Thirteen baggage handlers at Adelaide Airport have tested positive for coronavirus as the COVID-19 Qantas cluster continues to grow.
South Australia Health on Tuesday announced it was investigating a COVID-19 cluster at Adelaide Airport, before six cases were confirmed among baggage handlers.
On Wednesday, that number jumped to 13 and anyone who travelled through the airport was urged to get tested.
Qantas baggage handlers were linked to spreading COVID-19 in South Australia
The Adelaide airport (pictured) employees were confirmed to have tested positive yesterday
The new cases come as travellers are warned to wipe down their baggage and get tested if they are presenting with symptoms of the killer virus.
The number of cases in South Australia rose over night but chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said the exact numbers could not yet be revealed.
Dr Spurrier said: ‘We have our laboratory running very long hours and I stayed back with a number of staff because we needed to make decisions and needed to inform Qantas.’
‘We’ve been working very closely with them and I think we will expect to see some more cases,’ she explained.
Dr Spurrier said there was a low chance of passengers catching the virus from their baggage but that they should wipe it down as a precaution.
‘I think the risk is actually extremely low, but there’s absolutely no harm in giving your suitcase a wipe particularly around the handle,’ she said.
A South Australia Health spokesperson said they were taking action to curb the spread of the virus.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 4,862
New South Wales: 2,182
Western Australia: 392
South Australia: 367
Australian Capital Territory: 84
Northern Territory: 19
TOTAL CASES: 4,862
‘We are working closely with Qantas to ensure flights are not disrupted and the carousel area is fully cleaned.’
SA Health also said that up to 100 baggage handlers and airport ground staff may have to self-isolate for 14 days.
A Qantas spokesperson said: ‘We are working to minimise any disruptions to customers who are flying in and out of Adelaide.’
‘In addition to enhanced cleaning measures introduced since the Coronavirus outbreak at airports and on aircraft, we are conducting extensive cleaning of common areas used by these employees in Adelaide,’ they explained.
Yesterday Qantas cancelled seven flights bound for Adelaide and even turned a plane back to Sydney mid-flight.
The passengers were put in overnight accommodation and their flight was rescheduled for today.
Anyone who has travelled through Adelaide airport since Monday is being asked to get urgent testing if they begin showing symptoms.
The most recent number of positive diagnoses in South Australia stood at 337 yesterday.
Pictured: The number of positive coronavirus cases in Australia as of April 1