Spate of fantasy drug overdoses in 24-hour period prompt warning from SA Health


Six fantasy-related drug overdoses recorded in a 24-hour period have prompted South Australian health authorities to issue an “extremely serious” warning to the community.

The patients, aged between 20 and 30-years-old, were admitted to Flinders Medical Centre in the early hours of this morning after taking the drug gamma hydroxybutyrate, also known as GHB or fantasy.

Clinical Director of Emergency Services Dr Andrew Blyth said it was extremely unusual to have so many people admitted for the same reason at once.

“These patients presented needed resuscitation,” Dr Blyth said.

All patients are out of intensive care and in a stable condition.

Health authorities are warning anyone who has recently taken GHB to seek medical advice immediately.(ABC News: Leah MacLennan)

Dr Blyth said there had been a notable increase in use of the drug.

“We are concerned there may be more of this GHB in the community and urgently warn anyone who has taken any liquid drug to present to their closest emergency department straight away, even if they feel well and have no symptoms,” he said.

“We know an overdose of GHB can result in cardio-respiratory arrest and toxicity depends on the dose, the person’s weight, tolerance, individual susceptibility, and other substances taken.”

Overdose symptoms include unconsciousness that can last for three to four hours, irregular or shallow breath, blackouts and memory loss, hallucinations and vomiting.



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ACT coronavirus restrictions are easing for food courts, 24-hour gyms and pokies. Here’s what you can and can’t do from today


If you enjoy the peace and quiet of a midnight session at your 24-hour gym, cancel your plans for tonight.

Or if your lunchtime routine has been thrown out by the closure of Canberra’s food courts, you’re back in luck.

Canberra’s coronavirus restrictions will be eased (ever so slightly) from today, as the city moves to stage 3.1 from 9:00am.

Here’s what is changing from today:

No more eating out of a takeaway plastic tub — food courts are back

An empty food court in Canberra.
Food courts have been takeaway only since coronavirus restrictions began in the ACT.(www.bloc.com.au)

Food courts will be able to reopen for seated, dine-in customers from today, after having to rope-off tables and chairs for months.

Outlets within food courts have been operating as a takeaway service only since restrictions were introduced.

But from today Canberrans are allowed to sit and eat in food courts once more.

Food courts will still have to observe the one person per four-square-metre rule within their usable space.

And groups will be small — tables can only be arranged for a maximum of six customers.

Self-serve buffets remain banned, along with communal snack bars and condiments.

Push the tables together — big groups are allowed at the pub

You will still have to be seated while drinking at a bar, pub or club — but from today, at least you will be able to sit with a few more mates.

Limits on the size of group bookings in venues are being lifted altogether, with no cap in place from today.

The number of people allowed inside a venue remains unchanged.

The four-square-metre rule remains in place, up to a maximum of 100 people for each indoor and outdoor space.

Health officials had previously flagged a move to allow all venues, no matter their size, to seat 25 customers — but that it not taking affect yet.

Bicep curls better after midnight, they say

A woman lifts weights in a gym.
24-hour gyms are able to remain open overnight for a maximum of 25 people.(Unsplash: John Arano)

24-hour gyms can resume keeping their doors open all night from tonight, and can operate unstaffed.

There will be a cap on the number of people within the gym while unstaffed, with the limit set at 25 patrons.

And there will still be broader limits on the number of people in gyms at any one time, with the four-square-metre rule still applying.

Changerooms will also be able to remain open all night, so long as a strict cleaning regime is in place.

Saunas, steam rooms and bathhouses can also open up.

Pokies are back and the casino is open

Three poker machines inside Canberra club.
Canberra clubs can fully reopen now including pokie lounges.(ABC News: Diana Hayward)

Canberra’s pubs and clubs can switch the poker machines back on from this morning.

The closure of poker machines had been a point of controversy, as they were allowed to return in New South Wales some months ago.

Casino Canberra is allowed to reopen, and will be opening its doors from midday.

Strip clubs and brothels can also reopen, along similar guidelines as other venues (like the four-square-metre rule).

All guests will have to provide their first name and phone number upon visiting, but those details can be destroyed after 28 days.

What is still to come?

The most significant changes still to come are likely around the capacity limits for venues.

The move to a one person per two-square-metre rule, which would allow a doubling of capacities at some venues, remains some way off.

It has previously been suggested it would be part of stage 4 restrictions.

However, the 100-person capacity limit could be removed before then — allowing venues to fill their spaces as they like, while keeping to the four-square-metre rule.

Larger crowds at Canberra Stadium (possibly up to 6,000 spectators) are also a possibility.

The 25-person cap on gyms while unstaffed overnight may also be removed.

Nightclubs, along with mass gatherings like music festivals and conferences, are considered to be the highest risk activities and are still a fair way off returning.

