NSW records 14-day incubation cycle with no local COVID-19 cases


NSW has recorded its first 14-day streak of no locally transmitted coronavirus cases since the Crossroads Hotel cluster sparked a resurgence of the virus in the state.

It marks a full two-week incubation period without community spread of the virus.

The state recorded 10 new cases in hotel quarantine in the 24 hours until 8pm Friday, bringing its total count of COVID-19 cases to 4338 since the start of the pandemic. There were 16,329 tests conducted in the reporting period.

“While there have been no new locally acquired cases in NSW for the past 14 days, we continue to encourage people to get tested, even if they display only the mildest symptoms, such as a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, or fever,” a NSW Health statement said.



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Republic TV boss Arnab Goswami sent to 14-day judicial custody


After Arnab’s arrest from Mumbai, he was taken to Alibaug and produced before a court there.

Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami was sent to 14-day judicial custody by a the Alibaug court on Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, the Mumbai Police had arrested Arnab for allegedly abetting the suicide of a 53-year-old interior designer over alleged non-payment of dues.

After Arnab’s arrest from Mumbai, he was taken to Alibaug and produced before a court there. As per media reports, he also underwent a medical test.

 

According to reports, Arnab has already applied for bail and his plea will be heard by the Alibaug court on Thursday.

Arnab’s latest trouble at least goes back to May, when Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had announced a re-investigation after a fresh complaint by Adnya Naik, daughter of the architect Anvay Naik. Adnya had accused the Alibaug police of not investigating the alleged non-payment of dues by Republic, which she claimed drove her father and grandmother to suicide in May 2018.

As per a Republic TV report, over a dozen officers of the Mumbai Police reached Arnab’s residence without summons, documents or court papers. He also claimed that he was manhandled by the police and pushed into their van during his arrest. Police allegedly also blocked senior management members Niranjan Narayanswamy and Sanjay Pathak from entering the journalist’s residence.

 

Politics immediately followed Arnab’s arrest with national and local leaders of the BJP supporting the Republic TV editor while the Shiv Sena and NCP defending the MVA government’s action.



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Victoria records two new coronavirus cases and no deaths, Melbourne 14-day average falls to 7.5


Victoria has recorded two new coronavirus cases and no further deaths, the state’s health department says.

Melbourne’s 14-day rolling case average is now 7.5, down from 8.1 yesterday.

Two cases with an unknown source, or “mystery” cases, have also fallen off Melbourne’s two-week total overnight, bringing it to 15.

More to come.



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Umar Khalid sent to 14-day judicial custody in northeast Delhi riots case


Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid has been sent to judicial custody for 14 days in a case relating to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February this year. The Delhi court has also directed prison authorities to provide him adequate security.

Khalid was arrested under the stringent anti-terror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act– in a separate case related to a larger conspiracy in the northeast Delhi riots.

Metropolitan Magistrate Dev Saroha sent him to jail after he was produced before the judge on expiry of his police custody in the case related to riots in Khajuri Khas area.

The court directed the Jail Superintendent to provide adequate security to Khalid while taking proper precautions that no harm should be caused to him.

It had earlier sent him to police custody for three days in the case.

In an application filed through his counsel advocate Trideep Pais, Khalid sought adequate security in prison so that he is not harmed by anyone in judicial custody.

In the plea, Pais sought that Khalid may be permitted to communicate with his family, friends and relatives in accordance with jail rules.

Khalid also submitted that he has not signed any statements or documents during his police custody.

The application sought permission for two legal interviews a week with his counsel using video conferencing facility for at least 30 minutes on each occasion outside the audible range of prison officials.

Khalid requested for headphones to maintain privacy of his conversation between him and his counsel and the facility to share screen on the Cisco Webex platform.

He sought permission to leave his cell early morning and be locked up at dusk in compliance with the Delhi prison rules, 2018, with adequate security arrangements and not to be confined to his cell for extended period of time.

The application further said that he may be permitted to keep his spectacles while in judicial custody and obtain books and and reading material from outside, which were not limited to academic books.

The court directed the Jail Superintendent to provide the facilities sought in the application as per the Jail Manual.

A case of rioting was registered at the Khajuri Khas Police Station in which 15 people, including suspended AAP Councillor Tahi Hussain, were arrested for their alleged role in the riots that occurred at about 2.15 pm on February 24 outside Hussain’s house in Delhi’s Chand Bagh area.

Khalid is in judicial custody till October 22 in the UAPA case.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.



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Victoria records 21 new coronavirus infections and seven more deaths as 14-day average falls



Victoria has recorded 21 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest daily increase since late June, and a further seven deaths.

