The state on the weekend welcomed more than 300 returning Australians from overseas, including around 260 travellers from Mumbai and around 70 defence force personnel, all of whom have been mandatorily quarantined at the Pullman Hotel on Hindmarsh Square.
The Government last week warned the influx would likely see a spike in local caseloads, with that prediction proving correct today, as the state’s coronavirus total edged upwards – to a total of 443 – for the first time in more than a month.
“We do test everybody that comes in internationally and that’s exactly what’s happened… there are three positive cases,” Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier revealed this afternoon.
None of the defence force returnees have yet tested positive, but the three cases on the flight from Mumbai, which arrived via Singapore, included a three-year -old girl, a woman in her 30s and a woman in her 40s.
Spurrier said none of the positive cases was related to each other, and the child’s parents would be monitored despite currently testing negative to coronavirus
“All these people are in quarantine at the hotel, and there have been no breaches of security or PPE, so that’s all great news,” she told reporters.
She said one of the women has “very mild symptoms” of the disease, while the other adult and the child are asymptomatic.
Authorities will continue monitoring the other arrivals, with all other incoming travellers returning negative tests after the final four were confirmed late this afternoon. All will be symptom-checked daily and re-tested if COVID-19 symptoms develop during quarantine. Spurrier said none had refused a COVID-19 swab.
“We’ll be testing [everyone again] around day 12, as people are preparing to leave that quarantine facility,” she said.
Last week, Health Minister Stephen Wade warned that interstate arrivals had shown “about five to 10 per cent of travellers returning from the subcontinent have tested positive on their arrival [so] if we see similar figures in SA we could expect up to 25 new cases from these planes”.
In May, about 680 repatriated Australians also flew into Adelaide on two separate flights from India, but none tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier this month, the state recorded a positive test from a traveller arriving from Melbourne, however their result was counted towards Victoria’s total, where they had initially tested positive.
Early today Premier Steven Marshall warned the easing of SA’s border restrictions were “under a cloud” after a further escalation of case numbers in Victoria, which recorded 75 new cases.
The border is set to be thrown open to Victorian arrivals – who currently have to self-isolate for two weeks – from July 20. but Marshall said: “We remain very very concerned about what’s happening in Victoria.”
“I reiterate… we will not be opening our borders to Victoria unless it’s safe to do so,” he told reporters.
Interstate residents can apply for pre-approval before entering South Australia.
From Wednesday, prospective interstate arrivals must complete an online pre-approval application to enter SA.
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