Woman Aged 92 Dies in England Days After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine, Reports Say


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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A 92-year-old woman from the North Tyneside nursing home in North East England has died after receiving her first dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus, the UK media reported on Monday.

According to various media reports, Mary Green was administered the shot on New Year’s eve. Five days later, the woman, who also suffered from dementia, tested positive for the coronavirus. She could not be transported to a hospital due to her frail condition.

“The care she needed in her final days wasn’t in care home setting, it was in a hospital setting, and she couldn’t have that,” Mary’s son Chris Green told the Chronicle newspaper.

According to the UK government data, as of 24 January, about 6.3 million people from the top two groups – those aged 80 and over and frontline health workers and care home staff – had received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines.

The World Health Organisation’s drug safety panel said on Friday that there was no evidence to suggest that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had contributed to deaths in frail elderly patients after such cases were reported in some countries, including France and Norway.

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Singapore reports 1 community case among 15 new COVID-19 infections

SINGAPORE: One community case was among the 15 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore as of noon on Friday (Jan 22), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The remaining 14 cases were imported infections and no new infections were reported in foreign workers’ dormitories.

The sole community case was a 26-year-old Malaysian who is linked to the BS Industrial & Construction Supply cluster, which has now grown to eight infections. 

The woman, known as Case 59522, works as a sales personnel at the company at 34 Kallang Place and is a co-worker of Case 59429, a 39-year-old Singapore permanent resident who is also a sales personnel. 

The woman was quarantined on Jan 18 when Case 59429 was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection. She was tested for COVID-19 on Jan 20 even though she was asymptomatic.

Her test came back positive the next day, and she was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). Her serology test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

MOH said the overall number of new cases in the community has increased from two cases in the week before to 21 cases in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from two cases in the week before to five cases in the past week. 

READ: Cap of 8 visitors per day in each household from Jan 26 as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures

Among the 191 confirmed cases reported from Jan 16 to Jan 22, a total of 106 cases have tested positive for their serology tests while 35 have tested negative. The remaining 50 serology test results are pending.

The health ministry also added several new locations to its list of places visited by COVID-19 cases in the community during their infectious period. The places include popular shopping and dining destinations such as VivoCity, Paya Lebar Square, Golden Mile Complex and Sim Lim Square. 


Two Singaporeans and one permanent resident who returned from Malaysia, Mauritius and Myanmar are among the 14 imported cases reported on Friday.

There was also a dependant’s pass holder who travelled from France and four work pass holders who arrived from France, India and the United Kingdom.

Three are work permit holders who arrived from India and Indonesia, of whom one is a foreign domestic worker. 

There was a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from India to visit her family member who is a permanent resident. 

READ: Rules on visiting and tossing yusheng: 7 things to note this Chinese New Year amid COVID-19

The remaining two cases are special pass holders who are sea crew members. One case arrived onboard a vessel from China and was swabbed upon arrival. He was isolated until his result came back positive for COVID-19 infection, and subsequently taken to the hospital. 

The other special pass holder arrived onboard a vessel from Timor Leste, and did not disembark. He was swabbed onboard the vessel, and taken to the hospital when his test came back positive for the coronavirus.

Of the 14 imported cases, MOH said 13 had already been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore and were tested during this period.

The remaining imported case, a work pass holder who works as a cabin crew member at Singapore Airlines, had travelled to the UK for work between Jan 12 and Jan 13.

READ: Stallholders, shop owners and food delivery workers in Chinatown to undergo COVID-19 testing ahead of Chinese New Year

The 29-year-old woman, known as Case 59529, returned to Singapore on Jan 14. The Indian national was tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and her test came back negative on the same day.

She subsequently developed a fever on Jan 17 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic. On Jan 20, she developed loss of smell and was tested for COVID-19 the next day. 

Her result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on Jan 22. MOH said that she had mostly stayed at home from Jan 14 until she was taken to the hospital on Jan 22.


Twenty-four more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore’s total recoveries to 58,983.

There are 41 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit. Another 197 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.

As of Friday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,250 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities.


Households will only be able to receive a maximum of eight visitors per day from Jan 26 given the recent rise in community COVID-19 cases and the possible risk of transmission during the Chinese New Year period. 

People should also limit themselves to visiting no more than two households per day as much as possible, Minister for Education Lawrence Wong announced on Friday. 

