Authorities also registered a variant of the pathogen that, according to Mr Merlino, is “quicker and more contagious than we’ve seen before.”
He wrote: “To date, the approach has been to track the spread through friends, family and workmates.
“People spending time together for minutes and hours – not seconds.
“What we’re seeing now is something else – something even more serious.
“At least one in ten current cases have caught this virus from a stranger.”