Australia records second local COVID-19 case, detected in quarantine hotel worker

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Australia recorded its second local case of COVID-19 in as many days on Sunday after a worker at two hotels used to quarantine people arriving from overseas tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The infection is the first locally acquired case of COVID-19 in New South Wales in 55 days. The state’s director of population health, Stephen Conaty, said the authorities are testing close contacts of the unnamed worker.

Queensland state, which on Saturday reported Australia’s first local infection in two weeks, said on Sunday it has detected no cases in the past 24 hours.

Saturday’s case is a doctor who tested positive after she had treated two patients with the UK variant of the virus. Unsure of the size of the outbreak, Queensland closed hospitals and aged-care facilities to visitors for three days.

Australia has reported just over 29,000 coronavirus infections and 909 COVID-19 deaths, far fewer than many other developed countries, helped by international border closures, lockdowns and strict social-distancing rules.

The federal government said on Sunday it will increase spending on rolling out the national COVID-19 vaccinations by A$1.1 billion ($850 million).

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