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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Perth man ‘tests positive’ to Covid-19 as state goes into five-day lockdown

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A Perth man has sparked panic in Western Australian by posting on Facebook that he ‘tested positive’ to Covid-19 – as the city reeled under an emergency five-day lockdown after the state’s first community transmission in 10 months.

Philip Latour claimed he was suffering ‘breathing difficulties’ and took himself to Fiona Stanley Hospital’s emergency department on Saturday.

Six hours after sharing a selfie from his hospital bed, Mr Latour shared another photo of his blood test results which show he ‘tested positive’ to Covid-19. 

Mr Latour’s post sparked fears the outbreak was growing after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive to Covid-19 on Saturday night and put Perth in lockdown for five days.

The WA Health Department, however, said he would be considered ‘a historic case’ with little or no danger to the community because of his ‘weak PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test’. 

Philip Latour (pictured) took himself to hospital on Saturday after having difficulty breathing and shared a selfie

Philip Latour (pictured) took himself to hospital on Saturday after having difficulty breathing and shared a selfie 

‘The Department of Health believes that this historic case and that this person was infected in Mexico in December 2020,’ Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson told The West Australian

‘He has subsequently completed two weeks in hotel quarantine in Sydney and there was no cases in the hotel that could have infected him.’

Mr Latour will have another nasal-throat PCR swab done on Monday and it is believed the result will be even weaker, or negative. 

Further to his nasal-throat swap, a serology test will be conducted to confirm Mr Latour isn’t infectious and has an old infection. 

‘This patient was treated with precautions and transferred to hotel quarantine – where they will remain until results are returned,’ the department continued.

‘Fiona Stanley Hospital has asked a number of staff associated with the initial treatment to stay at home – until the results of the patient are returned.’  

Mr Latour told The West that he ‘tried to protect the community’ by sharing his story.  

The Department of Health however believe Mr Latour's result would be considered 'an historic case' because of the 'weak PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test'

The Department of Health however believe Mr Latour’s result would be considered ‘an historic case’ because of the ‘weak PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test’

WA Premier Mark McGowan announced the snap five-day lockdown on Sunday after a security guard at a quarantine hotel tested positive to coronavirus and visited at least 16 locations around the city. 

Perth, Peel and the South West will close beginning 6pm on Sunday and lasting until Friday – covering about 80 per cent of WA’s population. 

The three regions will be closed off to each other with meaning banned from travelling between them without an exemption. Road checkpoints will be set up to ensure compliance. 

The infected employee worked two shifts at Sheraton Four Points in Perth’s CBD, and was stationed on a floor where at least one returned traveller was diagnosed with the UK strain of the disease, which is up to 80 per cent more infectious than the original Chinese coronavirus.

Western Australia's Premier Mark McGowan held an emergency press conference on Sunday

Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan held an emergency press conference on Sunday

LOCKDOWN RULES

Residents in Perth, Peel and the South West are required to stay home, except for the following four reasons:

– Shopping for essentials like groceries, medicine and necessary supplies

– Medical or health care needs including compassionate requirements and looking after the vulnerable

– Exercise, within their neighbourhood, but only with one other person and only for one hour per day

– Work, where you cannot work from home or remotely 

If you do leave home, for one of the four reasons you will be required to wear a mask at all times outside and if you need to work indoors, then wearing a mask in the workplace is also mandatory

Mask wearing on public transport is also mandatory 

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Mr McGowan said genomic sequencing is already underway, but it would be reasonable to accept that the man contracted the mutant strain, and that his close contacts would test positive in the coming days. 

The state enjoyed close to 10 months without a single case of Covid-19 in the community, a feat Mr McGowan credits to his tough stance on borders. 

As per the lockdown orders, residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for four reasons; shopping for essential goods like groceries and medicine, seeking medical treatment, exercise for one hour per day and work if a person cannot work remotely. 

All pubs, clubs, playgrounds and gyms in Perth will close, while restaurants will be open for takeaway only and visits will be banned to care homes and hospitals. 

 Schools will remain closed – they were supposed to reopen on Monday for the first day of the year.

Restrictions have also been reintroduced for funerals – limiting them to just 10 people for the duration of lockdown.

Weddings have been cancelled during the lockdown period.

Residents must wear face masks at all times they are outside and face masks are also compulsory at indoor workplaces.

Masks are mandatory on public transport.

Anybody within the locked down regions were urged to stay put to avoid potentially spreading the virus to regional and vulnerable communities.

‘We are strongly encouraging that everyone in this area who is from another WA region, stay here,’ Mr McGowan said.

‘Do not travel further outside of this area until the lockdown is over.’

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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