Canberra has notched up another 16 coronavirus infections as the ACT boosts mental health funding to help get residents through lockdown, reports Georgie Moore from AAP.
Of Tuesday’s cases, nine were linked to known sources, and at least 11 were in the community for part of their infectious period.
ACT chief minister Andrew Barr has announced an additional $14m to boost immediate and longer-term mental health services.
This includes boosted support for people with eating disorders, alcohol and drug services, and Indigenous and social housing residents.
It is one of the most challenging times our community has faced.
The territory’s lockdown is scheduled to run until 15 October.
The protesters have made their way across most of the Melbourne CBD now, heading towards Flinder’s St Station.
Back up to Queensland for a second:
Nick Coatsworth ‘cautiously optimistic’ about future
The former deputy chief medical officer, Nick Coatsworth, has told the Covid-19 committee that his message on Australia’s response to Covid-19 is one of “cautious optimism”.
Coatsworth, who is now executive director of medical services at Canberra hospital, said Australia is in a “very different” position in 2021. NSW, Victoria and the ACT are managing Covid outbreaks, Australia has “increasing but not yet optimal” vaccination rates” and other Covid treatments are improving.
Coatsworth cited treatments such as antibody drug sotrovimab, and improved learning around techniques like “proning” (lying patients on their front). Coatsworth noted that vaccination “won’t be mandatory for everyone” so it’s significant that treatments are improving for those who will acquire Covid-19. The length of stay of patients in Covid wards is now shorter, he said.
Coatsworth explained sotrovimab binds to the virus, drawing them to the attention of the immune system to prevent them reproducing to prevent serious illness.
My message is cautious optimism: it’s time to inject a little more optimism [into debate]. Covid was a disease that was terribly scary in 2020, and it remains scary, but moving forward we can develop a lot of confidence, that provided health systems can provide access to care for Covid and non-Covid pathologies [we will be OK].
McManus was asked while speaking to the ABC if she or any other union heads were concerned about their safety at the moment.
Look, we would always take the precautions we need to. I will say this. Union leaders and the trade union movement in Australia will not be intimidated around this issue and certainly not by these people. We will not.
We will stand by our principles which is about people’s safety and their health.
We will keep pushing that and we will not do what these people want and that is basically adopt their crazy, dangerous ideas.
There is nothing that is going to stop us doing our jobs.
But also remember that this industry is already on 25% reductions. There is no doubt there are a lot of working people that are hurting because of the pandemic absolutely.
Really what is happening is that instead of all people uniting to support people and to get us through the other side and part of that is making sure we are not spreading the virus and part of that is getting vaccination numbers, what they are doing is jumping on it to cause division and in the end that is going to lead to a situation that will be in lockdown longer.
For sure, there are a lot of people under economic stress at the moment, people can either take a role which is about uniting people and getting us through to the other side, or they can go about sowing lies and hate and division and unfortunately that is what some of these extremists are doing.
National secretary of the Australian council of trade unions, Sally McManus is speaking to ABC about these, apparently, tradie-led protests in Melbourne.
She maintains far-right groups make up the main force of the demonstration:
This process has been called for, led and promoted by far right groups and anti-vax groups.
What we are seeing happening is a march being led around the city and obviously without masks, obviously congregating like they did yesterday in big numbers, and we hope that that does not turn violent.
This is an example of these groups hijacking concerns that some people have in the community are spreading lies, misinformation and lies about the vaccine all to further their own ends. In the end these lies are really, really dangerous and the only way to minimise illness in this pandemic is through the vaccine.
When people start believing these lies they are told it is a threat to them and their family and the whole community.