Queensland is bracing for its fresh coronavirus outbreak to worsen after it emerged an aged care worker sat next to a woman accused of lying her way into the state while infected with COVID-19
Diana Lasu, 21, Olivia Winnie Muranga, 19, and Haja Timbo, 21, are accused of lying on their border declarations about having been in Melbourne when they arrived in Brisbane on July 21.
Lasu and Muranga have since tested positive for coronavirus after they visited 11 venues in Brisbane.
On Sunday, a picture emerged of one of the women enjoying a Korean meal at Madtongsan IV restaurant in Sunnybank, Brisbane, on July 23.
The woman (right) enjoyed a meal at Korean restaurant Madtongsan IV in Sunnybank, Brisbane. A husband and wife who were sitting at the next table has since tested positive for COVID-19
The woman was eating at Madtongsan IV Restaurant (pictured) after allegedly lying about being in Melbourne when she arrived in Queensland
At the next table was an aged care worker who was dining with her 27-year-old husband. Both have now tested positive for coronavirus.
Authorities have revealed that the aged care employee worked for eight hours at Bolton Clarke nursing home, in Pinjarra Hills, while she was unknowingly infected with COVID-19 on July 28.
All staff and residents are now on red alert and have been told to get tested immediately.
Lasu, Muranga and Timbo have all been charged with one count each of providing false or misleading documents and fraud over their alleged lies to authorities when they arrived in Brisbane.
Diana Lasu (right), 21, and Olivia Winnie Muranga (left), 19, allegedly lied on their border declarations
Haja Timbo (pictured) has been identified as the third woman, who allegedly provided misleading documents at the Queensland border after visiting Melbourne
The women could be fined $13,345 or sent to jail for a maximum of five years.
Unfortunately the 27-year-old husband of the aged care worker, who is from Bellbird Park, south of Brisbane, visited 15 locations while he was potentially infectious.
These included a Kmart and a JB HiFi at the Garden City Shopping Centre on July 26 and two different Bunnings on July 27.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young praised the young couple saying they have been ‘model citizens’, Courier Mail reported.
Lasu and Muranga remain in Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital under police guard, partly for their own protection.
Timbo is in hotel quarantine in an inner-city hotel and spoke briefly to the Courier Mail last week.
‘I want everything to be confidential. I don’t want to be in the media or my friends to be in the media,’ she said.
Police said the trio are now cooperating with officers and Queensland Health officials.
The women will appear at Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 28.
‘There is no further information available at this time in relation to the ongoing criminal investigation,’ a statement read.
The 11 Queensland locations visited by infected pair
The pair took flight VA863 from Melbourne to Sydney and flight VA977 from Sydney to Brisbane, 21 July
Parklands Christian College, Park Ridge, 22-23 July 2020 9.30am-6pm
Madtongsan IV Restaurant, Sunnybank, 23 July 2020 7-9pm
Heeretea Bubble Tea Shop, Sunnybank, 23 July 2020 9.25pm
YMCA Chatswood Hills Outside School Hours Care, Springwood, 23-24 July 2020 All
Primary Medical and Dental Practice, Browns Plains, 24 July 2020 3.30-3.50pm
Thai Peak Restaurant, Springfield, 26 July 2020 6.30-9pm
Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar, Southbank, 27 July 2020 All
P’Nut Street Noodles, Southbank, 27 July 2020 All
African Grocery Shop, Woodridge (Station Rd), 28 July 2020 All
Primary Medical and Dental Practice, Browns Plains, 28 July 2020 12.25-12.30pm
Chatime Grand Plaza, Browns Plains, 28 July 2020
Muranga allegedly went to work for two days at Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge, south of Brisbane. Pictured are people lining up at the college on Thursday to get a COVID-19 test after a pop-up clinic was set up
Police previously alleged the women were lying to investigators about their movements.
‘What we have seen in these instances are [alleged] deliberate acts of deception,’ Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
‘The way our borders operate cannot prevent that. It is incredibly important that everyone who comes into Queensland, is accurate in terms of the declaration. In this instance, it is not a matter of identity, there is no false identity.
‘It is about not declaring where people have been.’
Police investigators and health authorities will analyse the women’s mobile phone data to track their movements.
A police source has meanwhile alleged the teenagers threw a party for about 20 people at their accommodation in Melbourne earlier this month, the Brisbane Times reported.
