Ten backpackers test positive for coronavirus after attending Bondi Beach party – as one young virus victim begs people to self isolate
- An Argentinian backpacker and her 10 friends have contracted coronavirus
- Florencia Barreiro said up to 200 people attended the party two weeks ago
- The 24-year-old started experiencing a congested nose and body aches
- Nine of her friends – from Argentina and Chile – also contracted COVID-19
- Ms Barreiro called on others to stay at home and practice social distancing
- There are now more than 2,100 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
An Argentinian backpacker and her 10 friends have contracted coronavirus after attending a party with hundreds of people on Bondi Beach.
Florencia Barreiro, 24, said up to 200 Australians and tourists were at the party two weeks ago.
‘We were not worried. We were unconscious of it, as people still are now I guess. We saw it as something distant from us. Nobody was mentioning it anywhere,’ Ms Barreiro told 10 Daily.
The beach party was held before Scott Morrison banned non-essential services and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people.
But within days the hospitality worker – who arrived in Australia in December – started experiencing body aches and a congested nose.
Florencia Barreiro, 24, contracted coronavirus after attending a 200-person party at Bondi Beach two weeks ago
There are now more than 2,200 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia, including eight who have died. Globally at least 417,000 people have been infected
Ms Barreiro said she got herself tested after other people from the party contracted COVID-19.
The 24-year-old was told by Prince Wales Hospital on Monday that she had tested positive.
Because Ms Barreiro lives with 12 other backpackers, the NSW Government immediately moved her into social housing.
She is now isolating in a hotel for 14 days, while nine other friends – from Argentina and Chile – are also infected.
Ms Barreiro said Australia’s response to the pandemic has been inconsistent, and called on other backpackers and locals to stay at home.
‘I want people to realise how if we don’t stay at home, we could end up in the same situation as Italy,’ she said.
Ms Barreiro’s diagnosis comes after several more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in backpackers in the Bondi area.
‘There were two recent parties that some of the cases attended where the cases may have acquired their infections,’ a spokesman for NSW Health said.
Those two parties were the Boogie Wonderland party at the Bucket List on March 15 and a party at Club 77 on the same date.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned thousands of people who flouted the social distancing measures and flocked to Bondi Beach over the weekend to soak up the sun
Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned thousands of people who flouted the social distancing measures and flocked to Bondi Beach over the weekend to soak up the sun.
‘What happened at Bondi Beach was not OK and served as a message to federal and state leaders that too many Australians are not taking these issues seriously enough,’ he told reporters on Sunday.
On Tuesday night, Mr Morrison ordered more workplaces close and vowed to crackdown on ‘large social gatherings’, as he banned all overseas travel.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 2,317
New South Wales: 1029
Western Australia: 175
South Australia: 170
Australian Capital Territory: 39
Northern Territory: 5
TOTAL CASES: 2,317
From midnight on Wednesday, Australians will be banned from eating at shopping centre food courts, and the number of people at weddings, funerals and social gatherings will be limited to curb the spread of coronavirus.
‘This will be a significant sacrifice, I know,’ Mr Morrison told reporters following an emergency meeting of state and territory leaders.
The new rules come after registered and licensed clubs, entertainment venues, cinemas, casinos, nightclubs, indoor sports venues, including gyms, and places of worship were ordered to close as part of ‘stage one’ restrictions rolled out on Monday.
There are now more than 2,300 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia, including eight who have died.