Breaking News

‘Really good news’ as just one overseas case detected in Queensland following 14,011 tests

Yesterday at 4:33amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 4:33am

By Jessica Riga

We’re going to close the blog here today

Thanks for joining me today! The blog will be back tomorrow. 

Until then, take care. 

Share postYesterday at 4:21amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 4:21am

By Jessica Riga

Victorian Treasurer on ‘economic cohorts’

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has called on the federal government to reconsider its stance on a proposal to allow international students into the country, along with returning Australians.

On Friday, Acting Premier James Merlino confirmed the Commonwealth had knocked back a proposal for Victoria to include 120 places in its international arrivals cap for “economic cohorts”.

It’s understood the state was hoping to use some of those places to bring in international students, who are traditionally major drivers of the Victorian economy.

Mr Pallas said while border arrangements and management of the university sector were both the responsibilities of the federal government, he understood people would expect the states “to step up to the plate and make up the shortcomings of the federal government”.

“But quite frankly, there’s only so much we can do in this regard,” he said.

“What we would hope to do, and one of the reasons we asked for those economic cohorts, was to be able to bring in a modest number of international students, so that we could demonstrate into those home countries that we were able to responsibly and safely educate citizens from those communities.

“The fact that the Commonwealth won’t allow it, makes it much more difficult for us to get that message out.”

Mr Pallas said as more Australians were vaccinated, he hoped the country would be seen as a destination for people who have been vaccinated themselves.

He said it was “vitally important” that the university sector get back on track.

More than 30,000 Australians stuck overseas are currently registered with DFAT as wanting to return home. Victoria will resume its hotel quarantine scheme on April 8, with the cap to be lifted again the following week.

Reporting by Yara Murray-Atfield

Share postYesterday at 4:14amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 4:14am

By Jessica Riga

Check In Queensland COVID app to be mandatory from May

I am an old bloke (77) and have been vaccinated, so going out is safer. But I am puzzled about the QR code ID system. My phone reads QR codes, no worries there. But do I have to download an App, or just turn on those things that allows my info to be shared. I would like to be able to safely end my long, self imposed isolation.

-Puzzled old bloke.

Hi there! 

No, right now it isn’t mandatory to download the Check In Qld app, but it will become mandatory in May

For now, you can continue to scan the QR codes and fill in the details they require. At the end of each form there should be a button that says something like ‘submit’ or ‘check in’. Once you’ve tapped that, you’re good to go, you don’t need to turn on any phone settings that shares you data. 

But there’s nothing stopping you from downloading the Check In Qld app now and using it right away. It’ll remember your details, so it’ll save you time signing into different venues.

Share postYesterday at 4:01amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 4:01am

By Jessica Riga

Hunt had ‘very constructive conversation’ with Hazzard about transparency of vaccine rollout

Health Minister Greg Hunt said he had a ‘positive’ conversation with NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard after Queensland and NSW urged the Federal Government to provide more transparency around Australia’s vaccination rollout.

“It was only a very constructive conversation today with nothing other than a mutual focus on delivering the vaccine. Just completely, 100% positive.

“In terms of the vaccination rates, we publish those vaccination rates, that is what I am presenting today. But if there are any other proposals, we are always happy to work with them, and that is the approach. Every day we are adapting and adopting, and I think that is a very important thing.”

Earlier today, Victoria’s Treasurer Tim Pallas took a jab at the federal government over delays in the vaccine rollout, which is more than 3 million doses behind schedule.

He said Victoria’s rollout was “not only on track, but in front of the target the Commonwealth set for us”.

“We’ve made it clear to the Commonwealth that we think there needs to be greater transparency in terms of their rollout, the Commonwealth have not been declaring exactly how many vaccinations they’ve been providing,” he said.

He said he had told his federal counterpart Josh Frydenberg “for some time now” that building a distribution program from scratch was “a retrograde step” that would “only delay the rollout”.

“Certainly our view is we would be more than happy to assist the Commonwealth, if the Commonwealth were prepared to ask for assistance and provide the same sort of financial return that they’re providing doctors for the delivery of vaccination shots,” he said.

“We’ve made it clear, the states have made it clear, that we’ve got greater capacity, but the Commonwealth have got to admit they’ve got a problem before we get started on this.”

Additional reporting by Yara Murray-Atfield

Share postYesterday at 3:52amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 3:52am

By Jessica Riga

‘This is the right approach’

Health Minister Greg Hunt has touched on the blood clotting case from yesterday.

“The advice has been clear. I’ll read it. ATAGI has not changed their advice.”

“ATAGI and TDA are investigating this particular case with international experts and regulators to provide advice on the optimal use of the vaccine.”

“They have made sure that if anybody is susceptible, that they ought to consult their general practitioner.”

“I think the course of events reaffirms that this is the right approach, it was the right approach, and that a full and thorough approach to safety and medical advice is the pathway forward.”

Share postYesterday at 3:41amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 3:41am

By Jessica Riga

Australia’s current vaccination tally is at 841,885, says Hunt

“As we see, supply determines the rollout and as the CSL supply has come on board, we have been able to rapidly accelerate the rollout,” Mr Hunt said.

