Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth says some coronavirus patients in Victoria have been given Remdesivir and that Australia has enough stock of the drug to help with the current outbreak.

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Live updates1mminute agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 6:34am

By Liam Butterworth

Comments from the audience

  

Addendum to John R’s comment about LGAs that have ‘never had a case’ – statistics are a tricky thing. The DHHS uses a person’s primary address to classify cases, but this may not be where the person happened to be when contagious or symptomatic. Back on 28 March, Towong shire registered its first case, but by 2 April this had been revised down to zero. There’s two possibilities here:1) it wasn’t actually coronavirus but a false positive test;2) it was someone who was in Towong shire when the case was notified to DHHS, but subsequently their primary address was found to be elsewhere in a different shire.

-Catherine from Altona

10mminutes agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 6:25am

By Liam Butterworth

Advice from Victorian Agriculture Minister about caring for animals

    

18mminutes agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 6:17am

By Liam Butterworth

Shout out for the Victorian LGAs which have not had a COVID-19 case

  

Interesting that there’s no mention of the Vic LGA’s that have NEVER had a confirmed case: Buloke, Colac-Otway, Glenelg, Hindmarsh, Indigo, Pyrenees and Towong. (They don’t even appear on the daily DHHS case table)

-John R

24mminutes agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 6:11am

By Liam Butterworth

How bad is COVID for house prices compared to other great crashes of history?

  

  

Experts say a decline in Australian house prices since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet anywhere near as steep as other historic market crashes, but this time there’s little ammunition left to blast the economy — and the real estate industry — out of a trough.

The most recent figures show residential property values in Australia declined for the second consecutive month as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the market.

In CoreLogic’s latest home value index national values fell 0.7 per cent in June, following on from a 0.4 per cent decline in May.

However, with the Federal Government currently pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy, home owners will not know for months whether the current decline can be halted, or if it will continue its downwards trajectory once those stimulus measures dry up.

Read more

33mminutes agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 6:02am

By Liam Butterworth

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.WatchDuration: 1 minute 28 seconds1m 28s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth lauds the approval of remdesivir by the TGA41mminutes agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:54am

By Liam Butterworth

Comment from the audience

    

A well known fabric supply store in my area appears overwhelmed. They have run out of elastic under 2cm width. Also they don’t have any of the fabrics suggested by DHHS. They have plenty of 100% cotton, but no polyester cotton (apparently poplin is similar) and definitely no polyester/nylon. The queue for the fabric cutters was lengthy. I went because the mask pattern I used previously made my glasses fog up and I wanted to see if the government pattern would be a better fit (ie breath not forced up a nose gap to glasses). People are trying to do the right thing, but it’s hard to comply when suitable resources aren’t available.

-Kim

  

55mminutes agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:40am

By Liam Butterworth

Victorian coronavirus figures

  

Where did the vic breakdown by lga come from – data is different to what is in the current DHHS report, unless a new one has been released? Eg. Monash shows 11 current cases, you have reported 19?

-Curious

  

Hi Curious,

  

The figures were provided by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. See table at the bottom of this link.

  

  

Hi Liam can you provide case numbers in each local government area on a map?

-Panic

  

Hi Panic, 

  

As skilled as we are blogging on the fly, maps are a bit beyond our capacity. The Victorian Government provides a powerpoint with a breakdown of its coronavirus cases. (It does not appear to contain the latest figures). Hope this helps.

58mminutes agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:37am

By Nicholas McElroy

At what point does contact tracing become overwhelmed?

Dr Coatsworth appeared to try and allay some concerns with this question. 

 

He said workers across the country have been mobilised to focus on the Victorian outbreak. 

 

Dr Coatsworth said it was normal practice for contact tracing teams to help other states and there was some “fantastic work going on” in investigating the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

 

 

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:35am

By Liam Butterworth

Fines for breaching Victorian coronavirus restrictions

  

Victoria Police have fined 83 people for breaching coronavirus restrictions in the past day, including a group of people playing poker.

    

Police say the 13 people had gathered at a private residence in Southbank.

    

Officers also stopped a number of people on their way to birthday parties, or to visit friends.

    

21 people were fined at vehicle checkpoints yesterday.
 

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:29am

By Nicholas McElroy

Challenges of an elimination strategy

 

Dr Coatsworth says an elimination strategy, as opposed to a suppression strategy, would be extremely difficult considering the explosion of cases globally. 

 

“Every time I look there’s another million cases in the world … this virus is everywhere in the world,” he said. 

 

He said getting to a point where the virus is eliminated in Australia would severely hinder people’s way of life.

 

“All it took in New Zealand was a couple of cases to create consternation in the community.” 

 

Dr Coatsworth said Australia would continue to focus on preventing community transmission.  

 

 

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:28am

By Liam Butterworth

Key EventKey takeaways from Deputy CMO press conference

  

Dr Nick Coatsworth has finished speaking to the media in Canberra. He touched on many topics during the press conference. Unfortunately the automatic transcription service we use was down for that press conference so I’ve been forced to paraphrase.

