In Australia, Queensland communities face an anxious wait and authorities will brace for the worst after two teenage girls traipsed across six suburbs, five restaurants and bars, and more venues for eight days while infected with Covid-19.
Extraordinary scenes were witnessed yesterday as anxious residents waiting at testing sites in queues not seen before in Brisbane and a major tracing operation was underway in the city's south, echoing scenes in Sydney's Potts Point.
At Parklands Christian College, the school where one of the women works as a cleaner, families linked to 734 students underwent testing with long queues stretching down the street in what has been described as a Covid crisis.
Officials have called the situation a "perfect storm" that could force Queensland back into lockdown while aged-care homes have already been ordered to shut as a precautionary measure.
The panic came after three new cases were confirmed in the state that involved a series of bungles by two "reckless" teenagers, Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu, both 19, who moved from Browns Plains in Logan to inner-city Southbank over several days while showing symptoms of the virus.
The pair were fined $4000 each overnight for allegedly lying to authorities on their border paperwork to skip mandatory quarantine.
The incident has caused anxiety for health and government officials due to the spread of locations the women travelled.
Scores of staff and friends of the pair will be forced to isolate as authorities race to conduct contact tracing.
SPREAD BEGINS AFTER TEENS' RETURN
A 22-year-old woman, one of the girl's sisters, also tested positive for coronavirus. She is not accused of any wrongdoing.
It was Queensland's first case of transmission in 46 days as New South Wales and Victoria struggle to contain coronavirus outbreaks.
Staff at Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge, west of Brisbane, have been forced to self-isolate after it emerged Muranga did not self-isolate on her return and instead worked three days at the private school.
Chatswood Hills State School was also closed for deep cleaning after one of the women worked at its after-school care.
"It's just pathetic, obviously they've got no regard for anyone else," one man at the testing site told 7 News. Another described it as "disgraceful".
Hundreds of tests submitted across the district yesterday are expected back today and should give officials an indication of what's to come and how far the virus has travelled.
The incident has caused not only panic for locals, but a political firestorm between borders.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk locked out people from Greater Sydney and said yesterday she was "absolutely furious this happened" as she announced tighter border restrictions with NSW.
FIVE MILLION BANNED
Five million Sydneysiders will be banned from Queensland effective Saturday 1am.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian sniped back at the announcement, telling reporters, "it would have been nice if she told me, but that's fine".
Sky Newshost Alan Jones said Palaszczuk appeared to have "gone mad" over the decision to lock out people from Greater Sydney.
"The reality is, in all of Australia we have 46 serious cases," Jones said. "Are we going to shut down everything every time there is a positive test."
The tit-for-tat between premiers is just the latest in the political pile, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison feuding with the Western Australia government over its border closures along with a recent blame game between the Morrison and Andrews government.
Destination Gold Coast chairman Paul Donovan urged Palaszczuk to boost penalties to a $50,000 fine and six months prison for anyone lying to health authorities, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
"If it's true what these ones are accused of doing, they should have the book thrown at them. You don't play with livelihoods and health," he said.
Queensland's deputy police commissioner Steve Gollschewski said a criminal investigation into the women's actions was still ongoing but "the initial investigation is indicating that there were incorrect details on their declaration passes".
Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young called the teens "reckless" and said contact tracing was underway.
"While we are still determining where the virus may have been acquired, we are working closely with these women to gather necessary information, including other places they may have visited while infectious," she said
As urgent contact tracing continues, Queensland Health has released the times and dates the women visited venues across Brisbane's south.