The family of the Perth security guard whose positive COVID-19 diagnosis sparked a statewide lockdown says he is very upset.The West Australian newspaper spoke with the family of the international student, originally from Bangladesh, after he became infected while delivering medication to a returned traveller at the Four Points by Sheraton in Perth.
“Obviously he is upset, very upset,” the family member said.
The man tested positive to a strain of the virus from the UK on January 30, two days after he developed symptoms.
WA Premier Mark McGowan acted swiftly, sending Perth, the Peel region and the southwest region into a five-day lockdown.
There have been no positive cases in the state since then and testing numbers are good – there were more than 16,000 tests returned on Tuesday.
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The West Australian reports that the infected security guard was working two jobs because he needed the money.
Before he was himself quarantined in a CBD hotel, the worker visited a number of locations, causing concern the list of exposure sites would lead to further infections.
He went to Maylands, a suburb in Perth’s inner northeast where he visited a number of food retailers, a chemist and a car yard.
He went to a Coles on January 25, a KFC on January 27, and Edith Cowan University on January 28.
On January 28, he also visited the Consulate General of India and a Halal grocery story in Cloverdale.
In preparation for his graduation ceremony at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, the man travelled to the site to pick up his graduation outfit.
Police investigating how he became infected believe he delivered medication to an infected case on January 24 and took four days to start showing symptoms.
The Premier says it is likely that despite no new infections large parts of the state will remain in lockdown for the full five days.
It comes as Health Minister Roger Cook revealed security guards working in Perth quarantine hotels are not required to wear masks at all times.
“Security guards or any personnel in a hotel quarantine don’t need to wear masks at every point of that building and at every point to carry out their duties,” he told reporters.
“There are particular circumstances in which they are required to wear PPE. At other times they may not be.”
Mr McGowan now has two crises to contend with after dozens of homes were lost to fires on Tuesday.
“Right now, WA is battling two different kinds of emergencies – a dangerous fire emergency and a COVID-19 lockdown emergency,” he said.
Perth students were scheduled to return to school on Monday before the first case of community transmission in WA in 10 months emerged.
“Our model is to deal with it very, very quickly and harshly … so that we can bring it under control and not have community spread of the virus as you have seen in other countries around the world,” Mr McGowan said.