Australia’s largest state reports first COVID-19 case in more than a month

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Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) on Wednesday reported its first locally acquired COVID-19 case in more than a month, sending authorities rushing to trace the source of the virus.

A man in his 50s who tested positive for the new coronavirus had visited a movie theatre, restaurants, a service station and a meat store in Sydney’s eastern suburbs while unknowingly infectious, authorities said.

The infected person has not travelled overseas in recent times and does not work in any high-risk jobs such as in hotel quarantine or hospitals, NSW state Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant told reporters in Sydney.

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“So all of the usual routes where we would expect someone to have acquired the infection are not clear,” Chant said. Close contacts have been asked to undergo tests and self-isolate.

Australia has largely contained the coronavirus outbreak through snap lockdowns, border controls and speedy contact tracing systems, with just over 29,800 cases and 910 deaths since the pandemic began. It has reported zero cases most days this year.

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