(AUSTRALIA) #Coronavirus Report: Latest number of cases & sadly deaths across the country #AceHealthDesk report

(AUSTRALIA) #Coronavirus Report: Latest number of cases & sadly deaths across the country #AceHealthDesk report

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#CoronavirusNewsDesk says heres LATEST: Australia has reported 77 #COVID19 deaths today, the highest figure since the pandemic started: New South Wales has reported 36 deaths, Victoria 22 and Queensland has recorded 16 — however not all of these deaths happened yesterday:

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ABC News Channel live stream

abc.net.au/news/covid-live-blog-isolation-vaccination-case-numbers/100762456

Follow all of Tuesday’s news and updates on our live blog.

Live updates

Cases, hospitalisations and deaths

If you don’t see your state or territory yet, don’t worry – these numbers are updated throughout the day.

NSW: 36 deaths and 29,830 cases; 2,850 people in hospital, including 209 in ICUs

Victoria: 22 deaths and 20,180 cases; 1,152 people in hospital, including 127 in ICUs

Tasmania: 1,310 new cases; 12 people in hospital, including two in ICUs

Queensland: 16 deaths, 15,962 cases. 819 people in hospital, including 50 in ICUs

NT: 0 deaths and 625 cases; 43 people in hospital, including 1 in ICU

SA: 2 deaths and 3,079 cases; 285 people in hospital, including 24 in ICUs

ACT: 1 death and 1,860 cases; 63 people in hospital, including 6 in ICUs

WA: 0 deaths and 2 cases

‘It’s not a matter of costs, it’s a matter of supply chains’

Health Minister Greg Hunt has accused the Opposition of wanting to put undue pressure on rapid antigen test supplies across the country.

Labor argues the Coalition has failed to prepare for the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases over the last couple of months, and should make rapid tests free for all Australians through Medicare.

Mr Hunt says that’s a dangerous proposition.

“If you had the daily use of 10 million a day, over 100 days, that’s 1 billion tests. If you had it over 300 days, that’s 3 billion tests.

“It’s not a matter of costs, it’s a matter of supply chains, and diverting those tests.”

Chief Medical Officer: ‘Listen to the experts’

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer is urging people to get their kids vaccinated against COVID-19, despite ongoing criticism from rogue members of the federal government’s backbench.

Retiring LNP member George Christensen has taken to social media to tell parents not to get their children vaccinated. He’s been a vocal critic of many elements of the COVID-19 response.

Professor Paul Kelly says there’s no basis for the comments that fly in the face of medical advice.

“We are of one voice – it is very important for children, down to the age of five, to be vaccinated. So, please go ahead with that and listen to the experts.”

Reporting by Matthew Doran

Fears as virus spreads to remote NT communities

COVID-related hospital admissions in the Northern Territory have risen to 43, as the virus spreads to more remote communities. 

Eight of today’s new cases were recorded in the remote community of Galiwin’ku, which entered a week-long lockdown yesterday. 

Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles says eight new cases were also detected in the remote central Australian community of Utopia.

“We did have a very low vaccination rate in Utopia. I do believe that it has seen some increase.

“But we again call on not only the residents of Utopia, but throughout the Territory, if you haven’t been vaccinated to please get vaccinated.”

COVID recoveries an indication SA is ‘at or around that peak’ of Omicron wave

The state recorded 3,079 new cases in the latest reporting period, a reduction on the previous day’s numbers.

Premier Steven Marshall says the recovery numbers are another indication the state has reached the peak of the current wave.

“Very importantly, yesterday, we had 4,046 recovered – so more than 1,000 people recovered, over and above the new infections in South Australia.

“I think this gives us another clear indication that we are at or around that peak.”

Exposure site text messages serving their purpose, NT Chief Minister says

Data from the Northern Territory’s check-in app is only being used to notify people they have visited a venue with a positive case and does not include a date, time or location.

Michael Gunner says those details aren’t important, adding that Territorians aren’t being sent alerts for every instance of exposure.  

“That would not only be a lot and it would mean you were getting multiple repeated text messages.

“All we want you to do is monitor for symptoms, you are not a close contact, we are not asking you to isolate, we are not directing you to get tested.”

Surgical face masks make people look more attractive, new study finds

Striding up to greet someone for the first time with half your face obscured doesn’t exactly fill you with meet-cute confidence.

But a new study by British academics suggests that protective face masks can make you more attractive — particularly the blue surgical kind. 

