Brisbane on alert after rare local Covid transmission

Australia’s third-largest city of Brisbane is on high alert following a rare case of local Covid-19 transmission revealed by authorities on Friday.

It is the first locally acquired case reported in Australia in over a week, with most states gradually rolling back restrictions to near pre-pandemic levels, reports Xinhua news agency.

A 26-year-old man tested positive on Thursday, and he was potentially infected while in the community since March 19.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the case shouldn’t cause alarm, but was a timely reminder of the importance of continuing to practice good hygiene and social distancing.

“We absolutely want people, especially over the next 2-3 days, to come forward and get tested if you are feeling unwell and you have symptoms,” Palaszczuk said.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it was not known how the man contracted the disease and that genomic sequencing was being conducted to determine the source.

“We don’t know where this virus is next going to pop up but as I’ve always said if we can find the first case in a cluster, not the fortieth, we’ll be able to get on top of it much more quickly,” Young said.

Young urged residents to abide by the Covid-19 restrictions still in place in Queensland including allowing one person per two square meters for indoor venues.

“If you are in that vulnerable cohort, maybe stay at home for the next three days until we understand exactly what is happening here,” she added.