Currently, up to eight visitors are allowed in each household at any one time, with no limit on the number of homes they can visit.

READ: COVID-19 vaccination centre at Woodlands Galaxy CC starts with jabs for frontline workers

Those who choose to dine out must avoid talking loudly during their meal. This means the Chinese New Year tradition of “lohei” should be conducted without any verbalisation of the usual auspicious phrases, said Mr Wong during a COVID-19 multi-ministry task force press conference. 

Face masks must also be worn during the tossing of yusheng, in line with the current rules on wearing a mask when diners are not eating or drinking, and there should also not be any intermingling across tables.

READ: ‘Many things could have been done better’ – COVID-19 task force chiefs on the lessons from the past year of the pandemic

READ: Learn lessons from COVID-19, invest in technology to prepare for ‘Disease X’: DPM Heng

“We only need to recall what happened last year when we indeed saw a spike in cases after Chinese New Year, and we had many clusters linked to Chinese New Year gatherings. 

“This was last year, we don’t want a repeat of that happening. And that’s why we are making a pre-emptive move now to tighten some of our measures,” added Mr Wong. 

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

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F1 news 2021, Monaco Grand Prix, cancelled, Canada, Azerbaijan, reports, race calendar, latest

Monaco Grand Prix organisers have insisted that the iconic Formula One race will go ahead this season, despite whispers that it would suffer a second cancellation in as many years.

Like the Australian Grand Prix last year, the Monaco edition was shelved due to COVID-19 as F1 decided to focus on ready-built circuits to fill the makeshift calendar, rather than temporary street circuits.

And with the Aus GP now being shifted from its traditional home as the season curtain raiser to a new November date, Monaco has now come under the spotlight.

A Dutch newspaper has claimed that Monaco, along with Azerbaijan and Canada, is in danger of being removed from the 2021 calendar as F1 again panics over the street races and the time it takes to build infrastructure for those events given the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Get all the latest F1 news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!!

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Victoria reports another day of no community transmission

Four new infections of coronavirus were detected among international travellers in hotel quarantine.

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Chinese city reports coronavirus found on ice cream

 A nurse wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walks by people lining up for a coronavirus test at a hospital in Beijing, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. The coronavirus was found on ice cream produced in eastern China, prompting a recall of cartons from the same batch, according to the government. (AP)

BEIJING: The coronavirus was found on ice cream produced in eastern China, prompting a recall of cartons from the same batch, according to the government.

The Daqiaodao Food Co., Ltd. in Tianjin, adjacent to Beijing, was sealed and its employees were being tested for the coronavirus, a city government statement said. There was no indication anyone had contracted the virus from the ice cream.


Most of the 29,000 cartons in the batch had yet to be sold, the government said. It said 390 sold in Tianjin were being tracked down and authorities elsewhere were notified of sales to their areas.

The ingredients included New Zealand milk powder and whey powder from Ukraine, the government said.

The Chinese government has suggested the disease, first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, came from abroad and has highlighted what it says are discoveries of the coronavirus on imported fish and other food, though foreign scientists are skeptical.


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NSW reports no new local Covid cases, as Queensland denies hotel quarantine breach – as it happened

Madison Keys drops out of Australian Open and Andy Murray in doubt after testing positive for Covid

  • Nine days without a local Covid case in Victoria
  • Andy Murray tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of Australian Open

7.24am GMT

With that, we’ll be closing the blog for today. Here’s a recap of the day’s headlines:

6.56am GMT

Emergency warnings have been issued for separate bushfires threatening lives in Perth’s eastern foothills and the Wheatbelt region, AAP reports.

Firefighters are battling to contain an out-of-control blaze in High Wycombe, near the Perth Hills.

6.42am GMT

Health experts have cautiously endorsed the Victorian government’s decision to push ahead with hosting the Australian Open, saying the positive Covid-19 test recorded by former world number one Andy Murray before arriving at the tournament showed the protocols were working.

As Victoria recorded no new cases of the virus for the ninth day in a row on Friday, the health minister, Martin Foley, confirmed that both Murray and American Madison Keys had returned positive coronavirus tests and would be unable to travel to Melbourne without first returning a negative test.

Related: Health experts back Australian Open Covid protocols as frustrated Victorians remain stranded interstate

6.03am GMT

Australia’s Department of Agriculture is making inquiries after the American Pigeon Racing Union claimed that Joe, a pigeon that was thought to have travelled to Australia from the US, is actually a fraud – a revelation that may well save his life.

