UK strain in Brisbane, Sydney cluster, borders sealed


Brisbane is COVID-free finally. no longer considered a coronavirus hotspot. This also means that there are now no nationally declared hotspots. But it doesn’t mean life is back to normal for citizens, or that visitors can return home.

Only NSW and the ACT are welcoming people from the Greater Brisbane area, while others require exemption permits or declarations, or even a 14 day stay in quarantine.

Restrictions brought in for the area itself are also not going anywhere until at least Friday.

Earlier, New South Wales recorded six new locally acquired cases of COVID-19.

Five of those are the spouse and children of a man who was the single community transmission case announced on Saturday.

“The sixth person is a very close contact of them in very close proximity,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Sunday.

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“The cases are all very close to Berala and investigations are underway. We’ll have the genomic testing this afternoon to confirm that they are part of that cluster.”

One of the new cases, now in isolation, is a staff member at Concord Repatriation General Hospital who worked three shifts in the cardiology and radiology wards “while potentially infectious” on January 12, 13 and 14, NSW Health said.

“The person’s role involves minimal contact with patients. They wore a face mask during each shift,” the department said. Close and casual contacts are being notified.

Health officials want to see testing numbers increase across the state but particularly in the areas of Bankstown, Lidcombe, Auburn, Berala and Wentworthville.

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Meanwhile, Health Minister Greg Hunt says the Federal Government is seeking further information from Norway in regards to “possible consequences of the Pfizer vaccine”.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency said 29 people have died after receiving their jabs. All were elderly people, over the age of 75, with serious underlying health conditions.

“We have immediately sought and I have been in contact with the Australian medical regulator, the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration), this morning, and requested that they seek additional information, both from the company, but also from the Norwegian medical regulator,” Mr Hunt said on Sunday.