Australia's Queensland records one new local Covid-19 case

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) – Australia’s Queensland state, the epicentre of the most recent small outbreak of the coronavirus, recorded a new infection on Saturday (April 3), health officials said, but risks to the public were minimal as the victim had been in isolation for days.

“We never know which is the person who is going to end up infectious, but here we have one who has been in quarantine,”said Jeannette Young, chief medical officer of the northeastern state.

“So that’s ideal.” Authorities had shut a coronavirus ward in a hospital in the state’s capital of Brisbane to investigate how two of its patients became infected during the outbreak that spread in two separate clusters, Young added.

The total number of infections from the clusters has grown at 19, but authorities reined in the spread this week to lift on Thursday a three-day snap lockdown in the city of 2 million.

Health authorities were meeting on Saturday to consider a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a 44-year-old man hospitalised in Melbourne with blood clotting.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulator and a panel, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), were also set to discuss further advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Australia has been highly successful in curbing the virus with snap lockdowns, border closures and swift tracking, reporting just under 29,300 infections and 909 deaths.

It has had troubles rolling out its vaccination program, however, missing a March target by about 3.3 million doses as states and the federal government bickered over the blame.

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