South Australia avoided a coronavirus 'catastrophe', Premier Steven Marshall says - ABC News  11/22/2020 00:29:13 

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall says the state has avoided a coronavirus "catastrophe" amid the Adelaide virus outbreak.

There are no new cases linked to the Parafield cluster, and only one new case today in a returned traveller from overseas.

About 77,000 tests have been carried out this week, including 16,928 yesterday.

At 12:01am today, the stay-at-home order was lifted, as were a slew of other restrictions including a ban on weddings and funerals, and the closure of all schools, except those teaching the children of essential workers.

The Government aims to relax them to pre-cluster levels at the start of December.

He said there has been no community transmission  coronavirus cases where the source is unknown  and every case has been traced.

Anyone in South Australia is still urged to get tested as soon as they develop even the mildest symptoms.

Modelling showed risk of 'very significant' second wave

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier released modelling she said showed South Australia was at risk of a major "second wave" before the lockdown was announced this week.

She said the model showed a small "but not negligible" chance that new case numbers would have risen above 200 per day without the strict lockdown that was imposed.

"We were looking at facing a second wave here," Professor Spurrier said.

"Based on that information we had a 99 per cent chance & it was going to be a very significant wave."

Opposition suggests Christmas Island or regional medi-hotel alternative

Meanwhile, SA Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas has called for an end to the medi-hotel system "in its current format".

He suggested Christmas Island or rural medi-hotel locations could better mitigate the risk posed by Australian travellers returning from overseas than current city-based quarantine hotels.

He said the COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns experienced in Melbourne and Adelaide showed CBD-based medi-hotels, staffed in part by casualised labour and private security contractors, increased the risk to the community.

"We can't afford another repeat of a medi-hotel failure that results in another state-wide lockdown," he told reporters today.

Asked whether Australian returning travellers should be placed on Christmas Island rather than in city medi-hotels, Mr Malinauskas said "I think that should be explored".

"Christmas Island may well be such an option," he said.

Some epidemiologists have suggested placing travellers on the island for quarantine as a way to minimise the risk of COVID-19 being introduced into Australia.

Some Australian travellers were sent to Christmas Island for quarantine early this year, before the first major coronavirus restrictions were imposed in Australia.

Marshall rejects proposal as 'disgusting'

But Mr Marshall rejected the notion of sending returning travellers to Christmas Island  which has, for years, accommodated detained asylum seekers  as "disgusting".

"I am very disappointed with Peter Malinauskas and the Labor Party," Mr Marshall said this morning.

"From a logistics point of view it makes no sense [and] quite frankly I find this disgusting."

The Premier argued remote SA locations did not have enough beds to accommodate returning travellers in remote SA locations, nor did they have the necessary staff to provide a quarantine hotel service.


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