Medical expert who rushed to shutdown South Australia over COVID-19 outbreak has ‘no regrets’

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The medical expert who raced to lock South Australia down over the state’s COVID-19 outbreak has said she has no regrets.

Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier advised premier Steven Marshall to throw the state into one of the world’s toughest lockdowns last Wednesday, over following fears that a super strain of the virus had been unleashed in Adelaide.

While the lockdown was downgraded on the weekend after contact tracers realised an infected worker had not come into contact with as many people as claimed, Ms Spurrier maintained she made the right call.

‘I have no regrets on my advice and decision-making last week. I’ve no doubt it was the right thing to do,’ she said. 

Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier (pictured) advised premier Steven Marshall to throw the state into one of the world's toughest lockdowns last Wednesday

Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier (pictured) advised premier Steven Marshall to throw the state into one of the world’s toughest lockdowns last Wednesday

Pictured: Police outside the Woodville Pizza Bar after it was announced the a worker from the shop lied to authorities during a Covid investigation, causing South Australia to go into lock down on November 20

Pictured: Police outside the Woodville Pizza Bar after it was announced the a worker from the shop lied to authorities during a Covid investigation, causing South Australia to go into lock down on November 20

She added that that modelling showed the state was facing a ‘second wave’ if they did not act promptly, with new case numbers potentially rising to 200 per day.

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

Authorities confirmed that 26 people have been linked to the Parafield cluster, in Adelaide’s northern Suburbs.

Residents across the state were needlessly stuck in their homes for three days after it was revealed a customer at the Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide contracted the virus from a pizza box touched by an infected worker.

South Australian premier Steven Marshall imposed lockdown restrictions across the state for six days, but it was reduced to three days

South Australian premier Steven Marshall imposed lockdown restrictions across the state for six days, but it was reduced to three days

However, contact tracers discovered the customer had lied and that he had actually been working at the restaurant and in close contact with another positive case. 

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens revealed on Saturday morning the 36-year-old had also worked as a kitchen hand at the Stamford Hotel and was in Australia on a temporary graduate visa that’s due to expire in mid December. 

The commissioner said although the employee’s actions had an ‘unbelievable impact’ on South Australians, there was no penalty for lying and he won’t yet be charged or fined.  

Normally busy roads and Rundle Mall in the centre of Adelaide are largely empty at 9.30am on November 19 during lockdown

Normally busy roads and Rundle Mall in the centre of Adelaide are largely empty at 9.30am on November 19 during lockdown

Despite the false information, Mr Marshall backed Ms Spurrier on Sunday and said the state narrowly avoided catastrophe.

‘The consequences of not acting quickly and following that health advice would have been absolutely catastrophic on all businesses, families and individuals in our state in a few moments time.’

South Australians were released from lockdown on Saturday night, three days early. 

The state confirmed on Sunday that a returned traveller in her 20s is the state’s only new coronavirus case.

She became symptomatic on day 10 of her 14-day hotel quarantine period, The Advertiser reported.

Source


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