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SA expects "up to 25" new COVID-19 cases in the next week


South Australia should expect to see “a number of new coronavirus cases” in coming days, the State Government has warned – but authorities remain committed to reopening all state borders by July 20.

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Health Minister Stephen Wade told reporters after a meeting of the state’s Transition Committee and the national cabinet this morning that a planned influx of international travellers into SA in the next week would likely see the state’s record of no new COVID-19 cases since May 26 come to an abrupt end.

“We should expect to see a number of new cases in SA over the next week or so,” Wade warned.

“We have a number of travellers coming in.”

State emergency co-ordinator Grant Stevens said the state was expecting a defence force flight coming in from Indonesia via Edinburgh air base which would see those defence personnel taken to a “secure quarantine location”, with another 300 Australians on a separate flight from Singapore – originating from Mumbai – set to arrive in Adelaide on Saturday.

“Anyone arriving will be subject to proper health assessments and supervised so we can reassure the SA community,” he said, but added that “the likelihood of some of these people testing positive must be recognised.”

Wade said if the influx displayed similar COVID-19 cases to equivalent arrivals elsewhere, “we could expect up to 25 cases coming from these planes”.

All international arrivals are subject to an immediate two-week supervised quarantine under national strictures.

However, South Australian authorities remain committed to opening all state borders by July 20, with Premier Steven Marshall arguing the state and country were committed to a “suppression” of coronavirus, rather than elimination.

That’s despite Victoria’s caseloads continuing to soar, with that state recording 30 new COVID-19 cases today, notching up its tenth day in a row of double-digit growth.

Marshall said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews gave “an extensive presentation” to the cabinet about his Government’s arrangements, with outgoing national chief medical officer Brendan Murphy insisting the state was “getting on top of the problem”.

“What we’re seeing now is a spike caused by arrangements which were in place several weeks ago,” Marshall said.

“We accept the evidence that they’re getting on top of those infections.”

He reiterated that the Government favoured “localised lockdowns” rather than the continuation of blanket border controls, saying: “We feel very confident that Victoria will get on top of their problems”.

“We also reiterate that the national approach to COVID-19 is a suppression position, not an elimination position… suppression is the strategy we’re going for here in SA,” he said.

Marshall argued pursuing the latter approach would “cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs”.

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