Victoria has 10 days in a row of no new COVID-19 cases, no local transmission cases in Victoria; Global infections exceed 50 million; Australian death toll stands at 907


“But more importantly, to give all Victorians, the reassurance that when we do start down this path, we start down this path with absolute assurance that we’ll stay safe and stay open.
He would not say whether his department should be the lead agency for a future hotel quarantine program.

“We want to make sure that we give a comprehensive response to all of the recommendations, not pick a few out, because they’re all interrelated and intertwined.”

Mr Foley said testing in Victoria had increased in recent weeks, but more would be done to ensure it is broad enough to catch any outbreak early.

“Victoria over the past month has actually increased testing levels as numbers have come down more broadly. We’re running 30 per cent above New South Wales, in actual figures, let alone per head of population,” he said.

“There’s more we can do, whether it’s in innovation testing around workplaces, targeted communities. And now as we open up, particularly in the regions.”

Asked whether he could say yet how many patients had contracted the virus in Victorian hospitals, Mr Foley said that figure was yet to be determined.

“When you’ve got some 20,000 cases in Victoria, over 3000 health care workers, with complex settings, it actually does take some time to go through when it comes down to genomic testing and sequencing. And if we’re going to learn from the past, we need to make sure that we have all the evidence, based on the science, accountably and transparently released. And as soon as that complex work is finished, we’ll certainly be releasing it.”



Source link

Australia records no local transmission cases on Sunday; Global infections exceed 50 million; Australian death toll stands at 907


More than 1.25 million people have died from the respiratory disease that emerged in China late last year.

The pandemic’s recent acceleration has been ferocious. It took 32 days for the number of cases to rise from 30 million to 40 million. It took just 21 days to add another 10 million.

Europe, with about 12 million cases, is the worst-affected region, overtaking Latin America. Europe accounts for 24% of COVID-19 deaths.

The region is logging about 1 million new infections every three days or so, according to a Reuters analysis. That is 51% of the global total.

France is recording 54,440 cases a day on the latest seven-day average, a higher rate than India with a far bigger population.

The global second wave is testing healthcare systems across Europe, prompting Germany, France and Britain to order many citizens back to their homes again.

Denmark, which imposed a new lockdown on its population in several northern areas, ordered the culling of its 17 million minks after a mutation of the coronavirus found in the animals spread to humans.

The United States, with about 20% of global cases, is facing its worst surge, recording more than 100,000 daily coronavirus cases on the latest seven-day average, Reuters data showed. It reported a record of more than 130,000 cases on Saturday.

The latest U.S. surge coincided with the last month of election campaigning in which President Donald Trump minimised the severity of the pandemic and his successful challenger, Joe Biden, urged a more science-based approach.

Trump’s rallies, some open-air and with few masks and little social distancing, led to 30,000 additional confirmed cases and likely led to more than 700 deaths, Stanford University economists estimated in a research paper.

In Asia, India has the world’s second-highest caseload but has seen a steady slowdown since September, despite the start of the Hindu festival season. Total cases exceeded 8.5 million cases on Friday and the daily average is 46,200, according to Reuters data.

Reuters



Source link

Victoria set to announce further easing of restrictions; Australia’s death toll remains at 907


“Everyone thinks we’re mad,” Ms Grinstead said. “They’re like ‘why don’t you leave at 6am Monday morning?’ But I like waking up out in the bush. We’re just that eager.”

It has been four months since police and Defence personnel were first deployed to checkpoints around Melbourne’s perimeter.

Since then, Melburnians have watched from their living rooms as daily COVID-19 case loads soared beyond 700 and, after one of the world’s longest lockdowns, back to eight consecutive days of zero.

From 11.59pm, the hard work pays off.

“I reckon all of Melbourne heard me,” Mr Grinstead said of the moment premier Daniel Andrews set the date last month.

Ms Grinstead’s first frantic words: “Book it, book it, book it.”

Read the rest of this story here.



Source link

Houli reveals mental toll of Grand Final injury


Bachar Houli admitted he had to call on every ounce of mental strength he owns to continue playing in the 2020 Grand Final against Geelong.

The Richmond defender popped his calf during the first quarter of the decider, not long after teammate Nick Vlastuin had been stretchered from the Gabba with a heavy concussion.

Houli said he simply had to receive the necessary treatment, move beyond the pain and play on so as not to further disrupt the rotations for Damien Hardwick and his coaching staff.

“I’ll be honest, I think anyone in that position as a player would have played on,” Houli revealed on SEN Afternoons.

“Whether it be hobbling along, or whatever it takes, there’s no next week and you just give it all you’ve got.

“I must admit, mentally I was struck pretty hard, particularly when Nick went down. I felt like I was a massive, massive letdown.

“To be able to play with two less men out there for the majority of the game would obviously impact the result at the end, particularly when you’re playing against such a quality opposition.

“I went through and did what I had to do. The medical team took care of it.

“It was pretty sore after the game and for the next three or four days I struggled to walk around.

“But I think it was all worthwhile in the end.”

It was a courageous and wise decision from Houli who played an integral role as the Tigers produced a second-half blitz, turning a 15-point half-time deficit into a 31-point triumph over the Cats.

He finished the Grand Final with 11 disposals and three rebound 50s as Richmond claimed a third flag in four years.







Source link

Russia’s Excess Death Toll Passed 110K Before Second Wave


Russia recorded almost 120,000 excess deaths between the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the end of September, official statistics on fatalities published Friday revealed.

Russia’s federal statistics service (Rosstat) said a total of 9,798 people with Covid-19 died during September, the latest month for which figures are available. This was up from the 7,463 seen in August, which marked a lull in the number of reported infections across the country.

However, in a counting process that runs contrary to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, Rosstat added that in 4,599 cases — or 47% of the total — coronavirus was not deemed to have been the main cause or to have even played a role at all.

But Russia’s coronavirus statistics have been heavily questioned since the very start of the pandemic, and analysis of deaths by all causes — the excess deaths methodology considered to be the gold standard in terms of understanding fatalities from the coronavirus — shows that Russia recorded 31,666 more deaths in September 2020 than in the same month last year. 

That tally is the highest single-month number of excess fatalities this year. Compared to a five-year average of September deaths, 2020 came in more than 26,000 higher. Pointing to Russia’s rapidly declining fatality rates, statisticians say comparisons with 2019, rather than a five-year average, can provide a more accurate picture of how far fatalities are running above usual levels due to the coronavirus.

The latest numbers take Russia’s total excess death toll since the start of the pandemic to more than 117,000 — a jump of more than 11% — and far above any of the competing official death tallies published by Russian authorities.

It also only runs until the end of September, since when the coronavirus has accelerated rapidly — with the country setting new records for daily infections at almost twice the level seen during the first wave, raising fears that October and November could be significantly more deadly.

The second wave is hitting Russia’s regions especially hard, accounting for more than two-thirds of all new infections — a reverse of the situation seen in the spring when Moscow accounted for the majority of Covid-19 cases.

The numbers game

The figures also question Russia’s politicians’ statements that Russia has a lower mortality rate from the infection than other countries and highlight the confusing and competing tallies of coronavirus statistics that Russia pushes out. 

For instance, state media have pointed to Russia’s success in fighting the virus, citing mortality statistics which are tallied by the country’s coronavirus taskforce and updated daily.

Those figures, provided by health authorities, are seen as highly unreliable. Statistician Tatiana Mikhailova told The Moscow Times the quality is so poor, that “it makes no sense to draw medical, virological, or epidemiological conclusions from them.”

The Rosstat numbers are seen as slightly more reliable, as they are based on death certificates officially submitted days after a person has succumbed to the disease. Those imply a case mortality rate in excess of 5.6% among all confirmed patients, compared to 2.1% shown by the taskforce numbers.

But even the Rosstat tally has been criticized and could be significantly undercounting coronavirus fatalities. It separates deaths where coronavirus was deemed the main cause, a contributory factor or did not play any role at all. Since the start of the pandemic, Rosstat has counted a total of 55,461 deaths among Covid-19 patients, but claims only 57% were the result of the infection, and in almost a third of all cases, it claims coronavirus played no role whatsoever in a patients’ death.

The WHO has criticized that approach and advises governments that any fatalities of Covid-19 patients should be considered as resulting from the disease, except in instances where it clearly played no role — for instance, trauma injuries.

Excess deaths — seen as the most reliable measurement of a country’s coronavirus fatalities because it strips out potential classification disputes based on how authorities choose to officially count coronavirus-related deaths — shows a potentially much-bleaker picture, running at just above 117,000 since the beginning of April compared to 2019 levels.





Source link

Victoria records eighth day of no new cases, awaits Sunday decisions; United States continues record case numbers; Australia’s death toll remains at 907


“It is community-spread everywhere,” said Jaline Gerardin, an epidemiologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

In part, the greater numbers are the result of the increased availability of testing, she said.

But the main problem was allowing the virus to simmer at fairly high levels throughout the summer, particularly among young people who congregated in bars and restaurants against expert advice.

“I think it ended up busting out of their own age group,” she said.

“It spread out from there, and what we’re seeing now is it’s in every age group . . . It’s just everywhere.”

The current case totals are an echo of late March, when according to epidemiologist Ali Mokdad, the first surge probably peaked at more than 283,000 cases per day.

But there was no way to know at the time, because the US testing regime was so inadequate, said Mokdad, chief strategy officer of population health for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

With those limitations, the United States did not record its 120,000th infection overall until March 28, more than two months after the first case was identified in Snohomish County, Wash., records show.

On Friday, the nation registered more cases than that in a single day.

To date, the virus has killed nearly 236,000 people in the United States and infected more than 9.7 million, according to data analysed by The Washington Post.

Friday’s alarming case load may soon seem quaint. Without a coordinated national strategy for containing the virus, Mokdad’s institute is forecasting more than 305,000 cases a day by December 31 and more than 686,000 a day if all restrictions are relaxed.

Universal mask-wearing and other steps could bring that down to 172,000, the models show.

