CANBERRA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The state of South Australia has reported zero new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, its first day of strict lockdown.
In response to a COVID-19 outbreak linked to a quarantine hotel, South Australians have been banned from leaving their houses for any reason other than essential work or shopping under the state's six-day "circuit breaker" lockdown announced on Wednesday.
Premier of SA Steven Marshall on Thursday welcomed the news of zero new cases and praised more than 20,000 South Australians who have been tested for coronavirus since Tuesday.
"We have woken up to a very different South Australia today," he said. "What we do for the next six days will determine if we are able to successfully stare down the threat posed by this outbreak of COVID-19."
However, he warned that there could be 1,000 asymptomatic South Australians unknowingly carrying COVID-19.
According to the daily update of SA health authority, there have been 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to the outbreak and a further 17 suspected positives.
Nicola Spurrier, SA's chief health officer, said more than 3,000 South Australians remain in isolation after more than 50 potential exposure sites were identified by authorities.
"What we are doing is putting a double ring fence around all of those people," Spurrier said. "So if you imagine that all of those people have had close contacts, and then their contacts have had close contact." Enditem