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  • DEC

    Returned Tassie traveller from Vic dodges quarantine

    A construction worker at Hobart's Derwent Entertainment Centre who skipped home quarantine having been in Victoria, has escaped with just a caution. His Tas e-Travel application stated he had simply transitted through the COVID "high-risk" state, when in fact…
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    Vic scramble to find Delta virus link

    A man who was infected with the Delta COVID-19 strain mistakenly opened his room door soon after entering hotel quarantine in Melbourne. But Emma Cassar, the head of COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria, says this incident is unlikely to be the reason for the Delta…
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    NSW locations declared "high-risk" by Tas Health

    Victoria's coronavirus cluster is now threatening to impact New South Wales, after confirmation an infected person with the highly infectious Indian variant visited several sites in the state's south. It's prompted a swift high-risk declaration of five…
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    Ardern, Morrison writing COVID rules in NZ

    The Australian and New Zealand leaders say they'll write new pages in the COVID-19 rulebook when they meet for formal talks on Monday. Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern are in Queenstown for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders Forum. Mr Morrison is…
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    Victoria to enter 7 day circuit breaker lockdown from midnight

    Victoria will begin a seven-day lockdown from midnight, in an effort to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in the northern suburbs that has grown to 26 cases. One of those infected people is in intensive care and Acting Premier James Merlino said they are "not in a…
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    Melbourne set to learn COVID lockdown fate

    Melbourne residents are about to find out if a growing coronavirus cluster in the city's north will trigger another lockdown in the Victorian capital. Acting Premier James Merlino raised the prospect of a shutdown on Wednesday after the so-called Whittlesea…
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    Victorian outbreak sparks vaccine calls

    All eligible Australians are being urged to get vaccinated against coronavirus as a fresh outbreak threatens to spread across Melbourne. Victoria's cluster of cases has climbed to 15, with authorities naming dozens of exposure sites including the MCG where an…
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    Pfizer vaccine coming for 40-49s in NSW

    Around a million people in NSW aged between 40 and 49 could get a Pfizer COVID-19 jab at the new purpose-built vaccination hub at Sydney Olympic Park within weeks. Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the "exciting" development at the opening of the…
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    Vic plane passengers wait for test results

    About 15,000 people are isolating in Victoria, including 38 in hotel quarantine, as the state continues to deal with the fallout from Western Australia's coronavirus outbreak. Victoria's testing commander Jeroen Weimar has revealed it took more than half a…
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    Bubble not burst yet

    Tasmanian and New Zealand Health officials will meet on Wednesday to discuss any possible implications of a new coronavirus case at Auckland airport. It comes only a day before the first direct flights between Hobart and Auckland begin again after 20 years.…
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    US reviews J&J COVID-19 vaccine

    The United States is reviewing reports of a handful of potential cases of severe side effects among people who received Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, as well as those that led to a pause in its use, a top US public health official says. US health…
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    National cabinet meets to discuss vaccine

    The meeting of the national cabinet will aim to get the nation's vaccine program back on track and discuss ways to ease international border restrictions, perhaps later in the year. One route in and out of the country has already eased, after restrictions on…
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    PM, premier urge calm after NSW clot death

    Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian have warned against rushing to conclusions after the death of a NSW woman who developed blood clots a day after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The NSW premier also reiterated her enthusiasm to receive her second…
  • PA Hospital

    COVID-19 found in Brisbane hospital ward

    Engineering consultants are inspecting a Brisbane hospital's infectious diseases ward after traces of coronavirus turned up in testing there, one week after it was deep cleaned. The Princess Alexandra Hospital's Ward 5D was shut from March 30 and deep cleaned…
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    Qld man aged in his 80s dies from COVID-19

    Australia has recorded its first COVID-19 death for 2021 after a man in his 80s died in a Brisbane hospital. Health minister Yvette D'Ath said the Australian man succumbed to the disease on Monday night after returning from the Philippines. It follows the…
  • coronavirus update

