Mystery overseas case sparks Queensland virus alert

Queensland Health has listed seven coronavirus exposure sites in Brisbane after an unnamed country alerted the state to a positive case.

A public health alert has been issued for contact tracing sites at North Ipswich, Inala and at the Brisbane Airport, but little else is known about the mystery COVID infection.

“Queensland Health has been notified by another country that a positive COVID-19 case detected overseas had been in the community prior to departure,” Queensland Health said in an alert on Wednesday night.

State health authorities are yet to release any more detail, including about how a virus case that was detected overseas could have escaped quarantine safety nets in Queensland.

Queensland Health said it could not provide any further detail, and there might be a media conference about the matter on Thursday.

Updated exposure sites include Kmart, Vodaphone, Telstra and JB Hi-Fi outlets at the Riverlink shopping centre in North Ipswich between about 12.24pm and 1.10pm on Friday, July 9.

The alert also lists the Brisbane Airport international terminal “Level 3 departures, toilets in hallway near news agency” on the same day, between 9.45-10.15pm.

Club Services Ipswich, from 1.15-2.15pm that day, and Chac’s Grill at Inala from 7-8pm that night are also listed.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Queensland government said it would keep its border with NSW open, saying the greater Sydney lockdown was containing the southern state’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said authorities were closely monitoring the situation, but there was no evidence of virus cases or positive sewage testing results north of Sydney.

“Pleasingly the ongoing monitoring of sewage indicates that the outbreak there is largely contained to greater Sydney, meaning that the restrictions in place in greater Sydney may mean that we don’t yet need to put in place greater border restrictions here,” he said.

Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia have already closed their borders to NSW, but Queensland is only restricting entry for travellers from greater Sydney.

Mr Miles said while Sydney’s lockdown was containing the outbreak for now, lifting restrictions there too early could cause Queensland to impose a hard border with NSW.

“Obviously if NSW opted to lift those lockdown restrictions, well then we would need to reconsider,” he said.

-AAP

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