The public rallied to the defence of Joe after Australian agricultural authorities said he would be euthanised to prevent the risk of diseases from the US being transmitted to Australian native birds.

Related: Joe the pigeon’s life may be spared after fake leg tag suggests he’s not from US

5.23am GMT

South Australia will lift its coronavirus travel restrictions with greater Brisbane from Sunday, AAP reports.

The change means people travelling to SA from Brisbane will no longer need to spend 14 days in quarantine.

5.14am GMT

Police suspect a Melbourne woman killed her three children before taking her own life in the city’s outer-north on Thursday.

The bodies of a 42-year-old woman, a seven-year-old girl, a five-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy were found inside a Tullamarine house about 12.20pm.

Related: Victoria police believe Tullamarine woman killed herself and three children

4.31am GMT

Police investigating the deaths of three children and their mother at a home in Melbourne’s Tullamarine on Thursday do not believe the family’s father was involved.

In a statement released shortly after 3pm on Friday, Victoria police said they believe the 42-year-old mother was responsible for all four deaths.

Police located the bodies of a 42-year-old woman, a seven-year-old girl, a five-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy inside the address.

All were residents of that property.

Related: Woman and three young children found dead at Tullamarine home in Melbourne’s north

4.04am GMT

Great to be at the Test seeing so many people enjoying themselves and everyone doing the right thing #AUSvIND #GabbaTest pic.twitter.com/qGZrqrAjdJ

You can follow day one of the fourth Test between Australia and India over on Guardian Australia’s liveblog:

Related: Australia v India: fourth Test, day one – live!

3.42am GMT

The Morrison government is appealing to China to rule out discriminating against Australian coal, with the resources minister raising fears about the “human cost” of the standoff as seafarers are stuck aboard more than 70 ships waiting to unload the product.

In an interview with Guardian Australia, Keith Pitt said the cost of coal had increased as a result of the impasse but Canberra was “yet to hear anything through official channels” about any change in Beijing’s treatment of the Australian commodity.

Related: Australian government raises fears about the ‘human cost’ of China coal standoff

3.16am GMT

For the second day in a row, there are no new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases in Australia in the most recent reporting day.

Advice from the Nat Incident Centre is there are likely 0 cases of community transmission in Aust today

There is 1 case under investigation in Qld, likely to be a historical case. Pls cont to test if any symptoms

Sadly there have been 750k+ cases & 15k lives lost globally today

3.04am GMT

The federal opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, and his health spokesman, Chris Bowen, are renewing their accusation the Morrison government is shifting responsibility for quarantining international arrivals onto states.

The criticisms come amid questions about how Covid-19 spread in a Brisbane hotel being used to quarantine international arrivals, and the Victorian government’s efforts to bring international students to the state and international tennis players to the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The federal government wants you to think they’re not in charge of quarantine. They want to push responsibility onto the states. That’s not leadership.

The Federal Government wants you to think they’re not in charge of quarantine. They want to push responsibility onto the states. That’s not leadership.

Quarantine is a federal responsibility. It’s right there, in our Constitution, in black and white. pic.twitter.com/cgeDRVtnmU

As state premiers grapple with how to deal with contagious strains of the virus, the Morrison government is missing in action.

Email from @dfat that luckily I read. If you don’t log in to your account they “may” remove you from the list! #strandedAussies check your email and keep an eye on your registration. @removethecaps @KKeneally @SenatorWong pic.twitter.com/Yj0jUK14lW

3.02am GMT

Today we learnt that someone has purchased the domain https://t.co/E3snA8JKIH and redirected it to our site. We had no knowledge of, or involvement with, this, however, we welcome the off chance that Senator Hanson has changed her mind on refugee policy!

2.25am GMT

The federal agriculture minister, David Littleproud, has lashed the Victorian premier Dan Andrews reported plan to introduce a quota within its hotel quarantine capacity specifically to bring international students into Victoria.

Littleproud said the plan ignores chronic shortages of farm workers – a result of Australia’s international border closure – that has plagued the fresh produce industry during critical harvest periods.

In October last year, the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance presented the Andrews government with a quarantine plan developed by Aspen Medical however so far Dan Andrews has failed to respond to the plan or discuss any alternative options with industry.

