Otago Daily Times

Man’s ‘lie’ led to drastic SA lockdown


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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