Flights halted from PNG copper mine to Australia over virus cluster

Operations at the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine. (Image courtesy of Oki Tedi Mining.)

Flights from a mine in Papua New Guinea to Australia’s northeastern state of Queensland have been halted after a cluster of arrivals tested positive for covid-19, the Brisbane Times newspaper said on Thursday, citing a state official.

Five new confirmed infections were linked to the Ok Tedi copper mine, the state’s chief health officer, Jeannette Young, told a media briefing, according to the paper.

Flights for the next week have been cancelled, it quoted Young as saying, after the workers tested positive in quarantine following their arrival in the coastal town of Cairns, 1,433 km (900 miles) northwest of Brisbane.

Officials of the Ok Tedi mine did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

(By Melanie Burton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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