As we touched on a bit earlier, wastewater Covid-19 testing in Queensland has turned up a surprise in Townsville that’s causing the state’s chief health officer, Jeanette Young, some concern.
Young says there hasn’t been a known case in that region for months, and anyone there who feels unwell should get tested.
Queensland is using the tests as a way of identifying early the possibility of undetected cases in major centres.
In comments reported by AAP, Young offers some theories of how and why the virus could be detected in sewage there:
Someone who has travelled through Townsville, a freight worker. It could even be someone who has been in quarantine.
But my first theory, which I hope is incorrect, is it is someone who has active Covid-19 in Townsville.
That’s why I would like anyone in Townsville today who has any symptoms to come forward and get tested.
Queensland reported one new case on Saturday – a man in his 20s who was a returned traveller. He had been in the Philippines and had tested positive on his 10th day in hotel quarantine.
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Mexico reports another 5,263 cases and 411 deaths
Mexico added another 5,263 cases and 411 deaths over the past 24 hours.
It takes the country’s total to 809,751 infections and 83,507 deaths throughout the pandemic.
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A China update from Reuters.
Mainland China reported 15 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on 9 October, down from 21 a day earlier, the country’s national health authority said on Saturday.
All the new cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas, the National Health Commission said in a statement.
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 39 from 15 a day earlier. All of them were imported.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 85,536, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.
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Australian PM takes jab at Queensland border closure
The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, is on Queensland’s Gold Coast joining the state’s election campaign and he’s giving a media conference.
He’s of course wearing the election campaign uniform of choice – a hi-vis vest.
Morrison spent the past 14 days in Canberra, which meant he could fly straight to Queensland without the need for quarantine.
Morrison had another gentle jab at Queensland’s ongoing border closure to Victoria and most of New South Wales and the implications it has for tourism in the sunshine state.
He says you would want border closures only “for as long as you absolutely have to have them”.
I know that from my own experience before I went into parliament, and Queensland’s domestic tourism industry has always relied heavily on the New South Wales and Victorian markets coming up for what is always a great holiday in Queensland.
They are not something, I suppose, to boast of, they are things that are necessary but are regrettably necessary in many occasions, and so when you have to have them, well, let’s have them based on medical advice and for only as long as you absolutely have to because the longer they are there, the more they do stop jobs.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has visited the Gold Coast to help campaign in the Queensland state election. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP
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The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has clashed with a journalist who suggested he should hand over his phone records voluntarily to the state’s hotel quarantine inquiry.
On Friday Andrews said he would hand over his phone records to the inquiry if he was asked.
There are questions about a six-minute gap in the former police commissioner Graham Ashton’s evidence to the inquiry and some say the period could be crucial to finding out who decided to use private guards in the program.
So far, the inquiry has been told it was a “creeping assumption”.
“Why wouldn’t you and your office just release those phone records of your own volition?” Andrews was asked a few minutes ago.
Andrews replied: “I’m not running the inquiry and, with the greatest of respect, neither is your network.”
He was then asked what he or the government “had to hide”.
Andrews said: “All of these issues are being considered, have been considered, are being considered. And the inquiry has not finished its work. We really are going around in circles here. It is an independent inquiry. I am not going to interfere in that inquiry.”
Andrews faced combative questions on the same topic from Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, on Friday.
Credlin is now a commentator on Sky News.
The Guardian revealed on Friday evening that Victoria police had not formally requested Ashton’s records from Telstra, contradicting earlier claims made by the force.
Daniel Andrews at Saturday’s daily Covid briefing. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
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More from that interview that US president Donald Trump gave to Fox news contributor Marc Siegel, a doctor who has downplayed the severity of coronavirus.
Trump was asked if he’d been tested again for the coronavirus, and his answer was less than clear.
Trump said he had been retested and he had “not even found out the numbers” but then said “I’m either at the bottom of the scale or free”.
“It’s really at a level that … it’s been great to see it disappear.”
So in summary, the president doesn’t know the precise results from his test, but the numbers are either low or he’s free of the virus.
Happy to clear that up for you all.
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Trump says he feels ‘very strong’ in first on-camera interview since catching Covid-19
United States president Donald Trump has given an interview on-camera to Fox News and it’s just been broadcast on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Fox News had to rely on a White House camera crew. Trump is back to calling it “the China virus”.
Trump says he feels “very strong” after catching the disease. He’s asked about the most prominent systems that he had and how he felt in hospital.
I know a lot of people that had the Covid, or the China virus as I call it, because it came from China. But I feel really really strong and a lot of people don’t feel that way.
He said when he went into hospital he didn’t feel “as the president of the United States should feel” and “didn’t feel very vital” but he said he had no problems breathing.
I would say more weakness than anything else … you were just tired and you didn’t have that same energy level. It could have led to bad things from that point I didn’t know.
He again said a transfusion of Regeneron had given him “miraculous” effect and repeated his offer to give it to everyone in the US who needed it “for free”.
He says he’s no longer taking any medications.
That makes me feel good. I don’t like medication.
