Australia’s capital will go into lockdown for a week from Thursday after a single case of COVID-19 was detected and the virus was found in wastewater.
Canberra joins Sydney, Melbourne, and several cities in New South Wales state that are locked down due to the delta variant.
Canberra residents can only leave home for essential reasons from 5 p.m. on Thursday, general retail stores will be closed and hospitality venues will only to able to sell takeout, an Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government statement said.
Andrew Barr, chief minister of the ACT, announced that the territory would go into lockdown for seven days from Thursday after a man in his 20s tested positive for the virus. ACT Health said the man was infectious in the community with no known source of infection. It is the first case of Covid-19 detected in the ACT community in more than 12 months.
Schools will be open to students who cannot stay at home. The infection is the first locally acquired case in the city of 460,000 since July 10 last year.
“This lockdown decision is the result of a positive case in the territory, a case has been infectious in the community,” Barr told reporters.
“We do not currently know the source of the infection, but the extensive investigation has been under way for many hours. “This is the most serious public health risk that we are faced in the territory this year, really, since the beginning of the pandemic,” he said.
A Canberra resident, a man aged in his 20s, had been infectious in Canberra since Sunday and tested positive on Thursday, Australian Capital Territory Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said.
The source of the infection was unknown, she said. Coronavirus was detected in wastewater late Wednesday, she said. The lockdown starts on the final day of a two-week sitting of the Federal Parliament.