Mystery source of infection for three NSW cases

 

Health authorities have no idea how three new patients in NSW contracted coronavirus as the national total soared past 100 last night.

Urgent contact tracing was yesterday underway for the trio - a woman in her 30s, a male in his 70s and a woman in her 40s - to identify the source of their infections.

NSW Health has not released any information about where the patients are from or public areas they might have visited while infected.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia yesterday jumped to 109, with 61 of these in NSW. Worldwide more than 114,000 cases have been reported, and 4000 people have died.

Australia is monitoring an international push to reduce the official quarantine period from 14 days down to five or seven as new research suggests a shorter incubation period for the virus.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy said the quarantine period was under review. "We would like to be in lock step with other nations who are also looking at that," he said.

"But as the data emerges around the incubation period, it does seem to be more in the five-day to seven-day period and the 14 days does have a margin for error."

Prof Murphy said there was no need to shut down large gatherings or schools to contain a "cluster" outbreak in Sydney's north.

"Our advice is we're not at that stage," he said.

"If we had more sustained community transmission, then we wouldn't hesitate to make recommendations."

 

 

Prof Murphy said there was also no evidence people could get the coronavirus a second time.

"This type of virus, in general, you would expect that once you've had an infection, produced immunity to it, you wouldn't be susceptible to reinfection," he said.

Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed the government was looking at online resources such as an app to keep the community informed.