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NSW reports three new coronavirus cases, two of which were locally acquired
NSW Health says it is investigating two new cases of Covid-19 contracted locally and outside of hotel quarantine.
One of the cases is a nurse who worked a single shift at St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney, with a second case linked to that nurse.
A third case reported overnight was a crew member from a ship that docked in Newcastle and was now being treated in hospital. The rest of the crew will stay onboard the ship.
#COVID19 cases recorded in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm last night:
– 1 case was diagnosed in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine
– 2 cases were locally acquired and under investigation pic.twitter.com/J241npZWgJ
October 10, 2020
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Victorian premier Daniel Andrews: ‘We will beat this second wave’
Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, is giving details of the state’s 14 new cases reported today and says the state “will beat this second wave”.
Six of the cases are in a known cluster, eight are being investigated and four are under investigation. Two of the new cases are due to a reclassification.
But he’s now getting to the part all Melbourne people want to hear. Will restrictions be lifted next Sunday and by how much?
The tail of this second wave was always going to be stubborn and that is exactly the way it is panning out.
I think it unlikely that we will be able to move as fast as we would like to have done next Sunday. I think it is unlikely that we will be able to take as eager steps as we would have hoped to take next Sunday – big steps.
But he says there will be some steps taken next Sunday “but they have to be safe” and he will be talking with his health advisors this weekend to work out what they could be.
We will beat this second wave but we have got to do it properly. There is no shortcuts here otherwise we will have literally five minutes of sunshine and will be pin bowling back and forth in and out of restrictions all summer and all 2021.
Daniel Andrews fronts his 100th consecutive daily Covid briefing in Melbourne. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
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Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews is about to stand up for a press conference – his 100th consecutive day fronting up to reporters.
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France struggles to contain virus spread as Europe spikes
France is now experiencing a sharp rise in cases and is one of several countries in Europe struggling to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Reuters reports new infections in France jumped more than 20,000 in one day for the first time. This from the news agency.
The country’s ministry reported 20,330 new infections, taking the cumulative total to 691,977 since the start of the year.
In the past two days the ministry had reported more than 18,000 daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases.
On Thursday, France’s health minister said that Lyon – the country’s third-biggest city – and three other cities will have to close their bars in coming days, as Paris and Marseille have done, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.
The number of deaths from the virus increased by 109 to 32,630, the most in a week but below highs of around 150 seen earlier this month.
The death toll figures can be skewed as the ministry often reports several days of senior citizen residence data in one batch.
The number of people in hospital jumped by another 240 to 7,864 nationwide and the number of people in intensive care units – the best measure of a health system’s ability to deal with the epidemic -rose by 21 to 1,448.
At the height of the crisis in early April, more than 7,000 people were in intensive care with COVID.
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Good morning, evening or afternoon. Graham Readfearn here in Brisbane, Australia with our continued live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the coming hours (and they never stop coming) we’ll be giving you the latest news from Australia and keeping you up-to-date with developments from around the globe.
Where are we at? A quick summary of global developments from the last 12 hours or so first, which has delivered some sobering numbers.
The number of new coronavirus infections in France jumped more than 20,000 in one day for the first time since the start of the epidemic, health ministry data showed on Friday.
In the US, the next presidential debate on Thursday has been cancelled, the Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed. It comes after a public disagreement between the two candidates over the debate’s format. Trump is planning to hold two in-person events over the next few days, his first since his Covid-19 diagnosis last week. The president will address the crowd from a White House balcony on Saturday about “law and order” and will attend a rally in Florida on Monday. He’s also expected to make an appearance on Fox News in the next hour or so.
Europe reported more than 100,000 new cases for the first time. UK, Russia, Spain, France and Italy are among the countries with rising case numbers.
The WHO reported more than 350,000 new Covid-19 infections on Friday – a new record high for daily case numbers. The UN agency reported there had been 36,361,054 cases and 1,056,186 deaths from the disease around the world.
In the UK, the Press Association says prime minister Boris Johnson will announce new restrictions there on Monday that could see pubs and restaurants close across the north of England.
Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau says the country is at a “tipping point” as new government modelling suggests cumulative deaths could be as high as 9,800 by 17 October.
Now for Australia.
Victoria announced a further 14 cases but no deaths on Saturday morning, raising its 14-day rolling average from 9.4 yesterday to 9.5. Melbourne needs it to drop below five for the current hard lockdown rules to be eased.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is expected to stand up for a media conference for the 100th consecutive day.
NSW health authorities issued health alerts late Friday after a casual nurse who had worked a single-shift delivering care to a single patient at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney tested positive.
People who had visited specific locations in Palm Beach, Eastwood and Parramatta at certain times should monitor for symptoms, health authorities in NSW said.
In NSW, that state recorded five new local cases on Friday but these were all linked to a known cluster.
Queensland reported one new case of a man in his 20s who was in day 10 of hotel quarantine.
In Townsville, tests on wastewater have delivered a positive result, but there have been no reported cases of the virus there “in months”, the state’s chief health officer Jeanette Young said on Saturday morning.
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