Seven months after masks became mandatory in the United Kingdom, researchers at Cardiff University were curious to know whether the pandemic had altered perceptions of attractiveness.

The study — published in the peer-reviewed journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications — asked 43 women to rate the attractiveness of 40 male faces, with and without different types of masks and coverings. 

Cardiff University school of psychology’s Michael Lewis, the study’s co-author and an expert in the psychology of faces, said they were surprised by the results, which indicated an overall sentiment of mask positivity. 

“Our study suggests faces are considered most attractive when covered by medical face masks,” he said.

“This may be because we’re used to healthcare workers wearing blue masks and now we associate these with people in caring or medical professions.”

Read the full story.

What’s this private hospital agreement all about?

As we heard earlier, the federal government has re-activated an agreement with private hospitals that could see thousands of beds freed up to take COVID-19 patients from public hospitals in a bid to ease the burden on the health system.

When the pandemic first began, the government struck a deal with private hospitals nationwide to gain access to beds and extra staff.

In return, the Commonwealth agreed to support private hospitals while elective surgeries — their main form of income — were cancelled.

“The private hospitals agreement will see up to 57,000 nurses and [more than] 100,000 staff made available to Omicron-affected areas around the country,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

Mr Hunt also said the agreement meant there would be extra help available for aged care facilities that needed extra staff and resources.

As well as staff, one of the other crucial resources private hospitals have to offer are beds in ICU.

You can read more here.

Woolworths resumes orders from SA abattoir after concerns about COVID procedures addressed

Woolworths says it’ll once again start selling meat processed through an abattoir in Naracoorte in South Australia’s south-east. 

The supermarket chain had been worried about COVID procedures at the Teys abattoir and on Sunday decided to temporarily suspend orders.

At least 140 staff at the meatworks had tested positive to COVID-19 recently, and had been told to keep coming to work unless they were feeling unwell.

Woolworths says it’s consulted with Teys, SA Health and Safework SA and is now satisfied with the protocols in place and will resume processing there on Friday.

Teys says employees who test positive will not return to work for at least seven days.

The Sunshine State is edging closer to 90pc double vaxxed

‘This is about patient care and it’s really being impacted by a lack of action’

Jason Agostino, medical adviser to the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), says First Nations people have been more likely to be infected, and more likely to develop a severe illness, throughout the pandemic. 

But he says since Omicron has taken hold, health authorities no longer have a clear picture of how Indigenous people are being impacted. 

“The reporting systems in most states are overwhelmed and, because of that, people aren’t recording Indigenous status,” he says.

“We recommend in lots of settings that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive certain treatments earlier and at younger ages, and without the system identifying that person as Indigenous, there’s a risk they won’t be able to access that therapy.

“This isn’t some problem with counting numbers and spreadsheets — this is about patient care and it’s really being impacted by a lack of action.”

Read the full story by Ella Archibald-Binge

Pharmacy Guild to launch website to find rapid antigen tests after ‘market failure’

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia says it will launch its own website to help people find out which stores have stock of rapid antigen COVID tests.

Guild president Trent Twomey says social media and alternative websites are “causing more harm than good” for consumers trying to find a RAT.

“We need a single source of truth on where you can get these.

“Rather than driving all around or monitoring Facebook accounts or waiting for friends to send a text message, you’ll be able check in real-time on that website.

“Pharmacies will have control over putting up who’s got stock and what stock is available.”

The website is expected to go live next Monday.

New exposure sites listed for WA

They include New U Massage at Mount Lawley, ToastFace Grillah (what a name) in Perth, Curtin University Bentley Campus in Bentley, CPP Carpark in Perth and Priceline Pharmacy in Kwinana.

You can read more here.Exposure date & timeSuburbLocationDate updatedHealth advice

Tuesday 11/01/2022 at 9:30am – 9:00pm

Mount Lawley

New U Massage
771 Beaufort St

18/01/2022

Get tested immediately and isolate for 14 days from the date of last exposure, unless directly advised otherwise by the Department of Health. If you have not been contacted by the Department of Health phone 13 COVID (13 26843).

Sunday 16/01/2022 at 10:45am to 11:30am

Perth

ToastFace Grillah,
Wolf Lane, Shop 7, 329 Murray Street

18/01/2022

Get tested immediately and isolate until you receive a negative result, unless directly advised otherwise by the Department of Health.

