How a lie about a pizza put more than a million people under lockdown in Australia

South Australia has contained an outbreak of the new coronavirus and will ease its strict confinement restrictions, the state’s prime minister announced.

« We are not out of the woods yet »South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall emphasized to reporters this Saturday in Adelaide.

« The advice from health experts we have received is that we are still managing a very dangerous outbreak, » he added.

At least 26 COVID-19 cases have been linked to an outbreak, with a new infection detected in the last 24 hours after 19 thousand tests were carried out. About 5,400 people who have been identified as close contacts with those of the infected group were quarantined.

The state was plunged into one of the strictest confinements in the world since Thursday after contact trackers reported that a man had become infected after buying a pizza to go.

However, they later clarified that the infected person lied to them and was actually an employee of the restaurant where he had been in close contact with another infected worker for several shifts.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said Saturday that the infected pizzeria worker, who has already been quarantined, You are a 36-year-old Spanish man in Australia on a student visa. Detectives were investigating circumstances related to the store, he added.

The case, and a more severe outbreak in neighboring Victoria state that led to a three-month shutdown in Melbourne, show that it requires continuous surveillance to control the SARS-CoV-2 virusEven in a nation that has escaped the scale of infections and deaths experienced in Europe and the United States.

South Australia’s shutdown began on Thursday and was originally scheduled to last six days. The ban on exercising outdoors and walking dogs was lifted Friday after circumstances surrounding the pizzeria worker were revealed.

The state of 1.7 million people, spread over a land mass five times the size of the UK, had largely eradicated community transmission of the pathogen after a nationwide quarantine earlier this year.

The outbreak began after a hotel cleaner used to isolate foreign travelers was exposed to the virus.

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