Australian Covid-19 Containment Cracks: Cases Spreading New South Wales and Possibly Queensland

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

New Aussie lockdowns coming? While Australia’s sun drenched Summer weather is a natural advantage which has helped us contain local Covid infections, the epidemic in Australia is far from over, with ongoing sporadic outbreaks. The latest outbreak could be about to go national.

Coronavirus updates LIVE: Northern beaches COVID cluster grows in Sydney as new case confirmed in Cronulla; NSW remains on high alert

By Josh Dye
Updated December 18, 2020 — 10.56am

  • Sydney’s northern beaches residents have been asked to stay in their homes after a coronavirus cluster in the area reached 17 cases on Thursday
  • Tasmania has shut its border to anyone who has been in northern beaches on or since December 11
  • Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory have asked people who have been on the northern beaches to quarantine for 14 days. WA went a step further and imposed this on anyone from NSW
  • NSW Health has added more than a dozen new locations – including an Aldi supermarket, Commonwealth Bank branch and a Chemist Warehouse outlet – to its list of COVID-impacted venues in the northern beaches
  • Overnight, French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for COVID-19 after developing symptoms. There have now been over 74 million cases globally and 1.6 million deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally

Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/national/coronavirus-updates-live-sydney-remains-on-high-alert-after-northern-beaches-covid-19-cluster-grows-to-17-20201217-p56okd.html

Note the link to the article contains a video describing how one infected person from NSW is known to have travelled to Queensland, visiting Brisbane and staying overnight on the Sunshine Coast before being diagnosed.

The source of this latest outbreak appears to be a quarantine failure;

Northern beaches cluster reaches 28 cases, Sydney placed on high alert

For our free coronavirus pandemic coverage, learn more here.

By Mary Ward and Josh Dye
Updated December 18, 2020 — 1.36pm

The coronavirus cluster on the northern beaches grew to 28 cases on Friday, as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the source of the new infections was from overseas.

Genome sequencing of cases identified in the Avalon cluster confirmed overnight that it does not match any virus strains in recent Australian clusters and is a very close match to the virus in a woman currently in hotel quarantine who flew in from overseas on December 1.

Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/northern-beaches-cluster-reaches-28-cases-20201218-p56oo4.html

Anyone who claims one big lockdown and it is all over is talking out of their proverbial. Australia has tremendous natural advantages – hot, often humid weather, strong borders / geographical isolation, and a low population density. Yet even Australia cannot keep Covid-19 completely contained, it keeps coming back.

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December 18, 2020 at 04:07PM

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