Otago Daily Times

Man’s ‘lie’ led to dras­tic SA lockdown

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SYD­NEY: South Aus­tralia’s dras­tic six­day coro­n­avirus lockdown was trig­gered by a ‘‘lie’’ to con­tact trac­ers from a man who tested pos­i­tive and re­stric­tions across the state are set to be lifted much sooner than first planned, au­thor­i­ties said yes­ter­day.

The shock an­nounce­ment came just two days af­ter the state govern­ment or­dered peo­ple to stay at home and closed many busi­nesses to com­bat what was con­sid­ered a highly con­ta­gious out­break of coro­n­avirus.

South Aus­tralia state Premier Steven Mar­shall told a me­dia con­fer­ence in Ade­laide one man at a pizza bar tied to the out­break told con­tact trac­ers he had only bought a pizza there, when he had ac­tu­ally worked sev­eral shifts along­side an­other worker who tested pos­i­tive.

Au­thor­i­ties as­sumed the man, who was not named, had caught the virus dur­ing a very short ex­po­sure, lead­ing them to be­lieve the strain must be highly con­ta­gious.

‘‘Their [the man’s] story didn’t add up. We pur­sued them. We now know that they lied,’’ Mar­shall told re­porters.

‘‘To say I am fum­ing about the ac­tions of this in­di­vid­ual is an ab­so­lute un­der­state­ment. The self­ish ac­tions of this in­di­vid­ual have put our whole state in a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion.’’

While the out­break was still wor­ry­ing, Mar­shall said re­stric­tions would be lifted early with a stay­at­home or­der end­ing at mid­night to­day, when most busi­nesses would also be al­lowed to open. — AAP

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