Sydney – South AustraliaAuthorities said on Friday that the strict six-day coronavirus lockdown resulted from a “lie” to track down contacts from a man who tested positive, and that restrictions across the state were due to be lifted much sooner than initially planned.
The surprise announcement came just two days after the state government ordered people to stay home and shut down many businesses to combat what was considered a highly contagious outbreak of the Coronavirus.
South Australian Prime Minister Stephen Marshall said at a media conference in Adelaide that a man at a pizzeria linked to the outbreak told contact tracers that he had only bought pizza there, while he had already had several shifts at the food outlet along with another worker who took the test. positive.
Authorities assumed that the man, who was not named, had contracted the virus within a very short exposure period, leading them to believe the strain must be highly contagious.
Download NBC News app For breaking news and politics
“they [the man’s] The story did not add up. We followed them. “We know now that they lied,” Marshall told reporters. “If this person had been honest with the contact tracing teams, we would not have gone into a six-day lockdown.”
“To say that I am angry at this individual’s actions is an absolute understatement. These selfish actions of this individual have put our entire situation in a very difficult situation.”
While the outbreak remains worrying, Marshall said restrictions will be lifted early with the end to the stay-at-home order at midnight Saturday night when most businesses are also allowed to open.
Asked about what punishment an individual might face, Police Commissioner Grant Stephens said there was “no penalty” for lying to trackers under the current law, although this would likely be revised.
“I think it’s clear to say that this person’s actions have had a devastating effect on our society,” said Stevens. “Hardship is not lost on us.”
Stevens said that the information review team provided by the man for hiring trackers was not satisfied with “the feeling they got from this.” Stevens would not be drawn to a man’s potential motive to mislead contact tracing tools.
Home to nearly 1.8 million people, South Australia recorded 25 cases from the most recent cluster, linked to a traveler returning from the United Kingdom. And it was expected that the number of new cases in the state would increase over the next few days.
The country as a whole has been relatively successful in containing the virus with around 95 active cases currently.
The state of Victoria Friday reported its 21st day of zero infection, a well-deserved reward for the long-running lockdown of the nation’s second largest city, Melbourne.
Typical creator. Subtly charming web advocate. Infuriatingly humble beer aficionado.