- BBC World News
South Australia decided to order statewide lockdown because a man infected with COVID-19 lied about his link to a pizzeria, Australian state police said.
The shutdown began Wednesday after the state detected 36 infections, including the first locally acquired cases since last April.
But according to the authorities this would have been avoided if the man in question I would have said the truth: that he worked shifts at the pizzeria instead of claiming he had only visited to buy a pizza.
This misinformation led health officials to assume that the man had contracted the virus during a very brief exposure, so the strain must be highly contagious.
“To say that I am furious is an understatement”State Prime Minister Steven Marshall told reporters on Friday.
“We are absolutely furious at the actions of this individual and are carefully considering the consequences,” added Marshall.
These consequences, however, will hardly include a police action against the man involved, since “there is no penalty associated with telling lies”explained South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens.
“We were operating on the premise that this person had simply gone to a pizzeria, [con] a very short exposure and he was gone having contracted the virus, “Stevens explained.
“Now we know that era a very close contact from another person who has been confirmed positive with covid, which substantially changes the dynamics, “he added.
“If this person had been honest with the contact tracing teams, we would not have entered a six-day confinement,” the commissioner admitted.
For now, state officials said they would lift the blockade on Saturday, three days earlier than planned, after registering just three new cases on Friday.
Police have not identified the man, but said he worked at Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide.
The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, for its part, reported that he had worked there with a security guard who had contracted the virus in a quarantine hotel.
And when reporters asked Stevens if the pizzeria might need additional security due to public anger, the commissioner said: “There are all kinds of things that we are considering right now.”
Australia has bet on lockdowns, widespread testing and aggressive aggressive contact tracing to keep the number of daily infections close to zero.
And the outbreak in South Australia came after the neighboring state of Victoria will achieve smash a second wave of coronavirus that caused around 800 deaths.
Victoria has recorded 21 consecutive days without cases or deaths after its capital Melbourne emerged from a strict four-month lockdown.
In total, Australia has recorded around 900 deaths and 28,000 infections since the beginning of the pandemic.
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