    Second case of rare blood clots identified

    Australia's medicine regulator has identified a second case of rare blood clots believed to be linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Therapeutic Goods Administration released a safety alert announcing the possible link on Tuesday. The blood clots affected a…
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    US breaks daily vaccine record with 4.6m

    The US continues to make rapid strides with its vaccination programme, announcing that health care workers have carried out more than 4.6 million vaccinations in one day. "A new record," Cyrus Shahpar, the person responsible for vaccination data at the White…
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    Under-50s AstraZeneca jabs on hold in Tas

    Tasmania has halted first-dose injections of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people aged under 50 years, following federal health advice. The decision comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison late on Thursday received recommendations from the Australian…
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    Australia's vaccine rollout plans in chaos

    Australia is facing a major delay in its coronavirus vaccine rollout after new bombshell advice plunged the program into chaos. Health supremos have recommended not administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under 50 because of an extremely rare but…
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    Aus monitoring AstraZeneca concerns

    The Morrison Government is now considering next steps in regard to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine rollout, after the UK began offering people aged under 30 an alternative formula. It comes after the European Medicines Agency confirmed the jab can cause…

Victorian outbreak sparks vaccine calls

Coronavirus latest news2

All eligible Australians are being urged to get vaccinated against coronavirus as a fresh outbreak threatens to spread across Melbourne.

Victoria's cluster of cases has climbed to 15, with authorities naming dozens of exposure sites including the MCG where an infected person attended an AFL match on Sunday.

Melbourne may soon enter another snap lockdown to bring the outbreak under control.

Liberal senator Jane Hume is concerned three Victorians at the centre of the cluster were not vaccinated despite being eligible.

"The most important thing for Victorians is they get out and get themselves vaccinated," she told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"We heard that of the new cases that were announced overnight and yesterday as well, three of them were over 50 that could have been vaccinated, so that increases the urgency to get the vaccinations done."

The federal government does not know how many Victorians infected in the latest outbreak have been vaccinated.

There are widespread concerns about the sluggish pace of the national vaccine rollout.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews denied depleted stock levels were to blame for Australia lagging behind other nations.

"There are adequate supplies at this point so please go out and get vaccinated," she said.

Labor is urging the government to redraft vaccination plans and scrap its staggered program for getting a jab.

Just under 3.8 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered across the country, well short of initial targets.

State and territory governments have defied the tiered approach to the vaccine rollout and opened eligibility to new cohorts ahead of the federal government.

The latest outbreak has also raised fresh concerns about the country's reliance on hotel quarantine, which has repeatedly faltered throughout the pandemic.

The Melbourne flare-up has been linked to a man who caught the virus while in hotel quarantine in Adelaide.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison ducked multiple questions on whether Australians would be safer if he had created a national, purpose-built quarantine system.

Mr Morrison tried to reframe the Question Time interrogation as an attack on the South Australian government, claiming he would not attack the states.

The prime minister has regularly criticised state governments over border closures and lockdowns throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Morrison also accused Labor of being "whingers and complainers" for questioning the vaccine rollout, claiming voters stop him in the street to say how well Australia has done compared to other countries.

Labor health spokesman Mark Butler said the prime minister should be moving faster to fund state proposals for purpose-built quarantine sites.

"We can't continue to see these outbreaks from a quarantine system based around hotels, which were built for tourism, not medical quarantine," he said.

"We don't have national standards still in our hotels around ventilation, around the use of personal protective equipment. We still have staff in our hotels doing quarantine who haven't been fully vaccinated."

Ms Andrews said the Commonwealth was doing its due diligence on a Victorian quarantine proposal but could not put a timeline on when a decision would be made.

"This is a very important proposal that has been put forward. It is a comprehensive proposal, which is excellent - that's what we need," she said.

New restrictions have been imposed across Melbourne, including mandatory mask-wearing indoors and limits on gatherings, but the state government has so far resisted a lockdown.

States and territories have tightened borders with Victoria but stopped short of complete closures.

© AAP 2021

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