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Second COVID case linked to Mercure Hotel cluster detected in the community in WA
Marta Pascual Juanola
By Marta Pascual Juanola
Updated April 24, 2021 — 4.35pmfirst published at 3.46pm
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Western Australia has recorded a second coronavirus case in the community linked to one of the exposure sites identified by the health authorities in relation to the Mercure Hotel cluster.
The man, aged in his 40s, dined at Kitchen Inn in Kardinya at the same time as a COVID-positive Victorian man and his friend were at the popular Malaysian restaurant on April 18.
The man was tested for COVID on Friday and returned a positive result on Saturday.
The man was tested for COVID on Friday and returned a positive result on Saturday.CREDIT:GETTY
Authorities said the man got tested for the virus at one of the state’s COVID clinics on Friday after realising they had been at one of the locations released by the Department of Health.
In light of the latest positive case, the state government has tightened quarantine rules for anyone who dined at any of the five restaurants attended by the confirmed cases.
From now on, people who visited City China Garden, Good Fortune Road Duck House and Fortune Five Chinese Restaurant in Northbridge, Kitchen Inn in Kardinya, or Anything La Comer in East Victoria Park will need to quarantine for 14 days regardless of their test results.
Those who have attended the remaining sites, which include a petrol station, a chemist, a bakery, a dining hall, and an aquatic centre, will be required to isolate until they return a negative test.
“Even if you have not visited one of the locations, if you have symptoms, get tested and self-isolate until you get your result,” the Department of Health said in a statement.
“Do not be complacent. It is imperative you always follow the public health instructions.”
WA Premier Mark McGowan announced the Perth and Peel region would go into lockdown on Friday afternoon after a COVID-19 cluster was identified at the Mercure Hotel Perth on Wednesday.
The virus had spread among quarantining guests in separate rooms, infecting a mother, her four-year-old daughter, and the Victorian man. Authorities believe the patient zero was a man who had recently returned to Perth after attending a wedding in India with his partner.
The country is in the midst of a massive wave of coronavirus cases that has been clogging local hospitals and overwhelming local authorities. This week, it set a new world record for daily infections after recording 314,000 new cases in a day.
The government rolled out the restrictions amid fears the Victorian man, who spent five days in Perth as a ‘tourist’ after completing quarantine, could have spread the virus in the community.
Visitors line up to catch the ferry home at Thompson Bay after being told by authorities to leave Rottnest Island.
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It was later revealed a female friend the man had been staying with in the suburb of Kardinya had also tested positive for the virus on Friday. The woman had worked as a receptionist at DB Dental on Canning Highway in Applecross between 8am and 6pm on Thursday.
The Victorian man has since returned to Melbourne, where hundreds of close contacts have gone into 14-day quarantine. As of Saturday, 49 had returned negative tests.
There are currently 29 confirmed coronavirus cases in WA, most of which are contained in the state’s hotel quarantine system.
On Friday alone, almost 2600 people were tested in WA’s COVID clinics, in addition to 1489 swabbed at private pathology centres. To date, health workers have carried out almost one million tests, 137,622 of those in regional areas, which have detected 62 cases of variant strains of the virus.
About 87,600 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and a quarter of those have received both doses. Clinics vaccinated more than 2500 people across the state on Friday alone.
The state’s total number of confirmed cases stands at 985