Melbourne, March 15 (IANS): A quarantine hotel in the Australian state of Queensland has been placed on lockdown, with genomic sequencing showing the likely spread of Covid-19 among foreign travelers.
Last week, a local doctor tested positive for the B117 strain of the virus after treating two patients who were transferred from the hotel to a nearby hospital, Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.
Subsequent testing showed that another guest who had been quarantined in a different room in the hotel had the same variant of the virus, increasing the likelihood of spreading in the hotel.
Deputy health director Sonya Bennett explained that all of the genomic sequencing confirmed the likely spread between hotel guests.
“The whole genomics is what we call a match between the three cases,” Bennett said.
Testing was continuing to determine the extent of the outbreak, but as of Monday all hotel staff had been tested and they were all negative.
Queensland officially registered six new cases of Covid-19 acquired abroad on Monday, none of which came from the affected hotel.
Meanwhile, in the state of New South Wales (NSW), officials confirmed that a locally acquired Covid-19 case was also the B117 strain, as efforts continued to prevent further spread of the community.
The infected person worked at two quarantine hotels in Sydney as a security guard and visited several public places while potentially infectious.
As a frontline worker, the man was among the first to be vaccinated in Australia, receiving his first dose on March 2.
However, he has yet to receive a second dose.