ACT Health has identified two ‘weak positive’ COVID-19 cases in hotel quarantine, a man in his 40s and a man younger than 20.
Both men are asymptomatic and ACT Health says they are being supported in hotel quarantine after arriving on the Government-facilitated repatriation flight from Singapore on Monday 1 March.
ACT Health has confirmed to Canberra Weekly the two men are not members of the same family.
Further testing is being conducted today to determine whether these cases are historical, however the individuals are not known to have previously had COVID-19 overseas.
In a statement, ACT Health said the weak positive results suggest the infections could be historical, overseas-acquired infections.
“Prolonged shedding of virus fragments is known to happen intermittently for up to several months after a person is no longer infectious,” the statement said.
“As these cases were not previously reported overseas, they will be formally counted in the ACT and Australia’s total infection numbers.”
ACT Health was not able to provide details about where the two men travelled from.
The repatriation flight arrived in Canberra on Monday night from Singapore, carrying 177 passengers from a number of countries in Asia and Europe, including Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Portugal.
Of these, 146 passengers are in hotel quarantine in the ACT, at the Pacific Suites Hotel on Northbourne Avenue, while 31 passengers continued on to Sydney to undertake quarantine there.
“The ACT has strong systems in place for hotel quarantine that are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” ACT Health said.
“As part of this, all staff working in hotel quarantine follow stringent PPE and infection control processes and participate in the Safeguarding Canberrans (SCAN) program in which they undergo daily symptom screening and regular COVID-19 testing.”
The ACT Government has a dedicated COVID-19 website; covid19.act.gov.au
- Libby Kimber and Rosa Ritchie