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SA to take more Aussies from virus flights

South Australia has offered to take more repatriated Australians after the arrival of a second mercy flight from India in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The fight from Mumbai touched down in Adelaide on Tuesday with the 325 people on board moved into hotels to begin two weeks of quarantine.

That followed the arrival of 374 people on a flight from Chennai on Monday.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said both operations went off without issues and all passengers were happy to be back in Australia.

He said with up to 15,000 Australians still overseas, SA had begun preparations to possibly take an additional flight.

“Having learned from what other jurisdictions have done in this space we were well prepared for this,” Mr Stevens said.

“I think it’s reasonable to be expected that we will be asked to accommodate another plane or maybe two.

“But we are balancing our ability to support that with the number of resources we have available.

“We’ve advised we could accommodate another plane. We’ll wait to see if that request comes in.”

Of the arrivals on Tuesday, health officials said none were displaying signs of COVID-19, though one person was taken to hospital for an unrelated and pre-existing medical condition.

All those flown in over the past two days are being tested.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said two more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in SA on Tuesday, taking the state’s total of 437.

One was linked to interstate travel and the other was a close contact of a previous case.

So far 376 people in SA have recovered from their infections, leaving only 57 active cases.

Only four are considered to be from wider community transmission and the last of those was reported almost a month ago.

Five people remain in hospital, two of whom are critical in intensive care.

Prof Spurrier said local health officials were also watching reports from overseas which suggested some patients who had recovered had subsequently tested positive again.

She said this was considered either a fresh infection or more likely a resurgence of the original.

In response, Prof Spurrier said she was considering instigating a wider follow-up program to check on people who were considered to be over the disease.

Originally published as SA to take more Aussies from virus flights

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