Some protests forming in Melbourne.
Some data from the Australian Senate Covid-19 committee:
The ATO has told the committee that between 3 and 17 August, so just after stage 4 lockdown commenced in Melbourne, 11,000 more employers and businesses applied for Jobkeeper with a Victorian ABN.
Andrews indicates it could be until next weekend before we know how the restrictions will ease in Melbourne on 28 September.
The way this works is that the public health team provide their advice and they will provide early advice and then they will add to their advice, and again, we have made the point very clearly that modelling is very important, but the actual data, case numbers every day, the investigations, the narrative that sits behind each those numbers, but is really important.
So you would make a decision is significant is that, as close to the time that it came into effect. The decision-making process is not, I wish it were, but it is not one meeting. And it is not one person. They will be a bunch of us who all sit down together, take advice, that advice will develop and unfold throughout the week. That is one of the very difficult parts about this virus.
I don’t know what tomorrow’s numbers will be. I don’t know if there is going to be a big outbreak next week. In a very high risk industry. I don’t know whether there is another Casey, whether there is another five families out there somewhere. So you have got to be as contemporary, use all the data you have got, as close to the decision point as possible.
So I can boldly predict for you that there will be meetings throughout the week and well into the weekend.
Andrews is again asked why the Casey and Dandenong families who broke the rules and got Covid-19 didn’t get fined. Andrews said while it might make others feel better, it wouldn’t be useful for contact tracing.
Well, any sense of satisfaction that we might collectively get by these people getting find would be very short-lived. Because ultimately what is most important is getting the information out of them, and people feeling that they can be frank and honest and truthful.
As I said, if you went back to the 20,000 plus interviews we have done over the last year, through the course of those interviews, people will have made admissions, large and small, about their conduct. And the value of that information far exceeds any fine.
And also, can I say, they will be talking about what they have already done. So that behaviour can’t be changed. Fines and penalties and enforcement is not about trying to change things that happened in the past. It is about trying to make sure that people have the motivation to do the right thing. And the vast majority of Victorians are.
Andrews is asked about whether there is a plan to recruit retired police to act as authorised officers. He says the state needs more authorised officers to go check workplaces to ensure they are Covid-compliant.
But the powers are broader than that, including the ability to detain people, which, given they are not police, has alarmed some people.
Andrews said the powers are needed right now when the Victorian community wants to get the Covid-19 case numbers down and keep them down, but the powers won’t be around forever.
“There will be a time when they are no longer appropriate and many of them Sunset next year,” he said.
Andrews said anyone thinking of protesting today should go home.
“Go home. Go home and follow the rules. That is a very simple message. Go home and follow the rules.”
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says although the test numbers are good today (around 12,000) he suspect people might not be getting tested in order to keep the numbers down.
That is not our concern. We want the most complete picture, that is far more important. The moment you don’t get what you think is a complete or a reliable picture that will have much more impact on taking steps than people coming forward and allowing us to find where the virus is, wrap our arms around those people and make sure they are not infecting anyone else. That is critical.
He rules out removing the Mornington Peninsula from metro Melbourne in terms of the restrictions in place.
Sutton says in the home is the biggest concern for virus transmission as restrictions ease.
“It really is. It is a combination of indoors which is 20 times more dangerous than outdoor and the length of time you spend.
“There are brief encounters indoors, as you get your takeaway coffee, it is much less of a risk. But if you are indoors for a protracted period of time that is exactly when transmission occurs. People need to be aware of that.”
When asked whether restrictions easing could be brought forward, Sutton said everything was more or less tracking as the modelling planned, and the next few weeks.
“That is not to say we shouldn’t take the opportunity of these next couple of weeks to say this is literally the last gasp of this virus, if we wanted to be, and to do everything we can to knuckle down with the things that we know have worked all through.”
Sutton says there are many misconceptions out there about Covid-19, including testing, and it’s not limited to migrant communities.
“But there are some very persistent misconceptions and there are some people who are really trying to promulgate misinformation, disinformation, having false information out there for whatever reason, so we need to tackle that head-on as well.”
He says the most frustrating misconception is that Covid-19 doesn’t exist and doesn’t kill people.
“The idea that this illness that we know kills one in three people over the age of 80, you know, to say that it is mild or just the flu or doesn’t exist at all is really offensive to everyone who has lost a loved one.”
The Victorian chief health officer Prof Brett Sutton has apologised for comments he made about the Afghan migrant community.
Sutton on Monday said he was attempting to engage with the Afghan migrant community in Casey as a priority, amid an outbreak in Casey, and the Herald Sun reported today that the community had felt scapegoated by his comments.
Sutton apologised for those comments, saying it was wrong to single out the Afghan community.
A reference my trips to Afghanistan, and a comment on the fact that all communities across the world prioritise and care for those closest to them and everyone wants to do the right thing.
I inadvertently called out Afghanistan, which I think was inappropriate, but I was just reflecting on my experience of working with diverse communities internationally in humanitarian work and the fact that there really is a universal human experience.
Yesterday the Victorian government revealed a cluster of 34 cases in Dandenong and Casey among five households that had breached the rules on travelling more than 5km from home and visiting each other.
As reported earlier, the rolling average for metro Melbourne is 39.3. So Melbourne is well with the 30-50 average cases range for the easing of restrictions on 28 September.
So this strategy is working. Those numbers tell a powerful story of what can be achieved when you say the course.
