Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt says no Australians with COVID-19 currently need a ventilator to help them breathe.

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Live updatesJust nowWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 4:00am

By Sophie Meixner

I always love reading the flow-on positivity after I post a positive comment!To There’s always hope and beauty to be found,Thank you for this gorgeous message of hope. Hopefully we’ll hear more about your lovely bird friends ūüôā

-I needed this today

Speaking of bird watching, next week is the Aussie Backyard Bird count! Participants can engage in citizen science and collect invaluable conservation data, even (especially?) while in lockdown

-Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Hi, just wondering how I can upload a covid related watercolour I did this week to perhaps cheer people up?

-KL

   

KL, you can email it to meixner.sophie@abc.net.au ‚ÄĒ I’d love to post it here!

  

Dear There’s always hope and beauty to be found,Gardening for wildlife has been an absolutely wonderful thing for me and I think so many others under Melbourne’s second lockdown. Your local council might even have some opportunities to chat to others and get advice or free plants to encourage birds, bees and butterflies in your garden – check Gardens for Wildlife Victoria for links. The community is really wonderful and I’m finding that seeing a new butterfly in my garden can really turn my day around on the days when the numbers have been less-than-good.-Fellow bird fan

-Bird Feeders

What a beautiful comment from There‚Äôs always hope and beauty to be found….yes watching birds just lovely…and feeding them gives you great pleasure. I personally feed a magpie here he comes and sits on the window sill when he wants a feed and other day he brought a baby one with him, mum was around to…likes bits of chicken or turkey cut very small, minors, sometimes a kookaburra and also butcher birds also help themselves, love the bird life.

-Lovely gesture

 Thank you for putting up that lovely Victorians comment. We need to see how strong and amazing it is to ask for that help. Enjoy those birds feeding. Sending love for rural NSW.

-Hopeful

8mminutes agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 3:53am

By Sophie Meixner

Contact tracing underway after north Queensland woman tests positive while in MelbourneQueensland Health Minister Steven Miles said authorities were being “ultra cautious”. Image: ABC

 

Health authorities will begin tracing the contacts of a Townsville woman who tested positive for coronavirus while visiting Melbourne.

 

Health Minister Steven Miles said the woman, in her 30s, is from Townsville and had travelled to Cairns and Brisbane before going to Victoria on October 7.

 

She tested positive three days after arriving in Melbourne.

 

Mr Miles said the woman “most likely” got the virus in Melbourne, but Queensland authorities would be “ultra cautious” and treat the case as though she was infectious while in Townsville, Cairns and Brisbane.

16mminutes agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 3:44am

By Sophie Meixner

A hopeful comment from a VictorianIt’s been a very taxing week for my mental health which lead me to reach out to lifeline yesterday. The woman I spoke to on the phone was very caring, understanding and compassionate, and we were able to discuss things which might give me hope when I’m in such a state of hopelessness. After talking for a while, we got onto the subject of my love of bird watching and she suggested I make a bird feeder to bring some more happy chirping into my otherwise dreary days. Not only did it give me something to do but I awoke this morning to fairy wrens, magpies and what I think was some kind of scrubwren enjoying the fruits of my labour. Knowing they’ll want more food tomorrow is helping me get through today.Reach out if you need to, fellow Victorians, because because there is always some good in each day and sometimes we just need a bit of help to see it

-There’s always hope and beauty to be found

20mminutes agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 3:40am

By Sophie Meixner

Another vaccine trial suspendedAP

 

The US drug company Eli Lilly has become the second pharmaceutical giant in two days to suspend a late-stage trial of a coronavirus vaccine. 

 
The firm says a ‘safety concern’ is being investigated.¬†

27mminutes agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 3:33am

By Michael Doyle

I’m out, Sophie is your blogging superstar

 

It’s been a big morning.

 

I have been given my marching orders away from the blog. 

 

Sophie ‚ÄĒ¬†who has already started strong ‚ÄĒ¬†is now your go-to superstar blogger.

