Queensland coronavirus crisis worsens as infected man flew from Sydney

Queensland faces a ‘crucial’ week in its battle against coronavirus as an infected man in his 20s flies from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast

  • Infectious man flew into Queensland from Sydney after returning from overseas
  • The man was the state’s only new coronavirus case that was recorded on Sunday 
  • He’s a consular staff member who is allowed to quarantine at home as exemption
  • It comes after two consecutive days of community transmission in Queensland
  • They are a result of women who flew from Melbourne to Brisbane on July 21
  • Olivia Winnie Muranga, 19, and Diana Lasu, 21, tested positive to COVID-19  
  • All Victorian residents were banned from entering Queensland from July 9 
  • Pair travelled along with 21-year-old Haja Timbo, who was identified on Friday 

Queensland’s coronavirus crisis is continuing to get worse after an infectious man flew in on a domestic flight from Sydney after returning from overseas.

There are now 13 active COVID-19 cases in Queensland, with more than 13,700 tests done in the 24 hours to Sunday morning. 

The man, in his 20s, is currently in quarantine after flying into Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast, on July 31 on Jetstar flight JQ790. 

He was infectious on the flight and health authorities are tracing people who sat near him, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Sunday. 

Queensland's coronavirus crisis is continuing to get worse after an infectious man flew in on a domestic flight from Sydney after returning from overseas (pictured: Passengers queuing at Sydney Domestic Airport on July 31)

Queensland’s coronavirus crisis is continuing to get worse after an infectious man flew in on a domestic flight from Sydney after returning from overseas (pictured: Passengers queuing at Sydney Domestic Airport on July 31)

He was infectious on the flight and health authorities are tracing people who sat near him, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young (pictured) said on Sunday

He was infectious on the flight and health authorities are tracing people who sat near him, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young (pictured) said on Sunday

Dr Young said the man is a consular staff member who was allowed to take the domestic flight and quarantine at home as part of a select group of exemptions. 

The man flew from Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul to Sydney and was given an exemption from the mandatory 14-day quarantine for returned travellers, ABC reported.

‘One of those exemptions is consulate staff so they are able to on-travel to their home and to quarantine in their home,’ Dr Young said.  

‘He got tested immediately then and went into quarantine and has now tested positive in the last 24 hours.’ 

The man acquired the infection while he was overseas and was Queensland’s only new case of COVID-19 on Sunday. 

‘He did everything that he should have done … but it does mean that this is a risk,’ Dr Young said.  

‘The next week will really be telling. It’s the next week we have to be so absolutely cautious.’

Dr Young said the man is a consular staff member who was allowed to take the domestic flight and quarantine at home as part of a select group of exemptions (People at Sydney airport on Friday)

Dr Young said the man is a consular staff member who was allowed to take the domestic flight and quarantine at home as part of a select group of exemptions (People at Sydney airport on Friday)

People line up in their cars and on foot to get COVID-19 tested at the Parklands Christian College on Wednesday

People line up in their cars and on foot to get COVID-19 tested at the Parklands Christian College on Wednesday

A man delivers cleaning equipment to a COVID-19 screening clinic at the Parklands Christian College in Logan

A man delivers cleaning equipment to a COVID-19 screening clinic at the Parklands Christian College in Logan

Meanwhile, 104 residents at a Brisbane nursing home have returned negative results after being tested.

It was confirmed on Saturday a woman who works at the Bolton Clarke aged care facility at Pinjarra Hills had tested positive.

One resident was unable to be tested but Dr Young said it was no cause for concern.

The resident will be quarantined for a fortnight and monitored, she said.

It comes after two consecutive days of community transmission after three young women sparked panic in the state by travelling from Melbourne. 

Diana Lasu, 21, and Olivia Winnie Muranga, 19, allegedly lied on their border declarations about where they had been when they arrived in Brisbane from Melbourne via Sydney on July 21.

Haja Timbo (pictured) has been identified as the third woman, who allegedly provided misleading documents at the Queensland border after visiting Melbourne

Haja Timbo (pictured) has been identified as the third woman, who allegedly provided misleading documents at the Queensland border after visiting Melbourne

Olivia Winnie Muranga

Diana Lasu

Diana Lasu (right), 21, and Olivia Winnie Muranga (left), 19, allegedly lied on their border declarations about where they had been when they arrived in Brisbane from Melbourne via Sydney on July 21

Days later they felt sick but carried on working, socialising and visiting restaurants and cocktail bars while waiting for their test results – which came back positive.

