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The Informer: Calling out COVID - and (alleged) racism

Calling out COVID - and (alleged) racism

Queensland, COVID and cricket just about sums up Sunday.

With Brisbane's short, sharp lockdown coming to an end at 6pm Monday, there was a collective exhalation when Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced no new COVID cases overnight in the sunshine state.

On the second of the three-day capital city lockdown she asked people ever-so politely to remember their masks outside while Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young was more expansive on the contagious UK virus variant which has potentially been active in the community since January 2.

A cleaner at one of Brisbane's quarantine hotels was initially diagnosed with the UK virus strain. A total of 147 close contacts have now been identified with 112 testing negative to date.

"We've got to remember this is a very contagious virus, even before the new variant, and this variant is 70 per cent more contagious, so I wasn't that surprised that our first breach was because of this virus," Ms Young said.

NSW recorded three new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 as residents of the northern zone of the Northern Beaches enjoyed their first day of freedom in weeks, with stay-at-home orders now at an end.

Six new COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in Victoria on Sunday, all confined to hotel quarantine.

Cricket, that quaint old colonial game that celebrated social distancing before it even became a thing, has constantly been in the spotlight the past few weeks. And this weekend, for all the wrong reasons.

In the lead-up to the Third Test in Sydney the talk was about just how many spectators should be admitted in a COVID-safe fashion. There was no talk of the need for "fans" to remain civil and refrain from unbecoming acts of alleged racism. Shame, because that's - allegedly - what ensued. On both days.

That a game should be stopped for 20 minutes while on- and off-field allegations and investigations are carried out is shameful. As is the fact that Cricket Australia has to reaffirm its zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory behaviour. But here we are.

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