Awkward questions avoided at digital G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia – Channel 4 News


World leaders should have been gathering for the G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia. But the pandemic means the meetings are all happening via Zoom, which has solved the potential embarrassment for many of being wined and dined by a regime accused of serious human rights abuses.

But as Anja Popp reports, the Saudi hosts are keen for the summit to focus on efforts to make sure the whole world gets access to any future coronavirus vaccines.



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South Australia avoided a coronavirus ‘catastrophe’, Premier Steven Marshall says



South Australian Premier Steven Marshall says the state has avoided a coronavirus “catastrophe” amid the Adelaide virus outbreak.

There are no new cases linked to the Parafield cluster, and only one new case today in a returned traveller from overseas.

About 77,000 tests have been carried out this week, including 16,928 yesterday.

At 12:01am today, the stay-at-home order was lifted, as were a slew of other restrictions including a ban on weddings and funerals, and the closure of all schools, except those teaching the children of essential workers.

The Government aims to relax them to pre-cluster levels at the start of December.

“We have avoided a catastrophic situation in our state by following the unequivocal health advice,” Mr Marshall said.

He said there has been no community transmission coronavirus cases where the source is unknown and every case has been traced.

Anyone in South Australia is still urged to get tested as soon as they develop even the mildest symptoms.

Modelling showed risk of ‘very significant’ second wave

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier released modelling she said showed South Australia was at risk of a major “second wave” before the lockdown was announced this week.

She said the model showed a small “but not negligible” chance that new case numbers would have risen above 200 per day without the strict lockdown that was imposed.

“We were looking at facing a second wave here,” Professor Spurrier said.

“Based on that information we had a 99 per cent chance … it was going to be a very significant wave.”

More to come.



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Victoria records three COVID-19 cases, case average falls, Brett Sutton avoided emails to hotel quarantine inquiry, NSW restrictions to relax for churches, Australia death toll at 905


Businesses covered by the exemptions include restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, function and reception centres, and wineries.

Mr Andrews has flagged that hospitality could reopen even sooner, based on the low numbers of new coronavirus cases the state has recorded this week – but not before Saturday’s AFL grand final in Brisbane.

Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne says they are encouraging hospitality venues to come up with “innovative” ways to operate outdoors.

This could include using car parks in the evening for pop-ups, he said.

“In talking with local government, it has been quite extraordinary the level of interest there is from hospitality venues to not only get up and thrive, but looking at really innovative ways that they want to operate in the future,” he said.

“We are looking, of course, at open space more generally, parks, and the innovation that local government and indeed the hospitality industry has shown really, I think, is going to be an exemplar not only for the state, but also for the nation, in terms of how we seek to move out of these restrictions to a more COVID-normal environment for the hospitality industry going forward.”

He said the government was removing “all hurdles” to support their efforts.

“We understand absolutely that for hospitality to really get back onto its feet, we need to not only provide the infrastructure support that we are providing, but today I can announce that the government has removed all hurdles to allow hospitality to in fact expand its operation outdoors,” he said.

“This planning scheme amendment is for the whole of Victoria. The opportunity is there for any hospitality venue that wishes to expand its existing legal operation to do so without having any hurdle in its way.”



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Government could have avoided severity of COVID-19


The warning signs of the pandemic were there but our Government acted too late, despite faring better than many other countries.

The following article contains language that may offend some readers.

GIVE ME a fucking break.

Social media is kind of like a democracy. There is a massive over-subscription of loud mouth know-it-alls (guilty as charged, by the way). That’s the yin part; the yang is that if you watch it closely enough you can get a strong feel for how the sentiments of the population drift over time.

Recently, I have noticed a shift in the public perception of the way the Government has been handling the COVID-19 thing.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has become a true leader, they say. That is a pretty big leap from the dithering idiot who snuck out for a Hawaiian holiday while the nation burned.

I can kind of understand it. Australia has certainly performed well in flattening the curve. People are feeling safer, more comfortable and more optimistic. All of which has happened on Scott Morrison’s watch.

We seem to have averted the tragedy besetting Europe, Asia and the Americas, but I think we should be less emotive and a bit more analytical when we apportion credit for the outcome.

Italy

Here’s a theory: The single biggest factor that saved Australia from succumbing to COVID-19 in the way Italy did, wait for it… wait… it was fucking Italy.

We saw the horror on our TVs and digital news services. We watched Italians die, then the South Koreans and Iranians. And it scared us shitless.

The Chinese, the Italians, the Iranians, the French, the Spanish. The citizens of those countries were completely blindsided. They did not know the potential of this disease and, as a result, the population were not overly concerned. They thought it was a storm in a teacup.

Social distancing

Try implementing social distancing to contain something as simple as the common cold. Or even the flu.

Social distancing is a fundamental change in the way we interact in society. It goes against the fabric of our being. We are social animals. There are actual hormones (oxytocin) that are released in our bodies when embrace that make us feel good. And I am not talking about a sexual embrace.

There is no chance you could successfully implement such a drastic change to the way we live if there were no dire consequences to maintaining the status quo.

We knew the consequences of not acting, so we acted.

When the PM stood before us and steadfastly refused to shut down schools, a significant number of us kept our kids home in spite of his advice.

I think those people deserve credit over the PM. Strike one.