Victoria Police issued infringement notices to all in attendance at the party after being called to reports of a ‘disturbance’.
Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said police were confident everyone who had been to the Melbourne party had now been identified.
Police on Thursday revealed 40 people have been caught lying to authorities while crossing the Queensland border.
Where Queensland’s latest COVID-19 positive case visited
- Caltex at Goodna on July 26 from 11.30am-11.35am
- Sleeman Sports Complex at Chandler on July 26 from 12.30pm-2.10pm
- Garden City Shopping Centre at Mount Gravatt on July 26 from 4pm-7pm
- Kmart at Garden City Shopping Centre on July 26 from 4pm-5pm
- JB HiFi at Garden City Shopping Centre on July 26 from 4.30pm-5pm
- MOS Burget at Garden City Shopping Centre on July 26 about 5pm
- Chatime Garden City on July 26 about 6pm
- Cafe 63 at Redbank Plains on July 27 from 10am-10.30am
- Bunnings Springfield on July 27 from 11am-1pm
- Bunnings Exley on July 27 from 3.15pm-4pm
- Basketball Court Spring Lakes on July 27 from 6pm-8.30pm
- Nando’s Kenmore on July 27 from 8.45pm-8.55pm
- Caltex Wacol on July 28 from 8.40am-8.45am
- Richlands Medical Centre at Richlands Plaza on July 29 about 10.45am
- SNP Collection Centre at Forest Lake on July 29 about 11.35am
A police source has meanwhile alleged the teenagers threw a party (people leaving the party are pictured) for about 20 people at their accommodation in Melbourne earlier this month
Victoria Police issued infringement notices to all in attendance at the party after being called to reports of a ‘disturbance’
‘From the beginning of this, we have issued well over 1,100 infringement notices and 40 people have made false declarations at our borders,’ Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said.
Ms Carroll said she was ‘very disappointed’ with the alleged behaviour of Muranga and Lasu, and their unidentified travel buddy.
She said the three women have been served court notices.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the pair would face court.
It was earlier reported that one of the women cooperated with Queensland authorities in contact tracing since she arrived back in the state.
The second woman had allegedly refused to share details of her travels over the course of the last week.
‘I’m very worried about the second individual who has not been cooperative and has not shared where she’s been, so we haven’t been able to contact those venues,’ Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said.
Queensland Police on Thursday said the three women who have been charged are now cooperating with QPS and Queensland Health officials.
Legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers Crime and Misconduct division lawyer Craig van der Hoven said anyone who knowingly transmits COVID-19 without taking precautions could face up to two years behind bars.
Queensland on Saturday recorded one new coronavirus case.
Muranga works as a cleaner at Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge (pictured), which is functioning as a coronavirus testing facility
Between them the pair visited 11 different venues in Brisbane while infected with COVID-19
Muranga allegedly also visited a Thai restaurant in Springfield on Sunday and a Southbank cocktail bar on Monday.
Authorities have described the border crossing as the ‘perfect storm’. They are examining whether the women visited the Free Pentecostal Church of Australia in Springfield.
All aged care homes in Brisbane’s Metro South region have been ordered to lock down to stop a potential spread as a result of the women’s actions.
Australia’s coronavirus cases have dramatically spiked after the first wave of cases was all but beaten
Muranga is a cleaner at Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge.
The school’s principal Gary Cully confirmed a coronavirus-infected cleaner worked for three days last week.
‘The staff member was on site last week and then rang in sick and then that’s when the trace program started,’ Mr Cully told The Courier Mail.
‘As far as I’m aware they were not symptomatic while they were onsite and then called in sick the following day and then the next week were tested.’
People line up in their cars and on foot to get COVID-19 tested at the Parklands Christian College on Wednesday
A man delivers cleaning equipment to a COVID-19 screening clinic at the Parklands Christian College in Logan
Shopping centres, restaurants, a school, and a church they visited will shut while authorities scramble to conduct contact tracing.
The incident prompted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to announce all Sydneysiders will be banned from entering the state from Saturday.
‘There will be a thorough police investigation here but now we have to act as a community and in the areas where the chief health officer says need to be closed, will be closed and I urge people in those areas when that list goes out later on today to please ensure that if you are feeling sick you must go and get tested,’ she said.
Queensland residents returning will have to isolate in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.
One of the women attended the Orion Springfield Central in Ipswich, south-west of Brisbane, on Sunday where she dined at the Peak Thai restaurant about 6.30pm.