Auslan Update – 15 February, 2021

National:

Australia will stop quarantine-free travel for New Zealanders, after three COVID-19 cases were recorded in Auckland.

  • The trans-Tasman bubble was set up so people could fly from New Zealand to Australia without needing to spend 14 days in a hotel.
  • Until today travellers from New Zealand had been allowed to enter Queensland, NSW and Victoria without quarantining.
  • Yesterday New Zealand announced that Auckland will be going into a 3-day lockdown after 3 community transmission cases of COVID-19 were found, all in the one family.
  • The no quarantine rules for New Zealand will be put on hold for the next three days before the situation is reassessed.

Australia’s first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in this week.

  • Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt could not say exactly which day this week they will be arriving.
  • When they arrive, vaccine vials will be examined by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to make sure they have not been damages in transit eg. loss of temperature.
  • The delivery is expected to contain 80,000 doses of the vaccine.
  • Australia has an agreement with Pfizer for it to provide a total of 3 million doses from the beginning of April to the end of June.

Victoria:

Victoria has recorded 1 new community transmission case COVID-19, and one new cases from a return traveller in quarantine.

  • The community transmission case is a confirmation of a case under investigation yesterday.
  • The woman from Coburg attended a family gathering on the 6th February with a worker from the Holiday Inn.
  • 25 144 tests results have been received from yesterday, with most people now getting their results in 24 hours.
  • There are now 21 active cases in Victoria.
  • New locations and times have been uploaded to the DHHS ‘Case Locations and Outbreaks’ page. Please see the link below to see if you visited any areas during the exposure time.
  • If you did, please isolate immediately and get tested as soon as possible. Isolate while waiting for your results.
  • Yesterday a flight arrived in Victoria from New Zealand with 152 people on board.
  • Due to the new cases found in New Zealand, the DHHS is now following up passengers from that flight to see if they are still in Victoria or have travelled interstate.
  • If they are still in Victoria, they are being asked to get tested straight away then isolate.
  • If they have travelled interstate, their information has been passed on to tracing groups in said states to follow up.

Tasmania:

Tasmanian alcohol support services are reporting extremely high levels of demand due to COVID-19.

  • In March last year, at the start of Tasmania’s first COVID-19 lockdown, Tasmanians spent $35.7 million on alcohol, an increase of $8.4 million from March 2019.
  • There are at least 500 Tasmanians currently waiting to access specialised treatment and support.
  • Some people have had to wait six weeks to access counselling services and up to three months for residential rehabilitation.

Anglicare has recently used government funding to set up a hotline that is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • More than a third of the calls they have received have been from people worried about a family member.
  • The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tasmania is asking for immediate State Government funds to go towards support for those struggling with alcohol, particularly for providing more counselling services.

International:

Guinea has declared a new Ebola outbreak, the first resurgence of the disease there since the world's worst outbreak in 2013-2016.

  • At least three people in the the country’s south-east have died and another four people are sick.
  • Patients started to show symptoms after attending a funeral.
  • The virus causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea and is spread through contact with body fluids.
  • Ebola has a much higher death rate than COVID-19.
  • Guinea health authorities said they have asked the World Health Organization for Ebola vaccines.

Sources:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-14/australia-stops-quarantine-free-travel-for-new-zealand-covid19/13154240

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-14/australia-to-get-first-shipment-pfizer-covid-vaccine-this-week/13153796

https://www.facebook.com/abcnews.au/videos/134042898575108

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-15/tas-rehab-services-overwhelmed-during-pandemic/13153924

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-15/guinea-declares-new-ebola-pandemic-after-three-deaths/13154432