Dan Andrews has already done a special deal for tennis players from Covid hotspots and now wants a special deal to bring in international students, but he is stubbornly refusing to help his own farmers.

Related: Ripe for reform: pandemic crisis exposes fault lines in Australia’s fruit industry

2.10am GMT

Thanks for bringing us all the news this morning Matilda.

I’m Elias Visontay, and I’ll be taking you through the next part of the afternoon.

2.06am GMT

This is officially too much excitement for me so I’m passing over to Elias Visontay who will keep you updated on all the news of today (pigeon or otherwise).

2.03am GMT

I cannot believe that this is my third post in a row about a single pigeon, but here we are.

In a shocking twist, the American Racing Pigeon Union is claiming that Joe was never from the US and is in fact a fraud.

BREAKING NEWS: Joe may not actually be from the US after all. I have pigeon whiplash! What is the truth! Does this mean Joe could be saved? pic.twitter.com/7Svh6qoMaP

1.55am GMT

In case you were worried that Joe the pigeon (named after Joe Biden) was without supporters, never fear.

Victorian Animal Justice party MP Andy Meddick wants the federal government to put the bird in quarantine rather than kill it.

Should the federal government allow Joe to live, I am happy to seek assurances that he is not a flight risk.

My message to the federal government is this: take Joe off death row.

I would urge the commonwealth quarantine officials to show a little bit of compassion to Joe.

I’m pretty sure we’re not planning to euthanise the people from Victoria who are in New South Wales, so I will take great exception to that.

1.48am GMT

The world’s only known natural stand of Wollemi pines has become the first site in New South Wales to be given special protected status to try to ensure its survival for future generations.

The environment minister, Matt Kean, will declare the so-called “dinosaur trees” an asset of intergenerational significance after heroic efforts by remote area firefighters in the Blue Mountains world heritage area saved the pines during the 2019-20 bushfire disaster.

Related: Wollemi pines given special protected status after being saved from bushfire disaster

1.44am GMT

Will Joe the pigeon, who travelled from the US to a Melbourne backyard, be saved from death row? It’s the question that has plagued all of us today (much like the agriculture department says Joe’s dirty US viruses could plague our native bird populations).

But in a terrible blow, it seems that – unlike Craig Kelly and George Christensen – Joe doesn’t have acting prime minister Michael McCormack on his side.

I’m not aware of Joe’s plight or flight or future. I’m happy to look into it and get back to you. Good luck Joe.

But if Joe has come in a way that has not met our strict biosecurity measures then bad luck Joe. Either fly home or face the consequences.

Acting Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, on Joe the pigeon. @10NewsFirst pic.twitter.com/jcZjvmx4nx

1.23am GMT

Two men in western Sydney have allegedly assaulted two police officers who requested they wear a mask while in a shopping centre.

The men were at the Wetherill Park shopping centre on Thursday night when they were approached by officers and told to wear a mask. Police allege the pair became aggressive, argued with the officers, and resisted arrest.

If you don’t have a medical reason to not wear a mask, not wearing a mask is arrogant, selfish, and actually dopey. And so I hope the full force of the law is thrown at those people.

1.16am GMT

It seems Australians have continued to show confidence in the economy by taking out a swathe of home loans during the final stages of 2020, building on the record high set in October, reports the AAP.

Monthly lending figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Friday showed a 5.6 per cent increase in November.

12.59am GMT

The Australian competition watchdog is considering taking Google to court after the company finalised its acquisition of fitness tracking company Fitbit prior to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission finishing its public review of the acquisition.

Google announced overnight the merger had been completed, telling Fitbit customers it had agreed with regulators around the world to keep people’s health and fitness data – such as sleep patterns, heart rate, and exercise routes – separate from Google’s ad data. The company also said it would still allow third party providers to connect to Fitbit services.

Google’s decision to complete its acquisition of Fitbit before we completed our merger review means we are now conducting an enforcement investigation. As a result, and depending on the results of our investigation, we will consider whether to take legal action on this matter.

12.39am GMT

Health minister Brad Hazzard has been asked about a story of a woman from the northern beaches who was allegedly asked to wait in the carpark at a medical centre over infection fears.

Hazzard said this was a mistake on the part of the staff:

It would appear that there was an error in terms of the health staff’s assessment …

Nobody in New South Wales should be treated any differently when they go to a hospital. We have the appropriate protocols in place. If there were a likely Covid case… That person did not warrant being left in a carpark for any time at all and I think the staff there now understand it.

