Three new local Covid cases in Victoria, eight in New South Wales

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Victoria has recorded three new locally acquired coronavirus cases overnight, as the state works to contain a cluster linked to a restaurant in Melbourne’s south-east.

People return to Melbourne's central business district on 9 November 2020 as Australia's Victoria state government announces an easing of restrictions with no new cases of Covid-19 recorded for the tenth day in a row.

File photo.
Photo: AFP

The new infections were detected from 22,477 test results processed on Saturday, amid long lines at testing sites.

All three new cases are linked to a cluster at the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock, bringing the total number of Covid-19 infections linked to the restaurant to 21.

Authorities confirmed on Saturday the cluster was “directly linked” through genomic sequencing to the outbreak in New South Wales.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said 13 of the cases dined at the restaurant on December 21.

“The other eight cases are all linked, either directly or indirectly, basically through family gatherings at Christmas,” Cheng said.

He said there were about 220 close contacts in 14-day quarantine and about 360 secondary contacts.

“With this number of close contacts, we are expecting at least some of them may become case over the next week or so,” he said, adding the risk of transmission was reduced because they were quarantining already.

Health authorities are still working to identify the “index case” in the cluster.

There were no new cases acquired interstate or detected in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

There are now 32 active cases in Victoria, including people in mandatory hotel quarantine.

Eight locally acquired cases recorded in NSW, three overseas acquired cases

Eight locally acquired cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in NSW today, along with three cases acquired overseas.

Acting Premier John Barilaro urged more people to get tested.

“As of 8pm last night, firstly, there were 18,923 tests in New South Wales which I thank everybody for coming forward,” he said.

“But we do need to increase that number of testing. The success of this state has come off the back of the large number of testing that’s been happening right across the state.”

Mask wearing is now compulsory indoors in public places across Sydney as coronavirus cases continue to rise in New South Wales.

Yesterday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had, after months of resistance, made compulsory the wearing of masks indoors for indoor venues such as supermarkets and beauty salons.

The public health order came into effect at midnight and breaches could see an on-the-spot fine of $200, with a grace period for penalties until Monday.

She also announced a further reduction of restaurant capacities and the integration of the southern zone of the northern beaches into the same level of restrictions shared by Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast and Nepean Blue Mountains.

ABC

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