South Australia has scored a hat trick of days without new COVID-19 cases.

South Australia has scored a hat trick of days without new COVID-19 cases.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier welcomed what she termed a “trifecta” saying it paved the way to look at easing restrictions starting with elective surgery.
SA now has just 62 active cases. The total remains at 435 cases with 369 people recovered and four deaths.
Six people are in hospital including two men in a critical condition in intensive care.
The triple zero result comes amid a testing blitz which authorities had thought may find new cases. There have now been more than 44,000 tests done since February.
Prof Spurrier indicated areas where restrictions may initially be eased would be those with economic and social health impact – and these could include sport.
“Three or four weeks ago I would not have dreamt we would have such low numbers – I am delighted but surprised,” she said.
None of the 374 passengers who arrived on a flight from India via Indonesia this morning have shown symptoms – they are under guard at the Pullman Hotel for 14 days of isolation and have been tested.
Evacuation flights arrive
The first of two planes that will repatriate Australians stranded overseas by the coronavirus crisis has touched down in Adelaide.
The Lion Air aircraft, carrying 374 passengers from India via Denpasar, landed at a largely deserted Adelaide Airport at 7.20am.
Some 374 passengers arrived on the flight, with most taken straight to the Pullman Hotel. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe
The passengers were greeted by police and SA Health personnel.
The first group of passengers filed through the international arrivals section about 8.50am.
Wearing face masks and wheeling their luggage, they went straight outside to the waiting bus, which will take them to the Pullman Adelaide, where they will stay for two weeks.
The process to transport all passengers to the hotel is expected to take several hours.
A passenger with a chronic illness is taken to the RAH for assessment. Picture: Mike Burton/AAP
One passenger – an elderly woman – was wheeled out on a stretcher to an ambulance.
Authorities said she suffered from a chronic illness and had not shown any signs of having coronavirus.
She will be taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for assessment before she is transferred to the hotel.
It is understood about half a dozen passengers will be taken to hospital for assessment of non-coronavirus related conditions.
Passengers from a mercy flight arrived at the Pullman Hotel in Hindmarsh Sq. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe
Passengers from the first mercy flight arrive at Adelaide Airport. Picture: Mike Burton/AAP
Asked how it felt to be home, one passenger replied “good, very good”.
Passengers are being transported to the hotel in groups of 20 at a time.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said it was a “complex” quarantine operation.
He said he had not been told if any of the cohort had shown signs of sickness, however, each passenger would get a comprehensive health check when they arrived at the hotel.
None of the passengers would be allowed to leave the Hindmarsh Square hotel during their two-week quarantine, and hotel staff would wear protective equipment at all times.
He said South Australia would not repeat the mistakes of the Ruby Princess cruise ship disaster.
“Just a few weeks ago, people’s mindset around the significance of this virus was probably less developed than it was now and we, as a state, have had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other jurisdictions which we are very grateful for,” Mr Stevens told ABC Radio Adelaide.
Police and SA Health officials wait for the arrival of the mercy flight at Adelaide Airport on Monday, April 20. Picture: Mike Burton/AAP
“Obviously the logistics and planning that has gone into receiving these 370-odd passengers today, and another cohort tomorrow, is well advanced and I am very confident we will eliminate any risk of these passengers potentially undoing the good work that has been done in South Australia in restricting this virus.”
The State Government announced on Saturday that it would take part in a co-ordinated national operation to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Australians trying to return home from abroad.
A second flight will arrive tomorrow.
All passengers will be required to undertake supervised quarantine in hotels.
Premier Steven Marshall on Saturday said the State Control Centre had developed a plan to oversee the returning citizens “which will ensure the health and safety of all South Australians”
“All operational measures have been put in place to enforce the returning citizens’ 14-day quarantine period and ultimately keep South Australia safe and strong” Premier Marshall said at the time.
Police and SA Health officials wait for the arrival of the mercy flight at Adelaide Airport. Picture: Mike Burton/AAP
■ Second day of no new cases
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“We can’t leave Australians stranded. “These are Australian citizens who have been caught up and stranded with the COVID-19 Pandemic, and for the most part, have found it difficult to get home.”
Ambulances are also on standby at the airport to transport any sick passengers however it is understood no one on board is displaying any coronavirus symptoms.
Sheriff’s officers cleared after scare
Two sheriff’s officers who were forced into quarantine after coming into close contact with a defendant displaying flu like symptoms have been given the all clear.
However, despite the negative test results for COVID-19 fears remain for the safety of courts staff who come into contact with defendants everyday.
The two officers came into contact with the man last Thursday when he was sentenced in the District Court.
He was sentenced to prison and taken into custody by the sheriffs officers.
The defendant then reported flu-like symptoms to the officers during health screening.
The two officers were told to stay home and isolate on Friday while awaiting the man’s test for COVID-19. Over the weekend he returned a negative result.
State Courts Administrator Julie-Anne Burgess said the man had no obvious signs of illness when he entered the court but was classified as “high risk” following the screening report.
“All suitable precautions were taken by Sheriff’s officers before the man was transferred to the custody of Correctional Services,” she said.
“Before entering a court building, members of the public, including defendants are required to read a sign asking if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
“If sheriff’s officers observe that a person is unwell, or the person identifies as having symptoms a decision is made with the relevant judicial officer about how to proceed.”
Public Service Association general secretary Nev Kitchin said health protocols needed to be stricter to protect courts staff.
“Our members working in the courts are at risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus,” he said.
“It is critical that staff are fully supported in implementing those protocols and that the Court Administration Authority takes its Work Health and Safety responsibilities seriously.”
– Mitch Mott