12.33am GMT

There has been a lot of chatter in the last few days about if the coronavirus (especially this new UK variant) can travel through air-conditioning systems.

Chant has been asked about this at the NSW press conference:

So clearly, there are certain circumstances where Covid can have an airborne component to its spread and that is where you have large numbers of people, and we are doing things to people to generate lots of aerosols and we often do that in health settings …

So clearly there is an issue that air movement in a very, in unique circumstances, can lead to transmission events. I think that is an element. But I think it is getting ahead of ourselves in speculating about the attribution of how the transmission event happened in Queensland.

12.27am GMT

Berejiklian has given a bit more details on the testing rates the state will need in order to ease restrictions:

Dr Chant has said we would like to see the number two in front or even higher. That has been the target but as high as possible. We don’t expect to have those really high numbers we had prior to Christmas but would like to see a two in front of that number.

At the moment I’m particularly interested in the testing data around those areas where we have had those unlinked cases and, obviously, we have had an unlinked case and that patient that presented to Mount Druitt, so in those areas of south-western and western Sydney, [I’m] particularly interested in making sure there is no unrecognised chains of transmission.

12.19am GMT

Just back to that point about the possibility of moving hotel quarantine sites to the outback. Berejiklian has confirmed that NSW will not be considering it:

We know the virus spreads more readily in transporting people, when you have people travelling for long periods of time you are more likely to spread the virus than where the trips are shorter.

All you would be doing is moving the challenges to a different location and the challenges already there and staff always have to go home to their loved ones. So we believe what we need to do is make sure we have the tightest quarantine system we have, the New South Wales system has proven to be effective to date.

12.13am GMT

Berejiklian has been asked what restrictions could potentially be eased in NSW in the coming weeks.

I didn’t really want to specify the range of restrictions we’re looking at, but the ones given are just examples.

We want to provide certainty for the community, certainty for business. So we would much rather have a [big] change in restrictions rather than doing little in pieces.

12.09am GMT

A doughnut day for NSW. Hazzah!

The state only recorded two cases from returned travellers in hotel quarantine and no cases acquired in the community.

It is a plea to the community to please come out for testing regardless of how minimal those symptoms, don’t delay, get a test.

And I am urging every family to prompt their love ones to come forward for testing and not delay.

12.04am GMT

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is speaking now, she says the state won’t be able to relax restrictions unless testing numbers rise:

I do want to say to the community of New South Wales, in particular, to greater Sydney, that we are very much, in the next few days, considering what restrictions we can ease.

But that will depend on obviously having low case numbers and also having higher rates of testing. So we are really pleading with the community, please come forward and get tested if you have the mildest of symptoms.

11.58pm GMT

Queensland leaders are laying down the law today about these rumoured breaches of quarantine procedures at the Grand Chancellor hotel.

Police commissioner Katarina Carroll says both the father and daughter who left the hotel to go to hospital were wearing PPE and transported by ambulance:

I can tell you, from extensive independent inquiries, the daughter was wearing full PPE at all times. She was transported by QAS, not a taxi or Uber, from the hospital back to the hotel and was then escorted by two police officers back to her room. Please, if you hear anything about that, just make sure that we do get the right story out there …

It is not unexpected that people leave the hotels to access healthcare. That has been going on for a long time. Of course it has. We have always required them to leave in an ambulance, wearing PPE, so they are treated as if they are positive. When they get to the hospital, the hospital treats them as if they’re positive …

He was taken there because he had some health issues, which were probably early symptoms of his Covid, in retrospect. We didn’t get a positive result on him until the next day but it doesn’t matter because he went via ambulance to the hospital, was assessed there, was treated as if he was positive, was kept because he needed to for the symptoms that he had. His English is not great, so the daughter went with him. She was treated as if she was positive.

11.49pm GMT

If you remember in the last few weeks Queensland authorities warned several times of postive sewage tests returning from north Cairns suggesting there was someone in the area with the virus.

They couldn’t find a source, but it seems the historical Covid-19 case discovered today might explain it.

A gentleman in his 40s who returned from the Congo in September and he was in hotel quarantine then, tested negative but he had to have a test done prior to returning to work, so an employment requirement, and he’s tested positive.

