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“Their (man’s) story was not added. We chased them. We now know they lied,” Marshall told reporters.
“It is perfectly normal to say that I am boasting about the actions of this man. These selfish actions of this man have put our state in a very difficult situation.”
While the spread is still a concern, Marshall said sanctions would be lifted with a stay-at-home order ending Saturday midnight, allowing most businesses to open as well.
When asked what punishment could be imposed on a person, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said there is no “penalty” for lying to tracers under current law, although it could be reviewed.
“I want to make it clear that this person’s actions have had a devastating impact on our society,” Stevens said. “The hardships are not over.”
Stevens said the team reviewing the information that the person provided to the contract tracers was not satisfied with the “feeling they got from this”. Stevens will not be drawn on the motivation of the man who misled the contact tracers.
South Australia, with a population of about 1.8 million, has registered 25 cases from the latest cluster, linked to travelers returning from the UK. The number of new cases in the state is expected to increase further in the next few days.
The country as a whole has been successful in having the virus with only 95 cases currently active.
The state of Victoria reported its 21st day of zero cases on Friday, a well-earned prize for Melbourne’s marathon lockdown of the country’s second-largest city.
– Reporting by Wayne Cole; Michael Perry and Kenneth Maxwell Exiting