“On Monday of this week, there were 55,764 vaccinations completed across the nation for COVID. On Tuesday that increased to 72,826 vaccinations. Wednesday was 73,979.

“I’m delighted to be able to inform you that after Thursday’s figures now having come through, a national record of 79,283 cases and over the weekend vaccination, 79,283 vaccinations on Thursday, a national record. More than we expected at that moment. That is continued over the weekend so we are now at 841,885 vaccinations across Australia.”

Share postYesterday at 3:39amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 3:39am

By Jessica Riga

Australia surpasses 15.8 million COVID-19 tests

“I want to thank everybody who has come forward,” Mr Hunt said.

“We’ve seen huge testing numbers across the country, over 80,000 on some days, including over 30000 and Queensland. That has attracted people. It has helped find cases. It is an immensely important part of the process and borders, testing, tracing and distancing.”

Share postYesterday at 3:36amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 3:36am

By Jessica Riga

No new COVID-19 cases recorded in Australia, says Hunt

Health Minister Greg Hunt is now providing a COVID-19 update. 

“That is two out of the last three days with no new cases and that is 54 days for the year when the new cases and 37% of days in 2021 with no new cases,” he said.

“We did face a potential mass outbreak, yet by working together and the actions of Australians, all the actions taken, while we aren’t completely out of the woods yet, I think the results from New South Wales and Queensland are very, very heartening.”

Share postYesterday at 3:22amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 3:22am

By Jessica Riga

Key Event

South Australian COVID-19 patient in ‘critical condition’

A man in his 40s with COVID-19 is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

SA Health moved the man from a dedicated quarantine hotel for positive cases in Adelaide yesterday.

He has the South African strain of the virus and acquired it overseas.

SA has recorded one more case – a child who recently returned from overseas – but it’s considered an old infection.

There are 12 active cases in SA.

Share postYesterday at 3:09amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 3:09am

By Jessica Riga

Melbourne blood-clotting case ‘likely’ linked to AstraZeneca vaccine, Deputy CMO says

Hi, any update from the meeting the TGA had yesterday about the vaccine reaction case in Victoria?

-Update from TGA meeting yesterday?

Hello, yes there was an update, which you can read about here.

Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer said yesterday it is “likely” there is a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a Melbourne man being hospitalised with blood clots.

However, Professor Michael Kidd told media on Saturday there was currently no definitive evidence to prove the link.

“Given how consist of the clinical features are in this case, with some similar cases which have been seen overseas, it is likely that this case, which is reported, is related to the vaccine,” he said.

He said investigations were ongoing.

“I acknowledge that these reports lead to uncertainty and anxiety and we will continue to provide more information to you as soon as we have it available,” Professor Kidd  said.

While investigations continue, both the TGA and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have said no change to Australia’s vaccine rollout was needed.

Share postYesterday at 2:48amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 2:48am

By Jessica Riga

Happy Easter, Jess and fellow bloggers. Just a Q on the NSW testing numbers – know it’s Easter, but


Hi Clare, NSW recorded 6,429 COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours.

There was also 1,299 COVID-19 vaccines administered.

Share postYesterday at 2:35amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 2:35am

By Jessica Riga

Lots of shoutouts in the comments

Dear ABC Blog team – a very big thank you to all of you. I only discovered a couple of weeks ago that I was eligible for a COVID vaccine. All because of your blog! I had no idea that being an adult survivor of childhood cancer was counted as an underlying medical condition for phase 1B until you published the full list. I’m pleased to say I had my first vaccine on Thursday and I’ve never been so happy to get an injection. Thanks to all the scientists, nurses, doctors and frontline staff who made that happen so quickly. Hope you all get a break this long weekend and enjoy some extra chocolate eggs for all your hard work.

-Happy Camper

This is so great to hear! Thank you for sharing this with us. 

Happy Easter to all bloggers, For your comments fact or funny, You’ve helped us all thru Covid, And you’re always on the money. You give us so much info, Often make dark days seem sunny, So i wish u Happy Easter, And hope for bounty from the Bunny! Thanks for everything!

-Bloggers are appreciated by Angie who should leave poems to experts….

 Thank you for the sweet poem, Angie! 

Happy Easter Jess. A big shout out to all the frontline health care and emergency services workers working during the Easter holidays to keep people safe. Also thank you to everyone who is in self-quarantine for keeping the rest of the community safe. Thank you Jess for writing the blog on Easter to keep us informed. I would like to know what have you been doing to celebrate the Easter holidays. Hope you will enjoy a lot of Easter eggs.


Thank you Joseph! Agreed, thank you to everyone doing their part over Easter, whether you’re working on isolating. And I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with family and have a stash of chocolate eggs at my desk, so I’m well placed. 

Share postYesterday at 2:21amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 2:21am

By Jessica Riga

Health Minister Greg Hunt will provide a COVID-19 update at 1:30pm

You’ll be able to follow along by watching the live stream at the top of the blog. 

