Australia has now gone one week without recording any new local cases of coronavirus.
As of Sunday, January 24, there were no new locally-acquired coronavirus cases reported anywhere in the country, with four new infections having been reported in hotel quarantine in New South Wales and Victoria.
These hotel quarantine cases are reportedly linked to those involved in the Australian Open tennis tournament, with the individuals in question having tested positive for the highly transmissible coronavirus variant connected with the UK.
Those travelling to Victoria from a designated ‘orange’ zone will now need to apply for a permit, and will not be allowed to apply if they have the virus.
As reported by Perth Now, treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said that Australia remains on track to roll out the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine from February onwards, despite overseas shortages, with new figures suggesting Australians would be happy to receive their vaccination.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is reportedly due to approve the Pfizer vaccine in the weeks to come, as well as other vaccines Australia has now signed up for.
Frydenberg told reporters:
That process is underway; we are not about to cut corners. We are not in the same position as the United States and the UK, where they have seen tens of thousands of new cases and tragically many lives being lost. We have the virus under control here in Australia.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has stated that the new immunisation figures reveal Australians have faith in the TGA to provide expert advice while ensuring the safety and efficacy of all available vaccines.
Hunt has given the following statement, as per Perth Now:
These figures show Australians have both the capacity and the will to lead the world in taking up COVID-19 vaccines, as they recognise how important vaccination is, and how it protects and saves lives.
However, the new information about coronavirus cases reported on Sunday came from 11,343 tests, and health officials have emphasised that testing rates remain too low.
Sewage tests have also reportedly detected coronavirus fragments at Warriewood on the northern beaches and North Head. Recent sewage testing has also found coronavirus fragments in Liverpool, New South Wales.
It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.