It follows 45 new infections recorded on Friday, 28 on Thursday and 42 on Wednesday.

It is the smallest single-day increase since June 24, when 20 new infections were announced by health officials.

The 14-day rolling average for Metropolitan Melbourne’s new infections now sits at 39.3.

A 14-day average between 30 and 50 is the key target for restrictions in Melbourne to be further relaxed on September 28.

Health authorities are focused on a cluster that has emerged in the Casey council area in Melbourne’s south-east, which is linked to more than 30 infections and at least three hospitalisations.

Many of the new infections in recent days have been linked to aged care facilities.

The number of “mystery” community transmission cases, where the source of the infection is unknown, sits at 64 cases for Melbourne between September 3 and September 16.

Health officials want to drive that number down to only five mystery cases over a fortnight before the most significant lifting of restrictions, which is scheduled for late October.

Regional Victoria entered step 3 of the roadmap out of restrictions on Thursday, allowing many businesses to reopen and travel to other parts of the state.

The 14-day average outside of Melbourne has fallen to 1.9.

More detail on the daily numbers is expected to be revealed at a press conference later in the day.

Fit-testing program for healthcare PPE overdue, AMA says

The Victorian Government has announced a new program for protecting healthcare workers from respiratory hazards.

Under the program, all health services will be required to have a respiratory protection program that determines the risk of workers’ exposure to hazards, such as tuberculosis and coronavirus.

A fit-testing trial of N95 masks running at Northern Health will also be expanded to all COVID-19 wards.

Availability and fitting of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been of great concern for healthcare staff throughout the pandemic, with workers at a number of hospitals and aged care settings saying requests have not been met.

Healthcare workers have made up a significant proportion of cases during Victoria’s second wave, with a majority acquiring the infection at work.

The vice-president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victorian branch, Roderick McRae, said fit-testing face masks earlier would have helped reduce coronavirus transmission in healthcare settings.

“It provides a high level of certainty that the mask that you’re wearing is actually designed for your face,” Dr McRae said.

“Typically there’s been an assumption that one size fits all. That’s not correct.”

The scheme is set to be in place across all health services by October.

“While we’re pleased to see the rate of healthcare worker infections trending down, it’s critical that we continue to boost protection for our healthcare heroes in line with the best expert advice,” Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said in a statement.



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Melbourne’s 14-day rolling average falls below 50


Melbourne’s 14-day rolling average has now officially fallen below 50 – a number with huge significance as the government’s roadmap stated the city could potentially ease restrictions by September 28 if the average fell to between 30 and 50 per day.

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the rolling average in Metropolitan Melbourne was now 49.6, a drop from yesterday’s 52.9.

That drop is definitely a cause for celebration, although it is unlikely it will see Melbourne ease restrictions earlier than the September 28 deadline.

Earlier today, epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely warned against lifting restrictions too early, claiming it could “blow out” the recovery plan.

And Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton previously said the September 28 date wouldn’t change even if the rolling average continued to fall.

“We need that time for the [policy] settings that we have, but I am very confident we will be in the 30 to 50 range for average daily cases,” he said on Monday.

“If it is in the 20 to 30 range, all the better.”

The state has also finally dipped below 1000 active cases.





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Victoria records 42 new coronavirus cases and eight deaths as 14-day average falls


Melbourne’s 14-day daily coronavirus case average has dropped below 50, as the state records 42 new infections overnight.

There have been eight more deaths, with details of these to be revealed later today.

The Department of Health and Human Services said the 14-day rolling average in Metropolitan Melbourne was now 49.6, down from 52.9 yesterday.

In order for Melbourne to progress to the second step of the restrictions roadmap on September 28, it must record a 14-day average between 30 and 50 cases per day.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said earlier this week that the September 28 date for Melbourne would not change even if the trigger point was reached ahead of schedule.

“We need that time for the [policy] settings that we have, but I am very confident we will be in the 30 to 50 range for average daily cases,” he said on Monday.

“If it is in the 20 to 30 range, all the better.”

The 14-day average in regional Victoria has also dropped slightly, from 3.6 yesterday to 3.5 today.

Regional Victoria will move to the third step of its recovery roadmap from midnight, after hitting the trigger points of a 14-day case average below five and no “mystery” cases for two weeks yesterday.

People will be allowed to leave their homes for any reason and small public gatherings will be permitted.

However masks will remain mandatory, and there will still be tight restrictions on visitors to people’s homes.