 

Until we meet again, stay safe and be well.

 

 

33mminutes agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 3:27am

By Sophie Meixner

Mark McGowan defends hard border closure after NSW case increase

The WA Premier says a spike in coronavirus cases in New South Wales further justifies the ongoing need for the state’s hard border closure.

 

The border restriction has been in place since April, and Mr McGowan maintains it won’t be removed until there is no community spread of the virus for 28 days in all other states and territories.

 

He says today’s emergence of 11 new locally transmitted cases in New South Wales highlights the effectiveness of the hard border in protecting the health of West Australians.

   

“We’ll just be cautious, we’ll continue to take health advice,” he said.

   

“I note today New South Wales has signficant unexplained cases. We’re going to make sure we continue to be cautious.”

 

“Western Australia’s gone six months without a community case of COVID. And that’s because our border has worked.

 

“For all those people wanting to tear it down, have a look at what’s happening in New South Wales and Victoria. We don’t want to get into that position.”

43mminutes agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 3:17am

By Sophie Meixner

South Australian police want public servants to assist with some police duties

South Australian police are hoping to engage other public servants to assist with certain police duties.

 

Country Fire Service and State Emergency Service volunteers have been approached to help out with duties that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the upcoming fire season.

 

Police Commissioner¬†Grant Stevens¬†says he’s confident the police will be able to rely on other emergency services for some tasks currently being done by police.

   

“These unique duties that we’re undertaking for COVID management don’t necessarily require all of the skills of a police officer, but we can actually appoint them as authorised officers under the Emergency Management Act,” he said.

   

“They can stand alongside police and help us do the job we’re doing.”

50mminutes agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 3:10am

By Michael Doyle

Calls to increase mental health support in Victoria

  

Demand for mental health support in Victoria has increased, and experts are encouraging people to reach out for help. 
  
New federal government figures reveal the number of Medicare-funded mental health items increased by 31 percent between September and October, compared to the same time last year. 
  
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health, Doctor Ruth Vine, says the Victorian figure is higher than in other states. 
  
I think that is a reflection of the difficult times in which we live. Perhaps particularly for Victorians that this has gone on for a long time and people are struggling to use their usual mechanisms to cope,” Dr Ruth said.

59mminutes agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 3:01am

By Michael Doyle

Greg Hunt says Victoria has reached the ‘Commonwealth standard’ to ease restrictions

 

Health Minister Greg Hunt says Victoria has reached the threshold the Australian Government believes is suitable to ease restrictions.

 

During his press conference he said a 14-day rolling average a 10 cases was the “Commonwealth standard”.

 

“The Commonwealth standard but with the NSW model, would respectfully provide a way forward for Victoria and Victoria has already reached that Commonwealth standard,” he said.¬†

1hhour agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 3:00am

By Sophie Meixner

Greetings blogwatchers

I’m jumping on the COVID blog for the arvo to give Mick a break.¬†

 

How is everyone today?

 

Are you feeling more like this:

  

Or this?

1hhour agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 2:46am

By Michael Doyle

Do not let COVID stop you from getting treatment for other conditions

 

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, has urged Australians to not put of checks, screenings and treatments for other illnesses.

 

“If you have a chronic health condition, please make sure you get access to the¬†regular management that you have, make sure you continue to take your medications and keep your medications up to date,” he said.¬†

 

“If you have special screening for cancer don’t delay this either.”

1hhour agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 2:40am

By Michael Doyle

No Australian patients on ventilators

Health Minister Greg Hunt has said no person in Australia is on a ventilator for COVID.

There is a total of 28 people in hospital, and one in ICU.

“We prepared with 7,500 ventilators and that’s an immensely important national achievement,” Mr Hunt said.

 
“We’re not out of the woods, there’s still a lot of work to do, but the fact that no Australian is on ventilation on the official advice of the National Incident Centre before joining you I think is a [huge]¬†achievement.”

1hhour agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 2:38am

By Michael Doyle

Helplines recording surge in calls

 

Health Minister Greg hunt has outlined the rise in calls to help lines.

