The coronavirus-infected patient who sparked a snap three-day lockdown for Perth was granted an exemption to fly to virus-riddled India to get married before returning to Australia four months later.
Public outrage is growing over the decision to allow the newlywed groom and his bride back into Australia from India, where more than 300,000 new cases are being recorded every day.
There are fears the three-day lockdown of Perth could be extended beyond Monday with Premier Mark McGowan admitting some restrictions, such as mask-wearing, are set to continue.
It’s understood the man flew from Perth to India on December 12 and returned to the city with his new bride on April 10 and then tested positive at the Mercure hotel three days later, The West Australian reported.
The virus was then passed to his wife which spread into other rooms on the same floor, infecting three others.
Outraged West Australians have expressed their anger online.
There is growing outrage over the decision to let the infected man back into Australia from India on April 10. He tested positive while in quarantine at The Mecure Hotel in Perth
‘Why was patient zero in Perth’s latest coronavirus outbreak allowed to return from India after being given an exemption to travel there for a wedding? Think of all the weddings & funerals that have been missed here in Australia,’ talkback radio host Scott Emerson tweeted.
Mr McGowan is expected to make an announcement about lockdown later on Monday.
The hardline premier, who shut down the state on Friday night over just two local Covid-19 cases, has warned the rules could even be strengthened if more cases are found.
State head of the Australian Medical Association Dr Andrew Miller predicts there is a 50/50 chance the lockdown will be extended as hundreds of close contacts await test results.
A snap three-day lockdown of Perth could be extended beyond Monday. Pictured: Residents wear masks at Cottesloe Beach on Sunday
The premier was expecting more than Saturday’s 12,000 Covid tests (pictured) to be completed on Sunday and warned restrictions could be tightened
‘We are still waiting for results that haven’t been announced from close contacts which are now in quarantine, so we’ll know about lunchtime,’ he said.
‘I’d call it a 50/50 at the moment.’
On Sunday Premier McGowan warned residents in Perth and the nearby Peel region that some restrictions will carry on.
‘I’m sure there will be some further measures that continue,’ he told reporters.
‘What they are, we won’t know until tomorrow morning. We’ll get health advice… and I think people should get used to the prospect that there will be some further measures continue beyond Monday.’
The premier was expecting more than Saturday’s 12,000 Covid tests to be completed on Sunday and warned restrictions could be tightened.
‘If there’s further cases what we do will be more than perhaps there is now,’ he warned.
On Sunday Premier McGowan warned residents (pictured in Subiaco) in Perth and the nearby Peel region that some restrictions will carry on
‘It all depends on the circumstances. I can’t predict what will happen. There will be an extension of some form of controls.’
The lockdown cancelled ANZAC Day dawn services and confined residents to their homes except for shopping, exercise, medical care and essential work.
It was sparked after a 54-year-old man caught coronavirus in hotel quarantine from returned travellers from India who were in a nearby room.
The man was released after testing negative but developed symptoms and tested positive five days later when he arrived in Melbourne.
The man’s friend, who he stayed with for one night in Perth, also tested positive on Friday, prompting Premier McGowan to order the lockdown that night.
A third case was recorded when a man aged in his 40s tested positive on Saturday after dining at Kitchen Inn restaurant in Kardinya, where the other two cases had been.
His household contacts have been cleared of the virus, but officials have extended the list of possible transmission sites, including a childcare centre, based on his recent activities.
It comes as Premier McGowan remains locked in a verbal battle with the federal government over management of the hotel quarantine scheme.
Millions of Western Australians were plunged into a three-day lockdown after a local case of coronavirus. Pictured: Premier Mark McGowan
WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S LOCKDOWN RULES
* Perth Metropolitan and Peel regions have entered a three-day lockdown from midnight on Friday.
* People must stay at home unless shopping for essential supplies such as groceries, attending to medical or healthcare needs, exercising with one other person for up to an hour in your neighbourhood, or attending work if working remotely is not possible.
* No visitors allowed in homes unless caring for a vulnerable person or in an emergency.
* Masks to be worn at all times outside of home, including at work, on public transport and while doing non-vigorous exercise.
* Anzac Day dawn services to be cancelled, with people instead encouraged to stand at the end of their driveways.
* Casinos, nightclubs, entertainment venues and public venues all required to close.
* Community sport not permitted. No crowds at professional sporting events.
* Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars to provide takeaway service only.
* Weddings and funerals permitted with a limit of 100 attendees.
* People should not leave the combined Perth and Peel regions during this period.
* Others can enter those regions only to access or deliver essential health and emergency services, or other essential needs.
* No visitors to hospitals, residential aged care or disability facilities unless there are exceptional circumstances.
He wants Scott Morrison to open air bases and Christmas Island to accommodate the travellers, insisting hotels are not safe enough because the virus can travel between rooms.
‘I think it’s becoming more urgent and I suspect all the states are getting pretty heartily sick of it that they have these facilities that are available and they refuse to use them, so we’re saying to the Commonwealth it’s time they step up.
‘I’m getting to the end of my tether with the Commonwealth handing responsibility to the states and not helping with this responsibility.’
Defence Minister Peter Dutton hit back, saying the facilities are not fit for purpose and that states had previously agreed to the hotel quarantine scheme.
A Commonwealth spokesman said defence bases are needed for defence personnel and migration detention centres are not appropriate because they contain criminals facing deportation.
From Friday night residents in the Perth and Peel region were locked down until Tuesday morning, meaning Anzac Day dawn services were cancelled