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Huge queues as thousands rush to get tested

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LIVE Last updated November 12, 2020 11:31AM AEDT Massive queues are growing in Sydney’s northwest after NSW Health issued a testing appeal for the region. NSW Health called for more than 18,500 residents in the city’s northwest – especially in the suburbs of North Kellyville, Rouse Hill, Box Hill, The Ponds, Kellyville Ridge, Parklea, Quakers…

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Last updated November 12, 2020 11:31AM AEDT

Massive queues are growing in Sydney’s northwest after NSW Health issued a testing appeal for the region.

NSW Health called for more than 18,500 residents in the city’s northwest – especially in the suburbs of North Kellyville, Rouse Hill, Box Hill, The Ponds, Kellyville Ridge, Parklea, Quakers Hill and Acacia Gardens – to get tested after virus fragments were found in sewage at two local sewage pumping stations.

A pop-up testing clinic was also set up in the carpark of The Fiddler, a popular pub in Rouse Hill.

Photos taken at The Fiddler this morning showed massive lines of cars as residents in the region took up the call for testing.

Follow our coronavirus blog for live updates below.

Live Updates


Natalie Wolfe

As Australia gears up to record its fifth day in a row with no locally acquired coronavirus cases, here’s a look at the situation around the world.

  • The virus has claimed more than 1,275,000 lives worldwide since it first emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP tally.
  • More than 51,531,660 cases have been registered across the globe. The United States is the worst-affected country with 239,695 deaths, followed by Brazil with 162,829, India with 127,571, Mexico with 95,842 and the United Kingdom with 50,000 deaths.
  • Spain’s death toll has passed the 40,000 mark, while Italy has passed the milestone of one million cases recorded since the beginning of the epidemic, becoming the 10th country to cross that threshold.
  • The European Union could “optimistically” begin vaccinations against COVID-19 in the first quarter of 2021, the director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said.
  • US pharma giant Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech have lifted hopes by reporting this week that their coronavirus vaccine has shown 90 percent effectiveness in preliminary results of a trial still underway.
  • Russia, determined to lead the race, claims its own vaccine Sputnik V is 92 percent effective.
  • In Brazil, clinical trials of the Chinese-developed CoronaVac vaccine, suspended Monday after the death of a volunteer, are authorised to resume.
  • South Africa’s president again warned of the threat of a second wave, as the most affected country in Africa surpasses 20,000 dead.
  • Vanuatu reported its first case, ending its status as one of the few remaining virus-free countries in the world. Health officials said a 23-year-old man who recently returned from the US had tested positive while in quarantine.

AFP


Natalie Wolfe

NSW has again recorded no locally acquired cases of coronavirus – the fifth day in a row for the state.

Five returned travellers in hotel quarantine tested positive for the virus.

More than 23,000 people were tested for coronavirus in the state up to 8pm yesterday, a higher than average number for NSW.

“NSW would like to thank the community for these increased numbers,” Dr Jeremy McAnulty said.

NSW Health is treating 71 people with the virus, none of those are in intensive care.

WATCH: Dr Jeremy McAnulty provides a #COVID19 update for Thursday 12 November 2020.https://t.co/K3pMWFJGUw

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) November 12, 2020

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Natalie Wolfe

Massive queues are growing in Sydney’s northwest after NSW Health issued a testing appeal for the region.

NSW Health called for more than 18,500 residents in the city’s northwest – especially in the suburbs of North Kellyville, Rouse Hill, Box Hill, The Ponds, Kellyville Ridge, Parklea, Quakers Hill and Acacia Gardens – to get tested after virus fragments were found in sewage at two local sewage pumping stations.

@NSWHealth is urging more than 18,500 western Sydney residents to get tested for COVID-19 following discovery of virus fragments, under our wastewater monitoring program. Our teams are working every day to provide the latest results supporting NSW Government’s COVID-19 response. https://t.co/S4w8CWchvr

— Sydney Water (@SydneyWaterNews) November 11, 2020

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A pop-up testing clinic was also set up in the carpark of The Fiddler, a popular pub in Rouse Hill.

Photos taken at The Fiddler this morning showed massive lines of cars as residents in the region took up the call for testing.

Pictures by David Swift


Natalie Wolfe

Victoria has again recorded no new coronavirus cases or deaths, the 13th day in a row for the state.

Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed the state had seen another double doughnut day – and is just one shy of recording two full weeks with no community transmission or deaths relating to coronavirus.

The state is also on the verge of being completely virus-free, with just three active cases remaining.

Yesterday there were 0 new cases and 0 lives lost. There were 20,819 tests received – thank you, Victoria #EveryTestHelps. There are 3 active cases, 1 with unknown source. #StaySafeStayOpen https://t.co/pcll7ySEgz #COVID19Vic pic.twitter.com/Mnr3DhYGAW

— VicGovDHHS (@VicGovDHHS) November 11, 2020

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Natalie Wolfe

NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello has encouraged the state to “dig deep” if they want to see restrictions eased by Christmas.

