It was the lie that launched a lockdown — and it hinged on a pizza joint.
After dozens of coronavirus instances emerged this week within the state of South Australia, the federal government rapidly clamped down, issuing onerous stay-at-home orders. Masks have been obligatory. Restaurants, cafes, pubs and retails shops have been closed, together with faculties.
But officials abruptly reversed course two days later, saying on Friday that the contaminated particular person had “deliberately misled” a contact-tracing group within the metropolis of Adelaide. It all got here right down to his relationship with a pizza store.
It turned out that the individual on the Woodville Pizza Bar wasn’t a buyer, as he had advised contact tracers, however a part-time worker and a shut contact of one other coronavirus affected person who additionally labored on the restaurant. That mattered as a result of well being officials initially feared that the newly contaminated man had contracted the virus from solely a transient publicity.
South Australia’s high official, Steven Marshall, advised reporters on Friday that given the brand new data, the state’s lockdown would finish three days sooner than deliberate.
“To say that I am fuming about the actions of this individual is an absolute understatement,” he stated.
Schools, eating places and gyms have been set to reopen, however new guidelines embody a cap of fifty individuals at funerals and a ban on dancing at weddings. Mr. Marshall stated that contact tracers nonetheless wanted “breathing space” to proceed investigating the supply of the outbreak, the state’s most extreme in months.
After a girl examined constructive for the coronavirus at an Adelaide hospital, well being officials discovered that she had contracted it from her daughter, a cleaner at a downtown lodge getting used to quarantine Australians coming back from overseas, the nation’s nationwide broadcaster reported on Friday. The cluster later expanded to incorporate two safety guards on the lodge, one among whom labored part-time on the Woodville Pizza Bar.
The man who lied to contact tracers stated he had purchased takeout from the restaurant, declining to inform them that he was a shut contact of one of many contaminated guards.
“That clearly changes the circumstances, and had this person been truthful to the contact-tracing teams, we would not have gone into a six-day lockdown,” Grant Stevens, South Australia’s police commissioner, advised reporters on Friday.
A lie and a pizza joint: Why Australian officials reversed a lockdown. The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Pehal News.