Friday 14/01/2022 at 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Bentley

Curtin University Bentley Campus – B103 Library
Kent St

18/01/2022

Get tested immediately and isolate until you receive a negative result, unless directly advised otherwise by the Department of Health.

Wednesday 12/01/2022 at 8:00am to 9:00am and 5:15pm to 6:15pm

Thursday 13/01/2022 at 8:00am to 9:00am and 5:15pm to 6:15pm

Sunday 16/01/2022 at 8:00am to 9:00am and 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Perth

CPP Carpark,
Murray Street

18/01/2022

Monitor for symptoms unless directly advised otherwise by the Department of Health. If symptoms develop, get tested and isolate.

Thursday 13/01/2022 at 11:30am – 11:45am

Kwinana

Priceline Pharmacy
Kwinana Marketplace Shopping Centre, 4 Chisham Ave

18/01/2022

Monitor for symptoms unless directly advised otherwise by the Department of Health. If symptoms develop, get tested and isolate.

Kyrie Irving says he won’t ‘be swayed’ on vaccine debate

Australian-born Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving says an injury to teammate Kevin Durant won’t change his stance on not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

With Durant potentially sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury suffered Saturday, Irving was asked if he’s feeling more pressure to get vaccinated.

Irving, who only recently returned to action after a drawn-out stalemate over getting vaccinated, says he won’t be swayed.

“Kev’s going to heal. Kev’s going to be OK, and we’re going to have to deal with that as his teammates.

“But in terms of where I am with my life outside of this, I stay rooted in my decision and that’s just what it is.

“It’s not going to be swayed just because of one thing is this NBA life that somehow it’s brought to my attention to being more important than what’s going on in the real world. It’s just not happening for me.”

AP

Health Minister Greg Hunt announces the next stage of Australia’s Omicron response plan

Fears of a ‘lopsided recovery’ from COVID pandemic

The UN Secretary General has warned business leaders at the Davos World Economic Forum about a lopsided recovery from the pandemic if low-income countries are left behind.

Speaking virtually to the annual event usually held in the ski resort town in Switzerland, Antonio Guterres again called for better COVID vaccine distribution and debt relief.

He says if the world fails to vaccinate as many people as possible, new variants will continue to spread across borders and bring economies to a grinding halt. 

“And if you fail to provide debt relief and financing to developing countries it would create a lopsided recovery that can send an interconnected global economy into a tailspin.”

And that’s a wrap on the COVID update with Greg Hunt and Paul Kelly

If you weren’t following along, here’s a bit of what you missed:

  • Mr Hunt says the government is moving to the “next stage in our Omicron response plan”. It includes:
    • Activating the private hospitals agreement, which is designed to support state hospital systems
    • Activating the national medical stockpile to support states and territories that have shortages of PPE
    • Providing 10 million units of PPE and related products to the aged care sector and facilities across the country
  • Almost 2 million vaccinations were delivered in just one week across Australia, while new vaccination records were set on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week

Have we failed to prepare for the new variant?

Professor Kelly was asked that one a short time ago, in light of the increase in hospitalisations and deaths in recent weeks.

He says authorities knew there would be “a large wave” of Omicron, adding that “we knew it was less severe, but there would be a small proportion that have severe disease and require hospitalisation”.

“It was envisaged that there would be cases and some of those would be severe when the national reeopening plan was announced,” he says.

“We’re coping with that along the parameters we have, using the levers we have, in terms of control as well as dealing with the severe end of the spectrum [of cases].”

Private hospitals could be called on to take public patients

As we heard a short time ago, the federal government is reactivating the private hospitals agreement.

It short, it means private hospitals could be called on to take public patients as COVID creates immense pressure on the health system.

Earlier today, the Victorian government declared a “Code Brown” for all Melbourne hospitals, an emergency provision that allows them to cancel leave for staff.

‘Fastest three-day period in Australian history’ for vaccinations

According to the Health Minister, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week set new records for vaccinations.

Mr Hunt says 1.995 million vaccinations were delivered in just one week across the country.

“We are likely to pass that 2 million mark on a rolling seven day basis in the coming days, and that’s with staff that are furloughed, people that are still on summer leave.

“But our gps and pharmacies in particular have stood up.

“We’re vaccinating at a rate which saw the fastest three day period in Australian history on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week.”

Posted 12h ago, updated 2h ago

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We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.

#AceHealthDesk report ……….Published: Jan.19: 2022:

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