4,000 Tasmanians Quarantined in 1 Day, Hospitals, Businesses Close

Hospitals and retail businesses told to close by midnight on April 12

4,000 Tasmanians Quarantined in 1 Day, Hospitals, Businesses Close
Tasmanian Premiere Peter Gutwein at a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments on March 13, 2020. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)
Alex Joseph
The northwest region of Tasmania has gone into a two-week lockdown as the state attempts to tackle an outbreak of the CCP virus which has affected up to 4,000 people.

North West Regional Hospital (NWRH) along with North West Private Hospital (NWPH) will close and relocate its patients. In addition to this, all non-essential businesses will shut their doors following the government mandate.

Over 1,000 people—4,000 including their families—in the northwest region of Tasmania (TAS) will be sectioned off from the rest of the nation for two weeks.

“I want to say that I am sorry we have needed to do this but at the end of the day we need to get on top of this, we need to ensure we can crush this virus at its source,” said Premier Gutwein at a press conference on April 12.
According to the Tasmanian health department, all 144 cases of COVID-19 are in the northwest area, with the latest death being on April 12—bringing the state's total number of deaths to five.

At the press conference, Gutwein said the drastic measures were taken because over one-third of the island's total cases have been clustered at the two northwestern hospitals where 35 out of the 49 infection cases are health care workers.

Eight health care workers, one patient, and two close contacts of people who previously tested positive are among the latest confirmed cases.

State Health Commander Kathryn Morgan-Wicks said the decision to temporarily close the North West Regional Hospital was not taken lightly.

Patients from the affected hospitals will be relocated to other hospitals. The affected hospitals will undergo a deep clean during the closure.

Impact on Businesses

To flatten the curve of the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the coronavirus, stay-at-home orders will be beefed up with non-essential businesses being given instructions to close by midnight on April 12.

The affected regions include Latrobe, Kentish, Devonport, Central Coast, Burnie, Waratah-Wynyard, Circular Head, and West Coast. These are the toughest restrictions in the country so far.

Retail businesses that offer delivery services may continue to operate delivery services.

The statement released by Gutwein said, "We are in the fight of our life against the coronavirus and I again urge everyone to join the battle by staying home, to save lives."