NSW Health issued a testing callout to more than 18,500 Sydneysiders yesterday after coronavirus remnants were found in the city’s wastewater.

More than 18,500 western Sydney residents are being urged to get tested for #COVID19 following the discovery of virus fragments in sewage at two local sewage pumping stations. Read more: https://t.co/shfTzMcxeM pic.twitter.com/fEMYDOroik

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) November 11, 2020

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Speaking to Today, Mr Dominello said the testing callout had was simply to “keep the community safe”.

The NSW minister was also asked about reports NSW hopes to up the state’s home visitor restrictions to 40.
“We understand why people want to be with their loved ones at Christmas,” Mr Dominello said.

“Everyone has worked so hard this year to get us to the point where we are at today.

“We have to make sure that we are not complacent and we don’t drop the ball. This is the time that we really have to dig deep. We are almost there.

“The vaccine is here next year, hopefully. We are almost there. We just have to maintain our eyes on the ball.”

Mr Dominello said despite the testing callout, NSW “absolutely” had control of the virus and had learnt its lessons early.

“We’ve had control of this from the early stages. Obviously, there were lessons learnt. Since then, we have been the only state that has kept the economy open and the numbers very low,” he said.

“We are lauded right around the world because of the contact tracing in NSW.”


natalie.brown

NSW Health have urged more than 18,500 western Sydney residents to get tested for COVID-19, after virus fragments were discovered in sewage at two local sewage pumping stations.
“The area served by one of the pumping stations includes a population of around 5,860 residents of North Kellyville and Rouse Hill,” a statement from the department read.

“The second pumping station serves a population of around 12,650 people across the suburbs of Rouse Hill, Box Hill, The Ponds, Kellyville Ridge, Parklea, Quakers Hill and Acacia Gardens.”

NSW Health said that while the detection of the virus in sewage samples “could reflect the presence of older cases” diagnosed in the areas, they’re “concerned there could be other active cases in the local community in people who have not been tested and who might incorrectly assume their symptoms are simply a cold”.


Sarah McPhee

Dr Anthony Fauci, who appeared on ABC’s 7.30 last night, said some Americans could be vaccinated by December.

The first vaccine to be given to Americans will likely be the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine candidate, which is being regarded as having at least 90 per cent efficacy.
Host Leigh Sales asked: “Realistically, how soon do you think people could expect to see mass vaccinations?”
Dr Fauci said it will be a “gradual process” but he expects vaccinations to start next month – “likely before the Christmas holidays”.

“People calling for you to be beheaded, fired, thrown in the fire pit or whatever, that’s just noise. You don’t pay attention to that.” – Dr Anthony Fauci tells @leighsales that battling the pandemic with @realDonaldTrump as president has been “very stressful”. #abc730 pic.twitter.com/MTxJzGtsSK

— abc730 (@abc730) November 11, 2020

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He told CNN earlier this week he expected low-risk Americans to receive the jab by April 2021, and those deemed to be at a higher risk to receive it earlier.
“The thing that we have been dealing with in this country is a vaccine hesitancy or people really being sceptical about getting vaccinated,” he told ABC’s 7.30.
“That is pretty much overcome when you get a vaccine of such high degree of efficacy as the Pfizer vaccine which is 90 plus, closer to 95 per cent efficacious.
“I think those types of numbers with no concerning safety signal hopefully will get many, many more people than you would have predicted get vaccinated.”


Victoria Craw

Two of the volunteers to get the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine have described feeling like they had a “severe hangover” after the injection.
Earlier this week a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech reported that it was 90 per cent effective against the virus but still had regulartory hurdles to clear. Around 43,500 people have been tested with the product so far.
Of those who had taken the jab, volunteer Glenn Deshields, 44, from Austin, Texas, described his side effects to “a severe hangover” but said symptoms quickly cleared-up.
A second volunteer, Carrie, 45, from Missouri, said she felt a headache, fever and body aches, after her first shot in September, with worse symptoms after her second dose last month.
Volunteers in the trial were unsure whether they received a placebo or the actual vaccine. If further obstacles are overcome, the vaccine could be rolled out in parts of the UK and US in December.

Read more here.


Natalie Wolfe

A Sydney venue has been slapped with a massive $10,000 fine after its own CCTV caught dozens of patrons flouting social distancing rules.
Odyssey Bar and Restaurant, in the inner west suburb of Leichhardt, was hit with the fine late last month by NSW’s Liquor and Gaming.
The footage, captured by the venue’s own CCTV and obtained by 9 News, showed dozens of patrons converging on the dancefloor in multiple groups, ignoring the strict coronavirus social distancing requirements.
Liquor and Gaming Director of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, confirmed the bar had been given two $5000 fines for the serious breach.
“It’s hard to fathom how staff could have failed to notice and stop things getting out of hand as patrons had in effect created multiple dancefloors,” Mr Argeres said.
“The COVID Safe requirements are in place for a reason, and all venues need to make sure they are fully compliant.”

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