He’s totally well, asymptomatic, so we think that is most likely a persistent shedding. We know you can shed for up to nine months after you’re positive and it probably explains why we have continued to have all of those positive sewerage results in north Cairns.

11.44pm GMT

Palaszcuk has given an update of those who were re-quarantined and tested from the troublesome Grand Chancellor hotel.

In relation to the Grand Chancellor group, the 129 that were transferred, I have been advised that all have tested negative. That is good news. That was our high-risk group that we were looking at.

The 147 people who left since 30 December, the ones that were in Queensland, have all been tested and have tested negative. Once again, good news. Of the 226 staff, all have been contacted and some of them have been tested. We are still working through that. Out of the 502 in total, the Queenslanders have been contacted and the vast majority are negative.

11.41pm GMT

The Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is speaking now.

I am happy to report there have been three new cases. We’re not worried about them. Two were acquired overseas and are in hotel quarantine and none of them are from the guests at the Grand Chancellor. There is one case that has been reported in Cairns but that is an historical case.

11.39pm GMT

As more than a thousand tennis players and support staff arrive on 15 chartered flights in Melbourne, many have questions why so many have been allowed into the state from high contagious counties while many Victorians are trapped above the border in NSW.

When deputy premier James Merlino when asked about this perceived double standard at his press conference today he said he makes “no apology for keeping Victoria safe”, and stated that risk from the tennis players was different.

Martin Foley asked if he can understand anger/frustration of Vics who can’t come home while watching tennis players jet in: “I understand and have great sympathy for the situation a number of Victorians have found themselves in” “but I make no apology for keeping Victoria safe”.

11.33pm GMT

The Refugee Council of Australia has responded to the news overnight that the domain paulinehanson.com.au has been purchased and redirected to their website’s home page.

Today we learnt that someone has purchased the domain https://t.co/E3snA8JKIH and redirected it to our site. We had no knowledge of, or involvement with, this, however, we welcome the off chance that Senator Hanson has changed her mind on refugee policy!

11.30pm GMT

Oooft! Another big name tennis player has been forced to drop out of the Australian Open after contracting Covid-19.


11.21pm GMT

Bad news for tennis star Andy Murray who has just contracted Covid-19 ahead of flying to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

He is currently isolating in his London apartment.

Min Foley says Andy Murray will have to test negative before he can get on a plane, and will need to quarantine for 2 wks here as part of Oz Open and Vic rules.

11.07pm GMT

Qld coronavirus update now expected 10.30AEDT .. 930 Qld time

11.06pm GMT

So the Victorian press conference seems to be less about Covid-19 and more about a new high school being constructed in the rapidly growing Melbourne suburb of Fisherman’s Bend.

The verticle campus school will open in 2022 starting with Year 7 and working their way up to VCE over the next 6 years.

Before the Andrews government came to office, vertical schools were a figment of people’s imagination, but we were making it a reality to cater for the significant enrollment growth population growth in inner-city Melbourne.

10.58pm GMT

The live stream for the Victorian press conference has finally begun so hopefully that will be starting soon (only 28 minutes late, but who’s counting).

10.56pm GMT

Controversial celebrity chef Pete Evans seems to be up to something, posting the logo for the Great Australia Party on his Instagram and teasing a big announcement next week.

The former Western Australian One Nation senator Rod Culleton, who created the political party, has been associated with Evans previously appearing on his podcast last year.

Haha omg Pete Evans just teased an announcement and posted the logo of the Great Australia Party, the outfit run by former senator Rod Culleton & is essentially a sovereign citizen group. pic.twitter.com/RGZoikjiYv

10.40pm GMT

Just a heads up we have a couple of press conferences coming up.

Victorian health minister Martin Foley and the deputy premier James Merlino are meant to speak at 9.30am (but as far as I can tell they haven’t started yet).

10.32pm GMT

Greenhouse gas emissions from Chevron’s Gorgon LNG facility have increased because the company’s carbon capture system is not working properly, meaning more carbon dioxide is being vented into the atmosphere.

Environment groups have blasted the Western Australian government for not imposing penalties on the energy company after documents revealed sand was clogging the injection system designed to bury up to 4m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year under Barrow Island.

Related: Western Australia LNG plant faces calls to shut down until faulty carbon capture system is fixed

10.18pm GMT

The Australian defence force will dump a trouble-prone fleet of armed helicopters in the coming years, replacing them with more a reliable American aircraft.

The Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters have been an issue for the army for years, plagued by design flaws and facing issues with reliability.

