Last updated November 11, 2020 3:26PM AEDT
Gladys Berejiklian is furious after Queensland revealed it’s on track to open its borders to Victoria before Sydney.
“I’m just mortified by that notion. I think it’s cruel. I think it’s unjustified and I think it’s spiteful. And there’s no health or scientific basis to it,” she said.
“NSW has demonstrated that you can manage the pandemic by keeping the community safe but also by keeping people in jobs and keeping people mobile and relatively free in a COVID-safe way.”
Meanwhile, Christmas and New Year gatherings may be bigger than we thought, as “one-off” restriction-easing measures are in the pipeline.
Ms Berejiklian told reporters the next big milestone will be opening the border with Victoria, but said additional activities could be granted exemption from restrictions in the near future.
As it stands in NSW, up to 20 visitors may visit another household at any one time.
Follow our live coverage.
In its daily update, Victoria’s DHHS has given some more detail on the Melbourne woman who tested positive for COVID-19 in South Australia.
“The Department of Health and Human Services is working closely with South Australian health authorities in investigating a South Australian resident, who has been working in Victoria, and who has tested positive for coronavirus in South Australia,” the update read.
“The case is an aged care worker who previously tested positive in Victoria in early August and isolated for the full period required. They recovered and were cleared of the virus later that month. The case has not worked in aged care since mid-October.
“The case tested positive in South Australia on 9 November as part of their entry screening processes. The case is not showing symptoms.
“The case is likely to represent intermittent shedding following a previous infection but through an abundance of caution, and while further investigations are underway, the public health response across the two jurisdictions will align.
“As a result, at this time, we are asking people who visited Melbourne Central on 8 November between 2pm and 5pm or were at Terminal 4 of Melbourne Airport on 9 November between noon and 1pm to be alert to even the mildest of symptoms and seek immediate testing if they become unwell.”
Jade Gailberger, NCA NewsWire
Australia is a step closer to rolling out a coronavirus vaccine with two potential jabs being fast-tracked for approval.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has given the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines the green light after “very promising” data from early clinical trial phases.
This puts both developers on track for approval in January and for Australians to be vaccinated against COVID-19 from March 2021.
Picture: Nick Moir
“It essentially expedites the process and brings critical medicines, or vaccines, at a faster rate then would otherwise be the case but with an absolute premium on safety,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
“We are on track to deliver vaccines to Australians commencing in March of 2021.”
The Therapeutic Goods Administration is expected to receive more clinical information needed to approve the vaccines around December.
The news comes as the Morrison government confirmed it would be able to distribute Pfizer’s world-first messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) type vaccine, which needs to be kept at minus 70C.
Very “sophisticated eskies”, which require dry ice that lasts for 14 days, would be used to hold and transport the vaccines, Therapeutic Goods Administration deputy secretary John Skerritt said.
US drugmaker Pfizer and the German biotech firm BioNTech could rake in almost $13 billion in global sales from the coronavirus vaccine next year, according to US investment bank Morgan Stanley.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced this week that their vaccine candidate – which is one of more than 40 versions in development – was 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19.
UPDATE: We are proud to announce, along with @BioNTech_Group, that our mRNA-based #vaccine candidate has, at an interim analysis, demonstrated initial evidence of efficacy against #COVID19 in participants without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
— Pfizer Inc. (@pfizer) November 9, 2020
No other company has yet made similar claims about its effectiveness.
“We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis,” Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla said.
While Australia is on track to record four straight days of zero local cases, the US has broken another 24-hour record.
The nation has recorded over 200,000 new cases in the last reporting period.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) November 11, 2020
Health Minister Greg Hunt has assured the public that any COVID vaccine that is used on Australians will be safe.
This comes after he revealed the Pfizer vaccine – which has been proven to be 90 per cent effective – will be in Australia by March next year.
“We have the strongest regulatory regime in the world to protect Australians and unless it’s safe, unless it’s independently determined by the regulator to be safe, then it won’t be provided,” he said.
“But all the advice to date is that the vaccines are proving to be not only safe, but that the effectiveness if beyond our earlier expectations. If there were harm then we would deal with it.”
NSW has once again recorded zero local cases, out of more than 20,000 tests yesterday.
There were four cases picked up in hotel quarantine.
The result puts Australia on track to record its fourth day with no local coronavirus cases.
No cases of locally acquired #COVID19 were diagnosed in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
Four cases were reported in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 4,289 since the start of the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/0kAeFOInQb
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) November 11, 2020
The COVID vaccine which has been proven to be 90 per cent effective this week will be in Australia by March next year, says the Health Minister, Greg Hunt.
He said the government has just secured “full cold chain logistics distribution” for the Pfizer vaccine – which has to be stored at very low temperatures.
He said the vaccine delivery is “commencing in March 2021” and Australia has secured 10 million units.
“That is I think extremely important news,” he said. “While, again, the advice is today that we may well have another zero community transmission case day for Australia, they are still waiting on two jurisdictions, we nevertheless have to be aware that we will not be out of this until we have a nation which has had a full vaccination program.
“But we are on track to deliver the vaccines. We have secured already a national cold chain distribution program as part of the agreement with Pfizer and in addition, we have the first two vaccines on the provisional determination pathway.”
A new study has urged caution for NSW, saying 5000 infected people went undetected in Sydney’s first wave.
The Medical Journal of Australia study published today says infection rates were likely 3.5 times higher than the official figures.
Researchers looked at blood samples from public and private laboratories and Australian Red Cross Lifeblood collected April to June, sampled by geographic location across 10-year age groups.
They then crunched the numbers to bring the data in line with Sydney’s population.
They believe there were 7450 COVID-19 cases in Sydney – more than 3.5 times the 2118 confirmed cases officially detected during the first wave.
The study is yet to be peer-reviewed.
South Australian authorities say a Melbourne woman has tested positive for coronavirus.
However, they believe she could be shedding virus particles from a previous infection.
She was at Melbourne Central between 2-5pm on November 8 and T4 Melbourne Airport 12-1pm on November 9.
An alert will also be issued at the airport in South Australia and anyone with symptoms or who visited these sites are being urged to get tested as a precaution.
This comes after two other positive tests were picked up in Melburnians yesterday.
Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley says they are not infectious and are self-isolating while further tests are carried out.
“So, in an abundance of caution, both jurisdictions (Victoria and SA) have decided to align their public health advice this morning,” Mr Foley said.
“This means that the top of health risk potential exposure sites are at both the Melbourne Central and Melbourne Airport.”