Hong Kong

In early January, we had some friends over from Hong Kong and they explained to us what was happening there. Companies were splitting their workforce into shifts, where team A would use one elevator to enter the building and team B would use another. When the team A shift was over, they left by the same elevator, a cleaning crew went through and disinfected the office space before team B would enter through their lift.

This was the first thing my practice adopted when the pandemic hit Australia. The PM played no part in that.

The most chilling thing they told us was that during the recent uprising it became illegal to wear a face mask in public because it concealed your identity. Within a month of the pandemic hitting Asia, it became illegal not to.

The Chinese Government had become more concerned about the virus than they were about the uprising. That should be enough to send chills down anyone’s spine.

And still, it was left to the states to close schools. Strike two.

All at sea

The Ruby Princess. Strike three, four, five and six.

Fucking useless and fucking disgraceful.

The Chinese

If you look up the definition of “scapegoat” on Wikipedia, you’ll see a picture of the Chinese flag. In fact, you probably won’t as I just made that up, but it should be.

I was watching Q+A a few months back and they showed the Chinese police forcibly removing people from their homes as they had contracted COVID-19, but refused to leave their home. The panel was brutal in their assessment of this footage. They portrayed these actions as the diabolical actions of an authoritarian regime. They rounded on the Chinese bloke on the panel.

At the time, I was disgusted and deeply concerned by the actions of the Chinese regime.

I wonder how they would react to that footage now? I know my opinion has changed.

The point I’d like to make here is that the signs were there. We had footage of an authoritarian regime taking decisive action against a viral threat, but rather than assess it, we dismissed it as the oppressive actions of an authoritarian regime.

Ground zero: Wuhan, China

How do you think a disease outbreak occurs?

We know that the majority of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic at worst. Let’s have a glance at the numbers.

Let’s use 10%. If 10% of the infected require respirators, that would mean that ten people need to be infected before one person hits an emergency room. Would a single person presenting at a hospital in respiratory distress raise any concern? I don’t think so.

So to raise any concerns, you’d need a cluster. Let’s, for argument sake, say a cluster is five people. Five people showing up in respiratory distress would represent 50 people infected in the population. At that point, you might then think that there is something going on.

But no one is dead yet. You have an outbreak, but for all you know at this stage, it could be next year’s cold.

A fatality rate of 0.2%. That means that there needs to be 500 infections to have a single death.

Now 500 people are infected, 50 of them in hospital, and one of them is dead. You have an outbreak of a serious nature.

Five hundred people in the population carrying a deadly virus, but you don’t know what it is or how it’s transmitted and you don’t have a test for it.

I could continue this line of argument, but I’d rather just make this point.

The Chinese were fighting enormous odds to prevent this thing from spreading.

When it hit Australia, we knew the enemy. We had testing available from day one. We knew how it could be transmitted. We had modelling available from other countries. We are girt by sea.

We’ve done well to contain the threat, but we can probably ease up a bit on the Chinese. Their task was orders of magnitude more difficult than our own.

I have no love for the Chinese regime, but I know scapegoating when I see it.

Feeble men with feeble minds

And that brings us to the good old U-S of A.

The COVID-19 pandemic is merely a trigger. The calamity that will ensue can be traced back to 8 November 2016.

I have a great deal of sympathy for those who voted against Trump in 2016. I’m less sympathetic to those who voted for him and now regret it.

I pity those who still support him. Feeble minds.

Back to the point

Is Scott Morrison really the messiah or just a very lucky dithering idiot?

You tell me.

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State avoided terrifying COVID-19 death prediction


QUEENSLAND has only 12 remaining active cases of coronavirus, after the state recorded no new cases in the last 24 hours.

Health Minister Steven Miles said there had now been several days with zero reported cases.

Queensland’s total remains at 1057.

Mr Miles said there had been 111 restless nights since the pandemic started thinking about its impact.

Across Queensland, 1039 cases have recovered while 12 remain active.

Four people are being treated in hospital with one of those in intensive care on a ventilator.

Mr Miles said initial modelling showed Queensland’s COVID-19 death toll to be more than 20 times greater than the number of total cases that have been recorded.

 

Meanwhile, authorities feared thousands of coronavirus infections would emerge every day after a sick nurse continued to work at a Queensland nursing home.

Mr Miles revealed the scale of the emergency authorities were braced for in North Rockhampton.

“We were preparing for thousands of positive cases every day,” he told the ABC on Tuesday.

Two investigations are underway after the nurse kept showing up for work at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre while she had symptoms and before she received coronavirus test results.

 

Health Minister Steven Miles says authorities will continue to test people who came in contact with a Rockhampton aged care nurse who had coronavirus. Picture: News Corp/Attila Csaszar

Remarkably, none of the hundreds of residents and staff from the centre have returned positive tests since the drama emerged last week, nor has anyone else the nurse had contact with in the community.

But they face ongoing tests, every four days, until the two-week incubation period has passed.

“Certainly I thought that there would be positive results in that first batch,” Mr Miles said.

“But it is too soon to be relieved. We need to keep monitoring the situation.”

The government sent a rapid response unit to the city when it learned about the situation.

A team of 26 nurses arrived from Brisbane on Monday, to ensure everyone linked to the sick nurse has appropriate care as they serve time in isolation and endure new rounds of tests.

 

 

 

Originally published as State avoided terrifying COVID-19 death prediction





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