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Victoria records 270 new coronavirus cases in significant 24-hour spike

Victoria has recorded an additional 270 coronavirus cases, taking the selection of active infections in the state to 1803.

The selection of new bacterial infections is a considerable improve on the 177 recorded Monday and is the fourth working day in the past five of additional than 200 situations.

Premier Daniel Andrews explained the call tracing job was escalating with 242 of the new conditions recorded on Tuesday underneath investigation. 

“Of course, with these big numbers it’s a serious obstacle to get to the bottom of particularly in which people people have been, who they’ve expended time with, who are their near contact and to make sure that appropriate public overall health responses are delivered,” Mr Andrews explained to reporters.

Mr Andrews explained 200 paramedics, as properly as some 1000 Australian Defence Drive staff, will sign up for the general public well being workforce.

“It makes perception for us to call upon them as our process receives even larger and even larger,” he said.

A number of out-of-function workers from Jetstar, Medibank, Telstra and Qantas will also guide with speak to tracing.

“As the activity grows, the crew demands to improve as nicely,” he reported, introducing a amount of staff from financial institutions will also acquire coaching if required.

Mr Andrews all over again urged people to get analyzed if they show symptoms.

“This is a wicked enemy. It is so wildly infectious. It moves so speedy,” he mentioned.

“It’s crafty in some respects, exactly where men and women can be infectious for fairly some time and not have signs, or if they do have signs and symptoms, they are so gentle.”

Chief Overall health Officer Brett Sutton claimed Tuesday’s numbers proved people today could not afford to pay for to be complacent.

“It truly is not as higher as our largest solitary day, but we have not turned the corner nonetheless. I hope to see that this 7 days, but there are no ensures,” he said.

“We have to count on anyone carrying out the suitable factor in order to drive quantities down.”

Victoria now has a full of 4,224 situations.

Residents in metropolitan Melbourne are matter to remain-at-property orders and can only go away property for necessary perform, study, work out or care responsibilities. Folks are also advised to put on masks in general public.

Men and women in Australia should remain at least 1.5 metres away from other people. Examine your state’s limitations on gathering restrictions.

If you are going through chilly or flu symptoms, keep dwelling and set up a exam by contacting your medical professional or get in touch with the Coronavirus Wellbeing Info Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and details is offered in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

People in Melbourne general public housing towers who will need accessibility to assist and aid must contact the Housing Simply call Centre on 1800 961 054. If you have to have a translator, first call 131 450. Equally companies are 24/7. Extra information and facts can be found listed here.

More reporting by AAP.



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Coronavirus: 24-hour test results ‘by end of June’


A soldier helps conducting COVID-19 testing for NHS key workers at a testing site in PlymouthImage copyright
MOD / PA

All coronavirus tests are to be turned around within 24 hours by the end of June, the Prime Minister has said.

But speaking in the Commons Boris Johnson said the target would need to take into account “insuperable problems” such as postal delays.

The 24 hour target was announced on 27 May, but no deadline was set.

The head of the testing service has said 84% of drive-in centre tests come back within a day – but no equivalent figure has been provided for home kits.

Questioned on the Test and Trace programme during Prime Minister’s Questions by Jeremy Hunt, chair of the Health Select Committee, Mr Johnson said: “I can undertake to him now to get all tests turned around in 24 hours by the end of June, except for difficulties with postal tests or insuperable problems like that.”

Last week the head of England’s testing programme, Dido Harding, said 84% of tests at drive-in centres were returned within 24 hours, and 95% within 48 hours. No figure was provided for home testing kits, or those provided at other settings.

The programme means anyone with a positive coronavirus test will be contacted to report their recent encounters with people, and places they have visited.

Speedy test results are important when it comes to tracing the contacts of an infected person, and checking whether NHS staff can go back to work.

The tests involve a nose and throat swab which is then used to look for the virus’s genetic material. It detects active coronavirus infection, so cannot say if someone has recovered from Covid-19.

‘At the mercy of the disease’

Estimates suggest 25-30% of tests produce false negative results – where people test negative despite having the virus.

The Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA), which represents hospital doctors, has called for NHS staff to be tested more than once to confirm a negative result.

Dr Claudia Paoloni, the union’s president, says relying on a single negative result risked “infecting patients and staff”.

In evidence to the Commons health and social care committee, the HCSA said the government had “refused requests” to provide information on the accuracy of coronavirus tests.

And it added that there had been no transparency on how the more than four million tests so far have been carried out – including manufacturers’ names, data on accuracy and details on any tests no longer in use.

GP, and diagnostic tests researcher, Dr Jessica Watson told BBC Radio 4’s More or Less programme the “best guess” was about 70 in every 100 people who have coronavirus would be picked up by the testing programme.

Factors affecting the outcome include at what point in their illness someone is tested, how good a sample is taken affected results, along with any problems with processing tests, she said.

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