When you don’t get sidetracked by some of the loudest voices, who I understand are hurting and want to open up, we would all like to open up as quickly as possible, but we won’t be open for very long if we don’t first get these numbers down to a low level and I think I would say to everyone watching and listening right now logic, commonsense, international our own experience shows us that you can’t hope to keep numbers low until you first get them low.
That is just an undeniable fact. And if we were to open up far too early some would be pleased, but they would be pleased for a short period of time, because we would simply be closed again not long thereafter.
There are 433 active cases in aged care, so now aged care accounts for over half of all active cases.
There are 834 active cases in Victoria, so we are now below 900.
There are 28 active cases in regional Victoria, so 806 in metro Melbourne.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says of the 21 new cases announced today, 13 of those cases are linked to known outbreaks and complex cases. Eight are under investigation by a public health team.
He says close to 12,000 tests were conducted yesterday.
That is a really powerful contribution to our fight against the virus and, again, can I urged every single Victorian, if you have even the mildest of symptoms, please come forward and get tested. It’s how we can fight this virus, is how we can get these rules off, it is how we can move to take the safe and steady steps towards a Covid normal. We have got to keep those test numbers up. We have got to have that certainty that the picture we are getting is an accurate one.
The Australian state of New South Wales has recorded three new cases of Covid-19 to 8pm yesterday.
Two of those cases are returned travellers in hotel quarantine, and one was locally acquired and is under investigation.
NSW Health has said the latter worked at Concord hospital treating patients while potentially infectious and contact tracing is underway.
Over 15,000 tests were conducted in the past day.
We are expecting the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, to start his press conference any minute now.
Mexico has reported 4,841 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Friday, and 624 deaths.
The total confirmed cases are 688,954, and 72,803, although officials have said the real number of cases is likely significantly higher.
Queensland has marked another day with no new coronavirus cases as it prepares to further re-open its borders.
It has been nine days since the sunshine state has recorded a community transmission of Covid-19, while its number of active infections has fallen to 22.
The result comes as it prepares to welcome ACT travellers next week and double its intake of international arrivals by the end of October.
Today’s press conference with the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, will be at 11 am. We will bring you that as it happens.
Here is a little more on today’s Victorian numbers from AAP:
Victoria has reported 21 mores cases of Covid-19 and seven deaths. Saturday’s figures take the state’s coronavirus death toll to 757 and the national count to 844.
Metropolitan Melbourne has a 14-day new case average of 39.3, well below the state’s target of 50.
Public health authorities are racing to stop infections growing in the Casey and Dandenong council areas on the Melbourne’s southeast rim, which now has 90 active cases.
Five households in Clyde, Cranbourne North, Hallam and Narre Warren South are linked to 34 active cases.
A Monash Health spokesman confirmed it was caring for three people in hospital connected to the Casey cluster on Saturday.
Contact tracers discovered members of each house had been breaching the 5km travel limit for visits.
A special team has been created to target the cluster, with the government saying it is in conversation with local community members and leaders.
Other cases in the area are linked to workplaces, including nine connected to a truck manufacturer and six to Dandenong Police Station.
Premier Daniel Andrews has urged anti-lockdown protesters not to gather following reports of more planned protests in Melbourne.
It is unclear exactly where the demonstrations will be, with protesters taking caution not to make their plans easily accessible online.
Good morning everyone. Here’s a rundown of events internationally and in Australia over the past 24 hours.
- The number of coronavirus cases worldwide passed 30 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The global death toll stands at 947,919 people and is expected to pass 1 million by 1 October. The US accounts for than 22% of global cases, at 6.69m, and nearly 200,000 fatalities.
- US president Donald Trump said he expects to have available enough doses of a coronavirus vaccine for every American by April.
- Three people who tested positive for Covid-19 in a cluster in Melbourne have been hospitalised. There are 34 cases in the cluster in the suburb of Casey, with authorities saying the households breached Melbourne’s lockdown restrictions.
- Victoria has announced 21 new cases of coronavirus and seven more deaths. The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has urged anti-lockdown protesters not to gather following reports of more planned protests in Melbourne on Saturday. Public health authorities are racing to stop infections growing in the Casey and Dandenong council areas on the Melbourne’s south-east rim, which now has 90 active cases.
- The UK government has hinted at second national lockdown amid reports of a plan to “circuit break” the virus. The UK’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, told Sky News: “The number of people in hospital is doubling every eight days or so … we will do what it takes to keep people safe.”
- Greek authorities have also been tightened restrictions in Athens and in Spain the regional government of Madrid has announced a partial lockdown of some districts.
- France reported an unprecedented 13,215 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 over the past 24 hours. The health ministry also said that the total number of deaths from Covid-19 increased by 154 to 31,249, the highest daily toll in three months.
- The European Union has agreed to buy 300m doses of an as yet unapproved coronavirus vaccine being developed by Sanofi and GSK.
- Australia’s national cabinet agreed on Friday to begin easing travel caps on international arrivals. NSW, Queensland and WA have agreed to allow more people into hotel quarantine, which will lift the number of returned travellers from 4,000 to 6,000 per week. Labor has said the plan does not go far enough to assist the tens of thousands of Australians stranded overseas.
- Prime minister Scott Morrison said Australia was looking again at a trans-Tasman travel bubble, where New Zealanders could come into Australia without quarantine.
Read the original article at The Guardian