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COVID-19 Informer: There's reward in sifting through sewage

Testing the sewage could also reveal how many people in Blackwater may have been exposed. Photo: Shutterstock
Testing the sewage could also reveal how many people in Blackwater may have been exposed. Photo: Shutterstock

Sifting through sewage sounds like an awful job but could be rewarding for the scientists doing it to find the source of coronavirus in a central Queensland town where a 30-year-old man died from the virus.

Queensland recorded no new COVID-19 cases and only six active cases on Saturday, as authorities remain baffled by the town of Blackwater's fatal viral infection in Nathan Turner.

Mr Turner became Australia's youngest coronavirus fatality on Tuesday with authorities no closer to pinpointing how he contracted the virus.

Testing the sewage could also reveal how many people in Blackwater may have been exposed or unknowingly have the virus if traces are detected in the waste.

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions will be put to the test over this and next weekend as Australians enjoy public holidays.

In NSW, there has been no new cases of COVID-19 recorded for the first time in almost three weeks as the easing of restrictions around the state nears.

Just 11 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in NSW in the past 11 days - seven from overseas travellers and four with an unknown local source.

NSW will from Monday ease restrictions on religious services, weddings and funerals alongside pub and restaurant patronage.

Similary in Victoria from Monday restrictions will ease for cafes, restaurants, libraries, galleries, museums, amusement parks, places of worship, beauty clinics, nail salons and massage parlours which will be allowed to reopen with no more than 20 people inside.

But the state's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has warned life cannot return to normal yet, as nearly a dozen new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state, including three more cases linked to a Melbourne school and four from a hotel used to quarantine returned travellers.

President Donald Trump took aim at the World Health Organisation and China, blaming both for their roles in the pandemic's devastation.

Trump said the US will end its support for WHO, saying it didn't respond adequately to the health crisis because of China's "total control" over the global organisation. Trump said Chinese officials "ignored" their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the agency to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered.

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This story There's reward in sifting through sewage first appeared on The Canberra Times.