Share postYesterday at 1:52amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 1:52am

By Jessica Riga

US stops AstraZeneca vaccine production at Baltimore plant

US President Joe Biden’s administration has stopped a Baltimore manufacturing plant that ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine from making another vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, the New York Times has reported. 

The administration has put Johnson & Johnson in charge of the troubled manufacturing plant.

The step will render the Emergent BioSolutions facility solely devoted to making the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, and is meant to avoid future mix-ups, according to the report, which cites two senior federal health officials.

Johnson & Johnson said it was assuming full responsibility, confirming the changes.

(Reporting via Reuters)

Share postYesterday at 1:38amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 1:38am

By Jessica Riga

I’ve been in Queensland. Do I need to quarantine when returning to NSW?

is it compulsory to quarintine comming back to nsw from brisbane

-maureen holroyd

Hi Maureen,

Yes, but for how long depends on where you’ve been in Queensland. Here’s what the NSW Health website says:

Testing and self-isolation requirements:

Category A place of high concern (close contact venues)

Close contact venues have been confirmed in the Brisbane and Gladstone areas.

If you have been to a Category A place of high concern (close contact venues) at the date and time listed in the COVID-19 concerns notice you must:

  • comply with the public health requirements of Queensland Health
  • follow NSW Health’s Interstate Traveller Guidelines if you have been in a place of high concern.

After arriving in NSW, or if you are already in NSW and have been to a close contact venue, at the time and date listed in the concerns notice you must:

  • immediately travel to your place of residence or another suitable place
  • self-isolate for 14 days.

Category B place of high concern

If you have been to a Category B place of high concern (casual contact venues) at the date and time listed in the COVID-19 concerns notice, follow NSW Health’s Interstate Traveller Guidelines.

After arriving in NSW, or if you are already in NSW and have been to a casual contact venue, you must:

  • immediately travel to your place of residence or another suitable place
  • self-isolate until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result.

Share postYesterday at 1:19amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 1:19am

By Jessica Riga

Woman issued fine for refusing to wear a mask at Darwin International Airport

A 45-year-old woman from Victoria has become the first person in the Northern Territory to receive an immediate fine for refusing to wear a face mask at the Darwin International Airport.

In January, the NT’s Chief Health Officer tightened the rules for people entering the Territory and made it mandatory for face masks to be worn at all major NT airports and while on board an aircraft.

(AAP: Mal Fairclough)

In a statement, Incident Controller Acting Commander James A. O’Brien said the woman refused multiple directions from police to put on a face mask and has been issued a $5,056 on-the-spot fine. 

He said the woman also refused to provide proof of a medical exemption or “any other reason to support her claim that she is not able to wear a mask”.

“It is a shame to see that some people disregard this direction even after multiple requests to abide by it,” he said.

“Putting other lives at risk is not acceptable.”

Read more here.

Share postYesterday at 1:06amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 1:06am

By Jessica Riga

Key Event

NSW records no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19

One new case was recorded in hotel quarantine.

There were 6,249 tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

Testing clinics continue to remain open over Easter.


Share postYesterday at 1:04amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 1:04am

By Jessica Riga

Brazil hopes veterinary facilities can help increase COVID-19 vaccine output

Brazil hopes to use veterinary facilities to increase COVID-19 vaccine output, as the country accounts for the world’s worst daily death tolls and its vaccination efforts lag.

Brazil already makes or finishes coronavirus vaccines at its two main public health institutes, although those efforts have not been enough to supply Latin America’s largest nation.

Marcelo Queiroga, Brazil’s fourth health minister since the pandemic began, said he hoped to include veterinary facilities that make vaccines for pets.

“This is not just to supply the internal market and increase our capacity but also for Brazil, as a leader in Latin America, can offer its vaccines to other countries,” Mr Queiroga said.

Mr Queiroga did not get into specifics, such as the capacity of veterinary facilities and whether any initiative would require pharma companies to waive intellectual property rights.

(Reporting via Reuters)

Share postYesterday at 12:41amSunSunday 4 AprApril 2021 at 12:41am

By Jessica Riga

Yes, you still have to wear a mask (in certain places) in Queensland

Now that Brisbane is not considered a hotspot, is it still compulsory to wear a mask in certain areas.

-Simon Knechtli

Absolutely, Simon! 

Everyone in Queensland will still need to carry a mask at all times until at least April 15, but people only need to wear one in certain settings indoors, or where they can’t maintain 1.5 metres social distance.

Masks need to be worn:

  • in shopping centres

  • indoor workplaces

  • churches

  • libraries

  • on public transport

Employees don’t need to wear a mask at work if they can socially distance from others.

Travellers need to wear one at the airport and on the plane.

Queenslanders don’t need to wear masks in their own homes or the car (unless sharing a ride).

Masks can be taken off doing strenuous exercise, or when sitting down to eat or drink.

While there’s no mandate to wear a mask outdoors, it is “strongly recommended” that people do so if they can’t keep 1.5 metres away from other people.

Share post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *