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    Vic on the fast track to COVID freedoms

    Victoria is on track to reach its next major vaccination target ahead of schedule as Melbourne prepares to exit lockdown, meaning more freedoms are fewer than two weeks away. The city will emerge from its sixth shutdown at 11:59pm on Thursday, five days…
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    Victoria ends lockdown five days early

    Victoria will end its sixth long-running lockdown five days earlier than planned, as the state races to its 70 per cent fully vaccinated target. Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Sunday, saying now was the time for Victorians to celebrate. "As…
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    "Not out of the woods yet", 51 casual contacts of infected teen

    The number of casual contacts linked to the COVID-positive Launceston teenager who breached quarantine has risen to 51. "They're mostly people who were at the airport at the same time as the case, or at the IGA. Those numbers have come up a little bit since…
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    COVID case breached home quarantine without mask

    Investigations have revealed a COVID positive Launceston teenager left home quarantine without a mask to go to a local supermarket with his cousin. The IGA at Newnham between 2:20pm and 2:45pm on Saturday October 2 has been declared an exposure site. Anyone…
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    New Vic restrictions as Gutwein dismisses Flight Centre legal threat

    The Premier isn't fazed at threats of legal action from the Flight Centre boss about ongoing state border closures. Graham Turner has flagged suing lockout states including Tasmania if they don't reveal "reasonable" reopening plans in coming weeks Peter…
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    Vic roadmap unveiled, 7 day lockdown for Geelong

    Melbourne's controversial curfew will be scrapped, with people able to travel up to 25 kilometres and have a beer outside the pub once 70 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But the most substantial changes to the…
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    Regional Victoria exits COVID-19 lockdown

    A Lockdown will be lifted in regional Victoria, with the exception of the town of Shepparton which is still battling a coronavirus outbreak. The state has recorded 221 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, but most are in Melbourne. "Regional…
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    Virus 'ripping families apart': Syd nurse

    An intensive care nurse working in one of NSW's worst COVID-19 hotspots says the virus is "ripping families apart" and taking an enormous physical and emotional toll on healthcare workers. More than 870 COVID-19 patients are in hospital in NSW, with 143 in…
  • 20210828 SA Health Alert

    SA names sites linked to infected truckies

    South Australian authorities have identified petrol stations linked to truck drivers who travelled through three states in WA, before testing positive to COVID-19. The two drivers were tested as part of routine surveillance in NSW on Wednesday, but being…
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    Regional Victoria to return to lockdown

    Regional Victorians will re-enter lockdown at 1pm on Saturday as authorities scramble to contain a COVID-19 outbreak centred on the city of Shepparton. Victoria recorded 61 new locally acquired virus cases on Saturday, including 39 in the community while…
  • coronavirus update

    Launceston "clear" of COVID scare

    Tasmania's Director of Public Health says the coronavirus scare in Lauceston earlier this month is now well and truly behind us. A traveller from Sydney, who came without a border pass via Melbourne, tested positive in hotel quarantine at Peppers Seaport then…
  • coronavirus update

    Woman pinged for border breach

    There's a stark warning to travellers attempting to breach Fortress Tasmania. A woman who arrived in Launceston on a flight from Sydney at the weekend has become the first to receive the now-doubled fine of $1557. The Tasmanian, aged in her 70s, was fined…
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    Melbourne lockdown extended, curfew back

    Melbourne's lockdown has been extended by two weeks and a night curfew will be reimposed, in an effort to stamp out the state's latest outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant. Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday announced the extension, as well as a raft of…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    QR codes for taxis and Ubers after Launceston scare

    Tasmania is yet to detect any COVID cases after an infected man's brief stay in a Launceston quarantine hotel last week. A total of more than 6000 tests have come back negative in the five days after the man's positive test and the situation is now considered…
  • Aurora

    Hawks vs Pies in Launceston called off

    Collingwood's first ever AFL match in Tasmania has been abandoned after the state's first coronavirus case in 238 days sent hundreds of Launcestonians into isolation. The highly anticipated Sunday fixture at UTAS Stadium was a sell out, despite the crowd…
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    Vic to enter its sixth lockdown at 8pm

    Victoria will enter a seven-day lockdown in an effort to contain a growing outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Melbourne's western suburbs. Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the lockdown will begin at 8pm on Thursday, after the state recorded eight new…
  • Launceston streetscape

    Qld arrivals nabbed for flagrant COVID rule breach

    Police appear to have finally lost patience with those flouting Tasmanian Health's stay-at-home orders in the wake of the Queensland COVID-19 Delta outbreak. Two people who recently arrived in Launceston from south east Queensland have been fined $774 each.…
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    SA considers tougher Queensland rules

    South Australians in Queensland have been urged to consider returning as soon as possible as the Sunshine State continues to battle a COVID-19 outbreak. With southeast Queensland in lockdown, SA residents are still allowed to return provided they spend 14…
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    Victoria tightens border bubble with NSW

    Victoria is tightening the NSW border bubble, banning non-essential movement across state lines over the threat of Sydney's worsening COVID-19 outbreak. From 11.59pm on Tuesday, border bubble residents will only be able to cross state lines for six reasons…
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    No new virus infections in South Australia

    South Australia will end its COVID-19 lockdown on schedule after reporting no new virus infections. Premier Steven Marshall says the result is a "huge relief" and will allow the shutdown to end at one minute past midnight on Wednesday. "So a massive thank you…

Rapid COVID-19 testing coming to Aust

Chinas coronavirus death toll up to 563

Pinprick blood tests that detect COVID-19 in just minutes are coming to Australia within days.

Melbourne diagnostic company Endo X and ASX-listed biotech company Cellmid are among several companies that have signed import agreements with Chinese manufacturers to deliver rapid COVID-19 tests into Australia.

Cellmid says its testing kits from Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech Co only require the "most basic of laboratory equipment" and just involve a finger prick, delivering results in three minutes for positive results and up to 15 minutes for negative ones.

Cellmid described the tests as a "small disposable kit" that is stable at room temperature for a year and could easily be used in mobile testing centres.

Endo X meanwhile is bringing in 500,000 similar blood tests from VivaCheck Biotech (Hangzhou) Co Ltd, and says they will go to hospitals, GP clinics, pathology centres and testing centres this week.

Both tests look for antibodies in a few drops of blood and are much quicker and less expensive than the polymerase chain reaction (PRC) tests that use nasal swabs and take days to deliver results.

Endo X says its VivaCheck test is 94.6 per cent accurate from four to 10 days of the patient developing symptoms and 99.3 per cent accurate after 11 to 24 days.

Sydney-based Complete Corporate Wellness has also begun offering companies and organisations rapid testing conducted onsite by their medical professionals.

Director Debra Villar said the tests are right now aimed at essential businesses such as manufacturers and construction companies that still have employees on-site.

The pinprick tests are made by USA company CTK Biotech and similarly return results in about 15 minutes.

Up to three people can be tested per hour, with strict hygiene and infection control protocols in place.

The tests could be used more widely once the lockdowns are lifted, she said.

"When everyone does return to work, obviously you want to know you're doing it in a way that's safe," Ms Villar said.

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved 14 different COVID-19 tests, both laboratory-based and point-of-care, according to its website.

So far there are no tests that allow consumers to test themselves directly, however.

© AAP 2020

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