COVID-19

Victoria records 445 new cases

The state’s health department confirmed the new local cases just after 9am, along with two more deaths.The health department also revealed another 316 mystery infections, with only 129 of the new cases linked to existing outbreaks.They did not say how many cases were in isolation during their infectious period.The outbreak continues to hit Victoria’s younger population the worst with 87 per cent of the state’s active cases younger than 50.It comes as hospital admissions for Covid-19 patients reached 157 on Tuesday, up from 147 the day before, as the state’s outbreak worsens despite a sixth lockdown.Health Minister Martin Foley said 38 of the 157 patients were receiving intensive care, with 26 of those needing ventilation.He said 89 per cent of the hospitalised patients were unvaccinated, while the remaining 11 per cent had one dose.None of the hospitalised patients were fully vaccinated.No new cases were recorded in hotel quarantine on Tuesday. More than 17,000 primary close contacts remain in isolation in Victoria.There are now 3799 active cases in Victoria.Vic Locally-acquired Covid-19NEW ZEALAND EXTENDS AUSSIE TRAVEL BANAustralians remain restricted from flying to Auckland after New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern extended the city’s strict lockdown for at least one more week.The country’s largest city will remain in level 4 lockdown until 21 September, when it is scheduled to move to level 3.While the rest of the country has been placed on level 2 alert, allowing most schools and businesses to reopen, Auckland’s strict restrictions suspend quarantine-free travel to and from Australia.One flight is scheduled from Sydney to Auckland on Wednesday 15 September for travellers that have a right to enter New Zealand, and have also been given an emergency managed isolation and quarantine allocation to travel. The flight is not available for public booking.Travellers flying into the country from New South Wales must not have been in a location of interest in the past two weeks, and they must provide a negative Covid test before departure, and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.It comes as authorities recorded 33 new cases of the Delta variant in Auckland, which was higher than 23 and 20 cases reported over the weekend.“It’s clear there is no widespread transmission of the virus in Auckland, but so long as we have new cases emerging, there are risks,” Ms Ardern told a news conference.“The fact that we are finding them through surveillance and community testing, rather than through contact tracing, that is what we’re concerned about because that does present risk,” she added.She said the level 4 lockdowns, which include the suspension of quarantine-free travel from Australia, remain their best option to contain the outbreak. “We don’t want to risk the sacrifices everyone has made, and all the hard work you’ve put in, by moving to alert level three too quickly,” she said.NSW RECORDS SEVEN DEATHSThe extended ban on travel from Australia comes as NSW recorded 1257 new cases of coronavirus and seven deaths on Monday after 137,668 tests.The state has 1189 people in hospital with 222 in intensive care and 94 on a ventilator.Premier Gladys Berejiklian said southwestern Sydney and western Sydney remain the key areas of concern. “In Greater Sydney area, however, we are seeing a stabilisation in some local government areas of concern and that’s positive,” she said.As Sydneysiders enjoyed some freedoms today, the premier warned “do not let your guard down”.“It’s way too early for any of us to get complacent and we are concerned that an unexpected event, a super spreader event can suddenly have a major setback,” she said.The premier also said the Government is yet to finalise its plans in relation to what happens at 80 per cent double dose. But warned those that don’t get the jab won’t get the same rights.“Don’t assume that at 80 per cent double-dose vaccination that unvaccinated people are going to have all those freedoms,” she said.She added: “I don’t want people to think they can sit back, let everybody else do the hard work and then turn up when it’s 80 per cent and get everything else that vaccinated people are. That’s not the right message.“I want to say it clearly – that if you’re not vaccinated, you will not have the freedom or the freedoms that vaccinated people have even when we get to 80 per cent double dose.”Her appearance on Monday’s press conference comes after she announced on Friday she would no longer be holding daily Covid press briefings.“I was always scheduled to do today because of the key milestones we announced. Obviously today is the first day many people have freedoms they didn’t have before and I want to stress that nothing has changed from my comments from last week,” she told reporters.“I’m on the job 24/7. In addition to managing the pandemic, we manage the state moving forward and I will be – I’m always available, but I won’t necessarily be here everyday at 11am.“Some weeks I might be here everyday, other weeks I might be here intermittently, but the important thing to note is that your government is not only on the job 24/7, but we’re also making sure we timely information when we need to and the way we need to do that and I think the public understands that.”NED-4339-New-South-Wales-LGAs-In-Lock-DownNSW’s latest Covid victims were a male in his 90 from Dubbo who died at St Mary’s Villa Aged Care, where he acquired the infection. He was vaccinated but had underlying health conditions.A male in his 80s from Sydney’s inner-city died at St Vincent’s Hospital, he was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions.An unvaccinated woman in her 80s from Sydney’s inner-city died at Campbelltown Hospital.A man in his 80s died at Nepean Hospital after acquiring the infection at the Hawkesbury Living Aged Care facility in Sydney’s northwest. He was vaccinated and had significant underlying health conditions.A man in his 90s from southwestern Sydney who died at Liverpool Hospital. He was vaccinated but had underlying health conditions.A woman in her 90s from south Sydney’s inner-west died at Concord Hospital. She was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions.A man in his 80s who died at Sutherland Hospital. He was vaccinated but had multiple underlying health conditions. .JAB FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL KIDS CLOSERAustralian primary school kids may be able to get the Covid jab within months.Pfizer-BioNTech says it will seek regulatory approval to deliver its jab to children aged five to 11, as it works on smaller doses for children, the Herald Sun reports.The Therapeutic Goods Administration is closely monitoring rolling trial results, which BioNTech chief Ugur Sahin said last week were “looking good”.Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australia already had sufficient supplies ordered to vaccinate everyone next year.“We always presumed that if trials produced evidence to safely open to children of all ages, that we would have first and second doses for them,” Mr Hunt said on Sunday.Pfizer-BioNTech also wants approval for its vaccine for infants by the end of the year.From Monday, 1.2 million Australian children aged 12 to 15 will be eligible for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, after the nation’s expert immunisation panel approved Moderna for children.National – 2021 – Covid Vaccination StatsONE MILLION MODERNA DOSES ON THE WAYChildren as young as 12 will get access to Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine from Monday and the supply will be boosted by a million new doses from Europe.The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended the Moderna jab for people aged 12-59 and those people will be able to access the vaccine through pharmacies.The one million extra doses were sourced from European Union member states, the Prime Minister said.“Families will now be able to go along together to their pharmacy to get their vaccinations,” Scott Morrison said.The Moderna jab uses the same modern science as the Pfizer product, mRNA, to prevent serious illness from the coronavirus.The “m” in the acronym stands for messenger and RNA is ribonucleic acid, which is present in human cells.The vaccines use the messenger’s information to teach cells how to make spike protein, which is then recognised by the body as foreign, prompting it to build an immune response.That response then comes in handy if the vaccine recipient is infected with coronavirus because the body already knows how to protect against it.– with Zoe Smith, Amanda Sheppeard

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