At current infection rates, there is only a short time left to prevent overwhelming the nation’s hospital system, Mokdad said.

That will require a national mask mandate, or some way of forcing states to adopt mandatory mask-wearing, and a coordinated plan to move staff and patients from hospitals with capacity to others that lack it, if necessary, he said.

The Washington Post



Source link

Victoria records eighth day of no new cases, awaits Sunday decisions; United States continues record case numbers; Australia’s death toll remains at 907


“It is community-spread everywhere,” said Jaline Gerardin, an epidemiologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

In part, the greater numbers are the result of the increased availability of testing, she said.

But the main problem was allowing the virus to simmer at fairly high levels throughout the summer, particularly among young people who congregated in bars and restaurants against expert advice.

“I think it ended up busting out of their own age group,” she said.

“It spread out from there, and what we’re seeing now is it’s in every age group . . . It’s just everywhere.”

The current case totals are an echo of late March, when according to epidemiologist Ali Mokdad, the first surge probably peaked at more than 283,000 cases per day.

But there was no way to know at the time, because the US testing regime was so inadequate, said Mokdad, chief strategy officer of population health for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

With those limitations, the United States did not record its 120,000th infection overall until March 28, more than two months after the first case was identified in Snohomish County, Wash., records show.

On Friday, the nation registered more cases than that in a single day.

To date, the virus has killed nearly 236,000 people in the United States and infected more than 9.7 million, according to data analysed by The Washington Post.

Friday’s alarming case load may soon seem quaint. Without a coordinated national strategy for containing the virus, Mokdad’s institute is forecasting more than 305,000 cases a day by December 31 and more than 686,000 a day if all restrictions are relaxed.

Universal mask-wearing and other steps could bring that down to 172,000, the models show.

At current infection rates, there is only a short time left to prevent overwhelming the nation’s hospital system, Mokdad said.

That will require a national mask mandate, or some way of forcing states to adopt mandatory mask-wearing, and a coordinated plan to move staff and patients from hospitals with capacity to others that lack it, if necessary, he said.

The Washington Post



Source link

New Origin format already taking its toll


Queensland’s Kurt Capewell concedes playing hurt is simply going to be part of an attritional 2020 State of Origin campaign.

The 27-year-old limped off late in the Maroons’ game one win over NSW in Adelaide when a pre-existing groin injury became too sore to continue playing with.

Despite that agonising end to his debut, Capewell is fully prepared to play through the pain barrier in next week’s second game in Sydney as Queensland look to wrap up the series.

He won’t be the only player from other side going into the match under an injury cloud.

Queensland won’t have fullback AJ Brimson for the rest of the series due to a foot injury while Brenko Lee is still battling the calf niggle which ruled him out of game one, and Christian Welch has to pass concussion protocols to be declared fit to play.

There’s also been a hefty toll for the Blues from the first match with Cameron Murray (hamstring) and captain Boyd Cordner (concussion) both ruled out of the rest of the series.

Melbourne flyer Ryan Papenhuyzen was unavailable for game one with a calf injury while Jack Wighton is expected to be fit despite appearing to pick up a leg problem late in game one.

With three Origin games in three weeks, Capewell concedes the depth of either state’s 27-man squad will be tested.

“It’s the most intense game you’ll play it being Origin,” the Penrith star said.

“It’s a bit harder, another challenge obviously, playing week-after-week.

“It’ll be a battle of the fittest by the third game.”

As they aim to avoid a series defeat, losing two key players such as Murray and Cordner leaves those remaining in the Blues squad with big shoes to fill.

Backrower Tyson Frizell says anyone who didn’t think the back-to-back-to-back Origin fixture wouldn’t be brutal on players is getting an instant reality check.

“The reasoning behind the larger squad is there’s always going to be injuries and things not going your way and people pulling out,” Frizell said.

“There’s a squad of 27 and everyone is preparing as though they’re going to get that opportunity because … we’re going to go through a couple of players in the next few games and everyone needs to be ready to go.”

ORIGIN’S CASUALTY WARD:

Qld – Out: AJ Brimson (foot). Doubt: C Welch (concussion), B Lee (calf), K Capewell (groin).

NSW – Out: C Murray (hamstring), B Cordner (concussion). Doubt: R Papenhuyzen (calf), J Wighton (leg).





Source link

Victoria records seventh day of zero new COVID-19 cases, deaths; vaccine distribution could face challenges; Australia’s death toll at 907


NSW Health has reminded south-west Sydney residents to get tested with even the mildest coronavirus symptoms after virus fragments were found in sewage samples.

As part of the state’s sewage surveillance program, traces of the virus which causes COVID-19 were found in the sewage system which drains the suburbs of Leppington, Catherine Field, Gledswood Hills, Varroville and Denham Court.

“Symptoms like a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, tiredness, fever or loss of taste or smell can all signal COVID-19,” NSW Health reminded the public in a statement.

NSW has been testing sewage for molecular markers of coronavirus since July.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has previously acknowledged the limitations of sewage testing, saying it does not necessarily indicate currently active cases but can let health authorities know which areas they should be encouraging to come forward for testing.



Source link