Patient transport vehicle at Epping Gardens aged care facility (Image: AAP/Daniel Pockett)

Party like it’s November 2019

In the Chinese city of Wuhan, where COVID-19 first emerged, thousands have attended a music festival pool party. With no masks and no social distancing, photos from the HOHA Water Electrical Musical Festival have gone, er, viral. 

Wuhan hasn’t had a local case of the virus since May. Its lockdown was lifted on April 8 and life across China more or less returned to normal last month.

Virtual inspections in aged care homes

Aged care inspectors in Victoria are checking up on nursing homes via video chat.

During an enforcement blitz of COVID-19 safety measures, The New Daily reports that WorkSafe inspectors have been held up by needing permission from the homes and a government permit before they can visit in person.

So far 232 people have died from the virus in Victoria’s nursing homes. 

This morning Victoria recorded 216 new cases and 12 deaths in the past 24 hours, the third consecutive day new cases have dropped.

A jab for you, too

Australia has signed a deal for 25 million doses of a vaccine developed at Oxford University if trials prove successful. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine is in phase three of trials. If it is proven safe and effective, doses are likely to be manufactured in Broadmeadows, in Melbourne’s north.

The dose will be free for all Australians. Vulnerable populations — including those older than 60 and Australians with co-morbidities such as asthma, heart disease, transplant recipients and cancer patients — will be prioritised. 

A $24.7 million deal with US company Becton Dickinson has been arranged for 100 million needles and syringes. 

Sydney security infected

A Sydney security guard has become infected with the virus, probably catching it while guarding returned travellers at the Marriott Hotel, Circular Quay.

The security guard had also worked at Parramatta Local Court and Sydney Markets at Flemington, but has not been linked to other clusters. 

There were no obvious protocol breaches, and the case is being investigated. There are calls to either pair or replace guards with trained nurses. 

Most cases in Victoria’s second wave have been linked to a family of four who was reportedly allowed to leave their room at the Rydges hotel after an incident involving, according to the Herald Sun, “highly distressed children spreading human waste”.

The virus spread to an employee, two security guards and then 17 other people. The moment the virus jumped from traveller to staff is not known.

During the inquiry into the bungled program, it was revealed the Department of Health and Human Services knew about the guest-to-staff infections on May 30, although Premier Daniel Andrews said he only knew about the links on June 30. 

Sydney’s supercluster

Two of Sydney’s coronavirus clusters across two Thai Rock restaurants in Potts Point and Wetherill Park have been linked by genomic tracing. There are, combined, 53 cases. It’s not known how the virus spread from the two locations.  

This morning NSW recorded seven new COVID-19 cases.

Peter Fray

Inoculate yourself against the spin

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and protect yourself against news that goes viral.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today to get your first 12 weeks for $12 and get the journalism you need to navigate the spin.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW