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Western Australia is coronavirus-free

February 18, 2021 — BarryK

And has been so for several months.

We did have an outbreak a few weeks ago, when a security guard at a quarantine hotel got infected, and went to many venues while infectious. Our Premier put the entire city and outer urban areas into lockdown for 5 days, followed by another week of partial lockdown.

It seems, where there has been decisive, firm and competent leadership, the virus has been managed. I notice also, China has got it under control, hardly any new cases.

Though, to be fair to those countries that are struggling to contain it, despite severe measures, WA does have the advantage of relative isolation. We have an ocean on one side, a vast desert on the other, insulating us from the rest of the country and the world. Those countries with huge flows of people across borders, megacities, etc. are having a much tougher time.

That security guard caught the highly infectious UK-strain, and it seems that he did so just by being in the corridor outside the room of an infected person, a traveller from overseas. All people coming into WA have to go into quarantine for 2 weeks, in the case of those arriving by air, hotel quarantine is provided.

It is looking like the UK-strain is more able to infect by air-borne droplets. In the case of that security guard, it seems that just opening and closing of the door allowed droplets to get into the corridor. He wasn't wearing a mask.

The corona-free status in WA means that we can go anywhere, do anything, no masks required. However, there are precautions in place. For example, we are required to register at all premises visited. and are encouraged to install the SafeWA app:

So, if another case occurs, the authorities will be able to perform contract tracing, and find all people who came anywhere near the infectious person. Not perfect of course, as you could pass such a person on the street, but infection is more likely in enclosed quarters. 

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