Canberra lockdown extended after ACT records 19 new cases

The lockdown in the ACT will be extended for a further two weeks after a significant increase in new COVI infections.

The territory recorded 19 new cases overnight, taking the total number of active cases to 28.

The new cases include a high school student in Lyneham who attended classes for four days while infectious and an aged care worker in Tuggeranong.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr described the spike in cases as a “serious situation”, with the lockdown to be extended until September 2.

“As today’s figures demonstrate, the virus is active in our community and there are now thousands of close contacts and a growing list of exposure sites,” Mr Barr said.

“We do not want to see the numbers continue to grow and we do not want to see exponential growth.

“So the best way that we can avoid this is to limit our movement. Please stay at home.

“Lockdowns are a proven measure to suppress chains of transmission of the virus. They have worked elsewhere in Australia and overseas and if we do the right thing it will work here in Canberra.”

Mr Barr did not rule out lifting the lockdown before September 2 if the situation improves.

Canberra plunged into lockdown as COVID reaches capital

The ACT has become the latest part of the country to go into lockdown after a positive case was detected in the community.

The seven-day lockdown will come into effect from 5pm on Thursday.

ACT officials say the infected person had been out in the community and the source of the infection is not known.

It’s the first community case in Canberra in 12 months and the first lockdown since the early days of the pandemic last year.

“This is by far the most serious public health risk the ACT has faced in the past 12 months, and that’s why the ACT is introducing a strict lockdown in response to this positive case,” the ACT Government said in a statement.

“We have said throughout the outbreak in Greater Sydney that we would act quickly and decisively. We have seen that a short and immediate lockdown limits the potential spread of the virus, and is the best path to avoiding longer and more damaging lockdowns.”

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for essential work, healthcare, essential groceries and supplies and up to one hour of exercise.

General retail stores will be forced to close while hospitality venues will be restricted to takeaway only.

BREAKING: Man to be charged over Brittany Higgins rape allegation

A man is set to be charged over the rape of Brittany Higgins in Parliament House back in 2019.

Ms Higgins, who made international headlines this year for going public with the allegation, alleges she was sexually assaulted two years ago, and that her report of the crime at the time was not taken seriously.

Police have now confirmed that a 26-year-old man has been summonsed to appear before the ACT Magistrates Court over the allegation.

He’s expected to face a charge of sexual intercourse without consent, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 years imprisonment.

Officers served the man’s legal representatives with the summons today, more than two years since the specialist team dedicated to investigating sexual assaults in the ACT first received the report.

“The investigation remained open and in February 2021 a formal complaint was made,” a statement released this afternoon reads.

“Detectives have since spoken to a number of witnesses and collected evidence as part of the investigation.”

Cute Cat

Firefighters reveal the culprit behind ACT house fire… the pet cat

A pet cat is in the bad books after accidentally setting fire to a Canberra family’s kitchen.

The mischievous feline is believed to have knocked over a roll of plastic wrap onto a touch sensor stove top, sparking the fire.

Fire crews rushed to the home on Wentcher Place in Richardson around 6.15am and were able to extinguish the blaze.

Luckily the occupants of the home, a mother and daughter, managed to escape unharmed after being woken by a smoke alarm.

The cat also managed to get out uninjured, however is likely to be in a little bit of strife with its owners…

Police

Man charged over largest cocaine seizure in ACT history

A MAN in his 20s has been charged with trafficking a huge amount of cocaine in Canberra.

Police allegedly seized $1.5 million worth of cocaine from the 28-year-old man’s home in Theodore yesterday.

Officers were executing a search warrant at the home when they allegedly found five one-kilogram blocks of the drug.

Source: Supplied/ACT Police

In a statement, ACT Police said it’s the largest amount of cocaine ever to be seized in the Australian Capital Territory.

The 28-year-old man was arrested at the home and charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.

He was due to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court this morning.