A superspreader that transported the virus from Melbourne to Victoria and infected communities in the process was allowed to forge reports of its trip because the authorities did not use the powers available to them.
He informed the Department of Health and Human Services contact tracing officers that he had visited Kilmore but had not disclosed his trip to Shepparton.
Three people have been infected with COVID-19 in Shepparton and there are fears the virus could spread across the community.
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DHHS’s Jeroen Weimar said the man’s lies prevented authorities from responding to the Shepparton cluster earlier.
At today’s press conference, Mr Weimar said the positive case had not allowed his Shepparton stop for two weeks.
“We should have been informed of the Shepparton connection he had made,” he said.
“Had we known about it, we would have done in Shepparton what we did in Kilmore and Benalla, which a week earlier should have aimed at all this and the contacts.”
While contact tracers are working overtime to track the possible spread of the virus, Victoria chief health officer Brett Sutton says the powers available to him have not been used.
He said authorities could have required the truckie to hand over phone details showing where he was going, but instead they took him at his word.
“We rely on people to tell the truth,” said Prof. Sutton.
Urging if more could be done, he admitted, “The Public Health and Wellbeing Act gives me powers to request information, to request information for the purpose of assessing a public health risk, and I will consider that draw circumstances where this may not be the case. ”
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the truck driver had been referred to the police who would take the appropriate action.
“You will not have any problems if you tell the whole story, I want to make this clear to people,” said the Prime Minister. “If you don’t, you may get into trouble.
“By trouble, I’m not just talking about a fine, there are infections in Shepparton today that we know of, and there will almost certainly be more, all of which would be completely preventable if that person had told the full story. He wouldn’t have gotten into trouble if he’d told the full story.
“It’s only when you don’t do it that we all have problems. We all have a challenge that is bigger than it should be. ”
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