Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (Image: Reuters/Max Rossi)

Victoria’s road out

Victoria could reportedly remain under stage four restrictions for another two weeks, according to a draft plan leaked to the Herald Sun. The state government says the plan — which outlines lifting the curfew, reopening schools and has new rules for how many people can socialise together — is out of date.

Premier Daniel Andrews will reveal his plan on Sunday.

Victoria recorded 113 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 deaths overnight. 

Police state

A pregnant woman in Ballarat has been arrested in front of her children for allegedly planning an anti-lockdown protest over Facebook.

Footage of Zoe Buhler’s arrest — hours after creating a Facebook event for “freedom day” protests — went viral yesterday. Victoria police are cracking down on freedom day protests planned for Saturday. Buhler’s is the fourth arrest in recent days.

Victoria’s response to the current outbreak has been criticised for its over-reliance on policing. According to The Guardian, police have been using their powers inappropriately, fining people for activities that were still allowed under the public health order.

Vaccine watch

An Icelandic study has found antibodies created by people infected with COVID-19 last at least four months, longer than previously expected. The findings could be good news for a potential vaccine, suggesting it may be able to confer longer-lasting immunity. 

On the vaccine front, news remains cautiously optimistic. In the United States, the Trump administration is urging states to be ready to roll out a vaccine by November 1, days before the election.

The US is also refusing to join global efforts to distribute a vaccine worldwide, something experts have said is short-sighted, and will undermine attempts to end the pandemic.

While development of a COVID-19 vaccine has moved at record speed, it hasn’t been quick enough for some scientists, who have decided to inoculate themselves, friends and family with their own DIY efforts. 

Virus hits celebrities

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has coronavirus. The wrestler-turned-actor announced in an Instagram video that he’s been diagnosed with COVID-19, as have his wife and two daughters.

The Rock joins a growing list of famous people who’ve gotten infected in the past few days. Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, has also tested positive. The Brazillian forward, who plays for French club/Qatari PR project Paris Saint-Germain reportedly caught the virus while on holiday in Ibiza, along with teammates Angel di Maria and Leandro Paredes.

A spike among professional footballers returning from holiday could hinder plans for Europe’s top leagues to restart this month. Last week, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba tested positive.

Meanwhile, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has also tested positive, after meeting the owner of a Sardinian nightclub at the centre of a cluster. 

Peter Fray

Help us keep up the fight

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

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