Face coverings have been mandatory in regional Victoria since early August.(ABC News: Jackson Peck, File photo)

The numbers come as the Victorian Government faces a new legal challenge, this time on behalf of people who lost their jobs due to restrictions imposed during the second wave.

Lawyer Tony Carbone, who is representing one of the workers behind the class action, said the State Government’s “negligence” in managing the hotel quarantine program caused the latest lockdowns.

“We’re suing for people’s loss of income,” he told ABC News Breakfast this morning, stressing that job losses prior to the second wave were not included.

“Effectively, we’re saying that these workers have lost their jobs because of the hotel bungling.”

More to come.



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Victoria is watching its 14-day moving average of new coronavirus cases closely. Here’s what it needs to get to



Victoria’s way out of coronavirus restrictions depends heavily on the lowering of its 14-day case average.

This is the number health authorities are watching as they keep tabs on the state’s progress in getting the pandemic under control.

Here’s what the 14-day average is, how it’s calculated and where it needs to be before restrictions can ease further.

What is Victoria’s 14-day case average?

The 14-day case average is the average number of new daily cases recorded over the last two weeks.

It’s updated every day as more new cases are confirmed.

The DHHS says the 14-day average is monitored across that period because that’s the typical infection period for COVID-19.

Victoria’s 14-day average peaked in early August at over 400 new cases.

What 14-day case average is Victoria aiming for?

In metropolitan Melbourne, the next stage of reopening won’t go ahead until the city reaches 14-day average daily case rate of between 30 and 50.

Regional Victoria has achieved its goal of a 14-day average of less than five and no mystery cases. Residents there have been rewarded with some eased restrictions.

The next key milestone for regional Victoria will be when there are no new cases for 14 days.

Ultimately, everyone is aiming for the 14-day average to be zero — that’s the requirement for the state to move to the last step on its reopening roadmap, flagged for November 23.

What happens when the 14-day average reaches its goals?

Moving to the next phase of easing restrictions is also dependent on public health advice and rates of mystery infections.

It’s hoped metro Melbourne will move to its second phase by September 28.

That will allow for public gatherings of up to five people from two households, more people being allowed back to work, and other changes.

Limits will start to ease on education, sport, recreation and ceremonies in the third step for Melbourne, which is flagged for October 26 if the state can manage less than an average of five daily cases.

The last step will require no new cases for 14 days state-wide and all the necessary sign-offs from public health authorities, hopefully to be achieved by November 23.



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Chicago orders 14-day COVID quarantine for travelers from these 15 states


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UK plans 14-day quarantine for incoming travelers – POLITICO


Travellers arrive at London Luton Airport | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Airlines and EU await details of plan expected to apply to arrivals from outside Britain or Ireland.

Britain plans to impose a two-week quarantine on people arriving in the country, other than from Ireland, in a bid to prevent a new wave of coronavirus infections, according to an airline industry group, Airlines UK.

The government is expected to provide details of its plans on Sunday, but the move highlights the acute challenge facing political leaders as they contemplate how to begin lifting the containment measures that have slowed the spread of the virus without unleashing a new surge in infections.

In Britain’s case, the plan also illustrates the imperatives and the difficulties of coordinating with neighboring countries and those with the closest or most numerous travel connections.

The EU has been trying to align the approaches of its 27 member countries, which together imposed a ban on non-essential travelers from outside the bloc. At that time, the EU announced it would treat U.K. citizens the same as EU residents.

But the U.K., which quit the EU earlier this year, now has responsibility for its own arrangements. It must take particular account of Ireland because of the two countries’ Common Travel Area.

As news of Britain’s plans emerged on Saturday, a French official said that Paris would request a collaborative approach.

“We are working on getting an exception for EU and Schengen citizens, but if we don’t agree on one, a reciprocal quarantine for British citizens entering the EU and Schengen will have to be imposed,” a French diplomatic official told POLITICO.

Airlines UK said that government officials had told airline companies they plan to impose the quarantine. But the industry body said it was waiting to learn details of the plan.

“Public health must of course be the priority,” the group said in a statement. “We will be asking for assurances that this decision has been led by the science and that Government has a credible exit plan, with weekly reviews to ensure the restrictions are working and still required.”

“Alongside this, we also need to see a number of new support measures to see airlines through this period so that we still have a UK aviation sector once the quarantine period is lifted.”

More than 31,300 people have died in the U.K. from COVID-19 — the most fatalities recorded by any country in Europe, including Spain and Italy, which have more coronavirus infections overall.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who recovered from COVID-19 after receiving intensive care at a London hospital, has warned against lifting containment measures too quickly.

Andrew Gray and Rym Momtaz contributed reporting.





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