The Apache Guardian is the most lethal, most survivable and lowest risk option, meeting all of Defence’s capability, through-life support, security, and certification requirements.

By pursuing a proven and low-risk system offered by the Apache, Defence will avoid the ongoing cost and schedule risk typically associated with developmental platforms.

10.09pm GMT

The mother of a child with special needs has won a two-year battle against Services Australia after the agency demanded she pay back more than $27,000 in carer’s payments.

In a judgment published this week, the top tier of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal found mistakes by Centrelink had put Cassandra Clark under “additional strain” and “impacted on her mental health”.

Related: Woman wins two-year battle with Centrelink after it demanded she pay back $27,000

10.04pm GMT

Here is a little bit more information on the situation in Queensland via the AAP:

Queensland authorities have refuted reports of a possible Covid-19 protocol breach after a woman infected with the highly infectious UK strain left quarantine to accompany her father to hospital.

The suggestion the person caught a ride-share back to the hotel is untrue. Full and proper Covid-19 PPE protocols were followed while these guests were in the hospital.

9.53pm GMT

Police in southern NSW are appealing to the community after a toddler was found walking the streets of Albury at 4am.

No doubt a bit of a shock for the child’s parents to wake up to.

Police are searching for the family of a toddler found wandering the streets of West #Albury alone at around 4am this morning. The boy is in the care of officers who are hoping to reunite him with his parents.

Do you know this boy? Toddler found alone in West Albury at 4.30am https://t.co/pF55mw2gZj via @bordermail pic.twitter.com/xRYTdG3uYW

9.47pm GMT

And just when I was starting to think that we would never know Victoria’s number today.

But never fear he DHHS has pulled through and good news, it’s double doughnuts!

Yesterday there were 0 new locally acquired cases reported and 2 new cases in hotel quarantine. Thanks to all who were tested – 15,010 results were received. #EveryTestHelps #StaySafeStayOpen More later: https://t.co/2vKbgKHFvv #COVID19VicData pic.twitter.com/OvBAPRljtB

9.27pm GMT

Social media posts describe houses shaking in the regional city of Ararat after a 3.6 magnitude earthquake hit the town.

BREAKING: A 3.6 magnitude earthquake has hit the Stawell and Ararat area. The epicentre has been located near Glenorchy.

9.24pm GMT

Just a bit more from the Hazzard interview.

The NSW health minister was asked about the controversy surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine:

The major concern that I have is that the anti-vaxxers are out there trying to convince people not to use the vaccine.

The vaccines, there’s a range of them, and they’re still going through the processes, particularly with our federal independent body, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

I will finish this interview with a smile … Feeling relaxed.

9.12pm GMT

Premier Daniel Andrews says he hopes to scale back its NSW red zones soon, allowing more people to travel home quicker. Under the state’s current permit system, thousands of Victorians are trapped in NSW because they are in areas designated as red zones and can only return with a special exemption.

Andrews said he hopes to make an announcement soon about reducing the red zones.

I just want to assure all Victorians, and particularly those that want to come home but can’t because it’s not safe right now, you will be in this circumstance for not a moment longer than the public health experts tell me you have to be.

9.09pm GMT

Reports to child protection services dropped during the coronavirus pandemic, a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found.

The report analyses child protection data from March to September 2020 (the coronavirus period) and compares it to 2019 figures. In 2019, one in 33 children in Australia were subject to some degree of child protection services.

The Covid-19 pandemic may have made some more vulnerable. While this does not necessarily mean a child will be harmed, these factors may have some effect on the likelihood of child abuse and neglect occurring

9.06pm GMT

In some funny news this morning, it seems anti-immigration politician Pauline Hanson’s website has been allowed to expire and has been replaced with a page that redirects users to the website of the Refugee Council of Australia.

Just a PSA that One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson’s domain name expired and has been… repurposed. https://t.co/uRjMN7c53b

8.56pm GMT

Aboriginal flags should be flown at half-mast on 26 January in the same way, and for the same reason, that Australian flags are flown at half-mast on Anzac Day – in remembrance of those who were lost.

The idea is being pushed by Victorian senator Lidia Thorpe who says it would mark a formal adoption of 26 January as a day of mourning.

For First Nations people across this country, January is a hard month. The colonial flag-waving, the heightened racism, the collective amnesia and the celebration of violent occupation. After more than 200 years of colonisation, too many Australians still think 26 January is a day of celebration.