    

But here are some key takeaways:

    

He says remdesivir has been approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia, but it is not a ‘silver bullet’He says Australia has sufficient supply of the drug, and it has been used already on coronavirus patientsIt is mainly useful for reducing hospital admission times, but it is not yet clear whether it has a positive impact on mortality ratesIt can be prescribed by any medical professional, but given it is most effective on patients who are in hospital, it is most likely to be prescribed by infectious disease experts and emergency department doctorsDr Coatsworth says the two cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, NSW is a ‘concern’, but more contact tracing needs to be done to find out if there are any links to travellers from VictoriaHe says the national advice around masks does not change, they should be worn in areas where there is community transmission.Dr Coatsworth says worldwide efforts leaves him hopeful a vaccine can be found, but we should prepare for a world where there is not one. He says it may take 18-24 months to get a vaccineHe says coronavirus-related hospitalisations are down, but mainly because younger people are catching the virus.He says that should be a reminder to young people that the virus is still a risk to themDr Coatsworth says an elimination strategy would be extremely difficult given the spread of the virus around the world, and a suppression strategy was more useful1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:19am

By Liam Butterworth

Prepare for 18-24 months without a vaccine

  

Dr Coatsworth says despite a lot of effort around the world to create a vaccine, we should be prepared in case one can’t be found.

    

“The reality is that there are so many people looking for a vaccine … so much effort going into this, we should be hopeful we can get a vaccine for COVID-19. But we should prepare for a world where there is no vaccine.”

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:18am

By Liam Butterworth

Advice around masks doesn’t change

    

Dr Coatsworth says the national advice around masks does not change for the rest of Australia. He says masks are best recommended to be used where there is community transmission.

    

He says where you don’t have community transmission, the mask has little value. It’s difficult to tell someone in WA to tell someone to wear a mask to the football today as there is no community transmission.

  

He says where community transmission goes up, masks have great value.

  

He says masks form part of a suite of measures including social distancing, hand washing etc.

  

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:13am

By Liam Butterworth

NSW cases linked to Casula pub a ‘concern’

  

Dr Coatsworth says the two cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula are a “concern”.

  

He says contact tracers will be looking for ‘upstream contacts’ (ie. who passed on the virus at the pub) to see if it was linked to any travellers out of Melbourne.

    

“COVID spreads in close contact. What they do in that situation is look for upstream contacts and that’s going to be the key here. If we can find that upstream contract, we can find if it was related to Melbourne travel or not.

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:10am

By Liam Butterworth

Australia working with remdesivir producer Gilead Sciences

   

Nick Coatsworth says the current stockpile is a donated supply, but they have been in discussions with Gilead Sciences to get more.

  

He says Australia has enough of the drug to cater to current needs.

  

He says the hospitalisations in the current outbreak are actually down compared to March and April. He said that is mainly down to the demographics, with younger people more likely to be catching the disease at the moment.

  

He says that young people should not be complacent about the effects of the disease.

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:06am

By Liam Butterworth

Remdesivir not a ‘silver bullet’

  

Dr Coatsworth says none of the drugs suggested for coronavirus have shown ‘marked results’, but ‘some results’.

  

He said the main benefit of remdesivir is reduced hospital admission times and reduced symptoms.

  

Dr Coatsworth says they don’t know yet if it has a positive effect on mortality.

  

He says it has already been used in Australia, earlier in the pandemic and in recent weeks in Victoria.

  

Dr Coatsworth says there are only 16 people in intensive care at the moment in Australia, meaning it is well within our supplies to cater to the current need.

  

But he says the care patients receive in ICU is the best tool we have.

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:01am

By Liam Butterworth

Deputy Chief Medical Officer is speaking from Canberra

  

Nick Coatsworth is addressing the use of remdesivir.

  

Says it is one of the drugs being repurposed and can be prescribed by any medical professional, but is likely to be prescribed by infectious disease doctors and emergency department doctors.

It’s an IV drug, has been studied in patients who have been hospitalised who have evidence of lung damage from COVID-19.

  

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 5:00am

By Liam Butterworth

Contacts if you need to talk to someone about your mental health

   

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 4:51am

By Liam Butterworth

India passes 800,000 coronavirus cases

   

India’s coronavirus cases have passed 800,000 with the biggest spike of 27,114 cases in the past 24 hours, causing nearly a dozen states to impose a partial lockdown in high-risk areas.
     
The new confirmed cases took the national total to 820,916. The Health Ministry on Saturday also reported another 519 deaths for a total of 22,123.
     
A surge in infections saw the cases jumping from 600,000 to more than 800,000 in nine days. The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at more than 62%.
     
Eight of India’s 28 states, including the worst-hit Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi, account for nearly 90% of all infections. 
     
The most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, with nearly 230 million people, imposed a weekend lockdown while several others announced restrictions in districts reporting major spikes. 
   

– AP

1hhour agoSatSaturday 11 JulJuly 2020 at 4:45am

By Liam Butterworth

Key EventTwo new WA cases overnight

  

There have been two new cases of COVID-19 detected in Western Australia overnight.

 

Both were returned overseas travellers currently undergoing isolation in Perth hotels.

 

There are now 21 active cases in the state.

  

Two historical cases were also detected, both linked to cruise ship travel.
 

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