 

“So many people have economic uncertainty and because of that there are stressors, strains, anxieties and in many cases, sadly, depression which has come from it,” he said.¬†

 

With regards to the helplines, for example, if we compare Victoria with the rest of the country, then what we see is that for the four weeks to¬†4 October, Victoria’s use of helplines was significantly higher than that for the rest of the country.

 

Beyond Blue shows that there’s a 77 per cent higher per capita use in Victoria compared with the rest of the country. Lifeline is 16 per cent higher than the rest of the country¬†over that comparable period.

 

And Kids Helpline, 24 per cent higher than the rest of the country.

1hhour agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 2:34am

By Michael Doyle

Greg Hunt is speaking now. You can watch it on the live stream at the top of the page.

1hhour agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 2:20am

By Michael Doyle

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt will speak at 1:30pm AEDT

1hhour agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 2:15am

By Michael Doyle

World Bank board approves billions of dollars for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments in developing countries

  

The World Bank said its executive board approved on Tuesday $US12 billion ($16.75 billion) in new funding for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments for their citizens.
  
The financing plan, part of $US160 billion ($223,3 billion) in total resources that the multilateral development lender has pledged to provide to developing countries through June 2021 to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic, was first reported by Reuters in late September.
  
The World Bank said the financing program will include technical support to recipient countries so they can prepare for deploying vaccines at scale, and will signal to drug companies that there will be strong demand and ample financing for COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.

 

Reuters

1hhour agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 2:05am

By Michael Doyle

Coronavirus survey into children’s mental health reveals anxiety, depression

  

Nearly one in five children experienced disruptive behaviour, disturbed sleep, and symptoms of anxiety or depression during coronavirus restrictions earlier this year, however, the majority adapted well to the changes, a national survey has found.
 
The survey of more than 700 families found that while 80 per cent of the children were reported to have good mental and emotional health, up to 10 per cent may need support.
 
The survey provided valuable insights into the lived experience of young children during the pandemic.
 
One parent reported their three-year-old son was playing cars and one of the vehicles was an “ambulance taking all the dead people to hospital because of the virus”.
 
Another parent of a four-year-old girl said her teddies and dolls were in trouble for not washing their hands properly or coughing into their elbow.

 

2hhours agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 1:53am

By Michael Doyle

The Melbourne resident who sparked a new outbreak in Shepparton has been referred to police

 

A Melbourne resident who sparked a new coronavirus outbreak in the Victorian city of Shepparton after he failed to tell contact tracers he’d visited the area, has been referred to police.¬†
  
The permitted worker, who is linked to Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre outbreak, dined at a Kilmore cafe in breach of coronavirus rules before he visited numerous locations in Shepparton.
  
Three employees at Central Tyre Service in Shepparton have now tested positive.
  
The Victorian Premier says the outbreak could have been prevented if the man had been honest. 

2hhours agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 1:44am

By Michael Doyle

West End brewery will close   ABC News: Isabel Dayman

 

The owner of Adelaide’s West End brewery has announced it will close in June next year.
   
Lion has blamed falling beer sales caused by consumers choosing other drinks, like wine, and then the coronavirus pandemic hitting draught beer sales.
  
“West End has been operating well below its full production capacity for some time now and unfortunately this is no longer viable,” the company said in a statement.
  
“We have come to this proposal as the best way to ensure we have a sustainable brewing network for the future.”
  
Lion will continue to sell West End and Southwark beer.

2hhours agoWedWednesday 14 OctOctober 2020 at 1:34am

By Michael Doyle

Why is the¬†Bairnsdale case counted in Melbourne’s numbers?

 

Do we know why the Bairnsdale case has been linked with Melbourne? I thought Bairnsdale would be considered regional not metro..

-Confused

 

Professor Sutton was able to answer this question for you.

 

“The individual had their entire acquisition period, the two weeks before they became symptomatic, in Melbourne,” Professor Sutton said.

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