As with Anzac Day, we ask that all Australians join us in acknowledging 26 January as a day of respectful reflection and mourning for those who died fighting for country.

A Covid-Safe checklist for the dawn service and community breakfast has been provided to the Victorian government as per their requirements.

8.53pm GMT

NSW health minister Brad Hazzard has just spoken to ABC News Breakfast.

Yesterday the Queensland premier announced the state would consider quarantining people in regional mining communities to try and reduce the risk of the highly contagious UK variant of Covid-19 entering the community. But NSW has come out to say they wouldn’t consider doing the same.

Look, we’re not rejecting what Queensland has to do for Queensland. That’s their decision. I would never tell WA what to do.

But I would say this, that New South Wales has taken by far the majority of people coming back in through our hotel quarantine system, 43% off all the people we actually take come from other states. They do their quarantine and we return them to their home states. We have 3,500 staff. So it would be very challenging to find a regional area that could cope with that.

8.45pm GMT

Good morning all, Matilda Boseley here, bringing you all of the news on Friday morning.

If you see anything in your area or online that you think I should be aware of, make sure you send it through to me on Twitter @MatildaBoseley or by email on matilda.boseley@theguardian.com.

All protocols were followed in this case … The suggestion the person caught a ride-share back to the hotel is untrue. Full and proper Covid-19 PPE protocols were followed while these guests were in the hospital.

We have successfully managed the quarantine of over 100,000 people in Queensland, and have not had a single case because of the movement of these people.

We have a long way to go before we can actually understand and appreciate what occurred.

Continue reading…

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Australian Open 2021 | Andy Murray tests positive for COVID-19, according to reports

Murray is a former world No.1 and three-times major champion who has slipped in the rankings in recent years following hip surgery.

After getting the wildcard, Murray pulled out of last week’s season-opening event in Florida, putting concerns about contracting COVID-19 ahead of getting more tournament time in before the Australian Open.

“After much deliberation with my team, I’ve decided not to travel to play at Delray Beach,” Murray said at the start of the month. “Given the increase in COVID rates and the transatlantic flights involved, I want to minimise the risks ahead of the Australian Open.

“I’m really thankful for the understanding of the tournament and I look forward to playing there soon.”

The world’s leading players and biggest names, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and American Serena Williams are travelling to Adelaide where they will quarantine for 14 days in an ‘exclusive’ bubble before travelling to Melbourne.

Some other players have already pulled out of the Open due to the quarantine requirements. Roger Federer will the most notable absentee, after declaring he hadn’t fully recovered from knee surgery.

With Reuters

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Nearly 3,000 reports of online child sexual abuse last year

Save the Children Finland (Pelastakaa Lapset), a non-profit organisation that specialises in foster care, adoption and child protection services, has revealed that they received 2,750 tips related to online sexual exploitation of children last year.

The organisation provides a service on their website which allows anyone to report illegal activities pertaining to sexual solicitation or abuse of minors. This information is then handed over to the authorities.

Children or young adults who are victims of online sexual assaults or grooming can report crimes themselves. Additionally, the service provides support in case of nude pictures of minors being circulated online and suspected human trafficking. 

The online service received more reports than usual this Spring, but experts fear that many instances of exploitation will fall under the radar as minors are often unable to identify the markers of sexual grooming. 

In April, Save the Children expressed concern that children may be at higher risk of being targeted by sex offenders online given the current exceptional circumstances.


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Victoria reports no new locally transmitted cases of coronavirus for fifth day

Victoria’s streak of no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases has extended to five days.

The Department of Health and Human Services tweeted this morning that no locally acquired cases were reported in the previous 24 hours.

The department said it had received 18,660 test results.

One international traveller already in hotel quarantine tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of active cases in the state to 40.


COVID-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar yesterday said he would have “more to say in the coming days” about the state’s border closures.

He said Victoria would not consider easing restrictions — introduced on December 30 — until the state had recorded “a number of further days” without local transmission and with high testing numbers.

The possible relaxation of restrictions would be a matter for the Chief Health Officer, he added.

“I’m sure he’ll have something to say over the next few days,” he said.

More to come.

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Covid: UK reports more than 80,000 deaths

According to Johns Hopkins University, only the US, Brazil, India and Mexico have recorded more Covid deaths.

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