today evening after a quarantine hotel worker was found to be infected with the mutant strain of COVID-19 discovered in Britain.

The Queensland state government said, the lockdown will begin at around 6 pm Friday till next Monday, in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas, according to the reports.

During the lockdown, the local residents of Australia’s third most popular city must wear masks and will be allowed to leave home only for buying essential items and seeking medical care.

This is for the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Annastacia Palaszczuk, the State Premier said, “We are doing this to keep Queenslanders safe. We know that this UK strain is highly infectious. It is 70 per cent more infectious, and we are going to go hard and we are going to go early to do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus.”

“If we do not do this now, it could end up being a 30-day lockdown,” Palaszczuk added.

The tough restrictions came after a young cleaner working in Brisbane’s quarantine hotel was found to be infected with the mutant strain of coronavirus that was discovered in Britain. She is also the first locally acquired case of the highly infectious COVID-19 strain, the reports said.

The city, however, reported very few cases of COVID-19, except the quarantined travellers, since the first wave last year.

Furthermore, the government also announced that it will begin pre-flight screening for passengers from the UK as well as cutting flights from Britain by half and ordering all visitors to the country to wear masks.

Australia has reported a total of just over 28,500 COVID-19 cases and 909 deaths since the pandemic began, the John Hopkins University data shows.