The pair travelled along with 21-year-old Haja Timbo.

The trio have been charged with one count each of providing false or misleading documents and fraud over their alleged lies to authorities when they arrived in Brisbane.

Lasu’s mother denied her daughter did anything wrong, instead pointing the blame at Muranga.

‘She didn’t go to Melbourne, she went to Sydney,’ she told Nine News on Thursday.

‘I don’t have any apologies for anyone – believe me.’

The mother, who is in hotel quarantine as a close contact, said her daughter’s friend had been in Melbourne.

‘If you know, yourself, you have the virus – why didn’t you directly go to the doctor?’ she said, referring to Muranga.

Lasu and Muranga remain in Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital under police guard, partly for their own protection.

Footage has emerged of Muranga casually entering the Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar on Brisbane's Southbank with a friend (pictured) and ordering a drink

The bar is one of 11 visited by the three women while infectious.

Footage has emerged of Muranga casually entering the Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar on Brisbane’s Southbank with a friend and ordering a drink

Between them the pair visited 11 different venues in Brisbane while infected with COVID-19

Between them the pair visited 11 different venues in Brisbane while infected with COVID-19

Meanwhile, footage has emerged showing Muranga casually ordering a drink at the Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar on Brisbane’s Southbank with a friend in the hours after she was tested for the virus on Monday.

The venue is one of 11 visited by the women while infectious. 

‘Two cocktails hardly seems worth all this pain,’ Arif Mendes, who owns a restaurant Muranga visited, told A Current Affair.

‘People say we’re in this together… well clearly not for some people, that’s disappointing.’

Before that, Muranga had allegedly gone to work for two days at Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge, south of the city before calling in sick.

She went to the doctor on Saturday and was told to get tested immediately, but she allegedly waited until Monday to do so. 

Queensland Police on Thursday afternoon said three women had been charged for allegedly providing false information on their border declarations.

A 19-year-old Heritage Park woman, a 21-year-old Acacia Ridge woman and a 21-year-old Algester woman were all charged with one count each of providing false or misleading documents and fraud.

The women could be fined $13,345 or sent to jail for a maximum of five years.

Police said the trio are now cooperating with officers and Queensland Health officials.

A police source has meanwhile alleged the teenagers threw a party (people leaving the party are pictured) for about 20 people at their accommodation in Melbourne earlier this month

A police source has meanwhile alleged the teenagers threw a party (people leaving the party are pictured) for about 20 people at their accommodation in Melbourne earlier this month

Victoria Police issued infringement notices to all in attendance at the party after being called to reports of a 'disturbance'

Victoria Police issued infringement notices to all in attendance at the party after being called to reports of a ‘disturbance’

The women will appear at Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 28. 

Additional restrictions are being placed on aged care homes in southeast Queensland as a precaution.

Visitors will no longer be allowed at facilities in Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Redland, Gold Coast and the Scenic Rim, with exemptions for end-of-life.

The Bolton Clarke home had been locked down after the worker’s husband tested positive on Friday.

He is believed to have contracted the virus at Sunnybank’s Madtongsan IV Korean restaurant on July 23.

The venue was attended by one of the infected women who allegedly failed to declare a recent visit to Melbourne when returning to Queensland.  

The 11 Queensland locations visited by infected pair

The pair took flight VA863 from Melbourne to Sydney and flight VA977 from Sydney to Brisbane, 21 July

Parklands Christian College, Park Ridge, 22-23 July 2020 9.30am-6pm

Madtongsan IV Restaurant, Sunnybank, 23 July 2020 7-9pm

Heeretea Bubble Tea Shop, Sunnybank, 23 July 2020 9.25pm

YMCA Chatswood Hills Outside School Hours Care, Springwood, 23-24 July 2020 All

Primary Medical and Dental Practice, Browns Plains, 24 July 2020 3.30-3.50pm

Thai Peak Restaurant, Springfield, 26 July 2020 6.30-9pm

Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar, Southbank, 27 July 2020 All

P’Nut Street Noodles, Southbank, 27 July 2020 All

African Grocery Shop, Woodridge (Station Rd), 28 July 2020 All

Primary Medical and Dental Practice, Browns Plains, 28 July 2020 12.25-12.30pm

Chatime Grand Plaza, Browns Plains, 28 July 2020

Advertisement

Advertisement