Australian officials have reimposed social distancing rules in Sydney amid concerns that a case of infection with the Indian strain of coronavirus could lead to a major outbreak.
The rapid move came a day after the first infection with the Corona virus, which was locally transmitted in more than a month, in the state of New South Wales, which includes the city of Sydney. Health officials are confused about the source of the infection, which is a 50-year-old man.
Kerry Chant, chief health official in New South Wales, said that additional tests revealed that the man was infected with the mutated strain that was first discovered in India and that the genetic sequence linked the case to a traveler returning from the United States, but there was no clear transmission path for the infection between the two.
“We cannot find any direct link between the two cases, so what worries us is that there is another person who has not yet been identified who transmitted the infection to the case that we have,” Chant said.
With many expected to gather over the weekend for the annual Mother’s Day celebrations, the New South Wales state government has restricted home gatherings to 20 people.
The wearing of masks will be mandatory on public transport and in closed places. All restrictions, which affect about 5.3 million people in Australia’s largest metropolitan area, take effect at 5 pm local time and are scheduled to last until Monday morning.