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Australia: Single family caused Victoria virus crisis

Country reports 226 new infections as death toll climbs to 438 and coronavirus caseload hits 22,773

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 18.08.2020
Australia: Single family caused Victoria virus crisis


Striving hard to trace the origin of coronavirus crisis in the worst-hit Victoria state, authorities in Australia have zeroed in on a family of four.

In his statement to a COVID-19 inquiry, the country’s Department of Health and Human Services epidemiologist Charles Alpren said 90% of Victoria’s current coronavirus cases “can be traced back to a family of four that returned to Australia and stayed in Melbourne’s Rydges on Swanston hotel,” ABC News reported.

Australia reported 226 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including 17 deaths. There are 23,773 infections in the country and 438 people have died until now. Over 222 cases have been reported in Victoria, including all 17 deaths.

Alpren referred to an adult who was diagnosed with symptoms of COVID-19 on May 9, before three others of the same family became symptomatic over the next three days. They eventually tested positive, besides three other people who worked at the hotel but showed symptoms on May 25.

The number grew as the time passed. “They were either people working in the hotel in a range of roles, or household or social contacts of staff members,” Alpren added. “Approximately 90% or more of current COVID-19 infections in Victoria can be traced to the Rydges Hotel.”

“Transmission could have occurred directly from the family to staff or through contamination [of] surfaces in the hotel with which staff then had contact,” he wrote in his statement to inquiry.

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