Weekly Wrap Up
23 July 2021
- The latest Newspoll data shows Labor taking the lead on a two-party preferred basis 53-47.
- The International Olympic Committee has chosen Brisbane to host the 2032 Olympics in a members vote 72 to 5.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined world leaders at a special APEC meeting to discuss the health and economic recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- Former NSW Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald have been found guilty of conspiracy to wilfully commit misconduct in public office regarding coal licencing in 2008.
- New Zealand has suspended all Quarantine Free Travel with Australia for at least the next 8 weeks from 11.59pm tonight.
New South Wales continues to see an increase in infection rates reporting 136 new locally acquired cases today with 53 infectious in the community. Premier Gladys Berejiklian will be urging National Cabinet later today to refocus the vaccination strategy to provide more Pfizer doses for Sydney to reduce transmission rates as she declared the situation a “national emergency”. Premier Berejiklian has all but confirmed lockdown is unlikely to be lifted on 30 July and instead will work with health advisers to create a roadmap for what the coming months may look like as the situation progresses. Lockdown restrictions have been further tightened for greater Sydney with a focus on residents in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas.
In Victoria, the state has recorded an additional 14 local cases linked to the current outbreak, however ten of those cases were said to be isolating during their infectious period. However, the list of exposure sites is increasing with the list getting close to 400 sites. Meanwhile, Victorians can, from today, apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment via Services Australia.
Over in South Australia, Premier Steven Marshall announced just one new case as being identified today, however, new locations continue to be added to the ongoing list of exposure sites throughout the state. Premier Marshall has indicated that the lockdown is unlikely to go beyond the initial seven days, saying getting out of lockdown early next week “looked promising”.
Vaccinations to ramp up
The COVID National Security Committee met yesterday to discuss the ongoing impacts of the pandemic across the nation. Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the acceleration of the pharmacy vaccination program will see 470 pharmacies providing the AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of the month. The PM also confirmed 1,262 suitable pharmacies had been identified to take part in the program in regional, remote and rural areas while a further 2,668 have been identified in metropolitan areas. All community pharmacies will be eligible to register for the program from 26 July, and pharmacists will be covered by the same indemnity protection provided to medical practitioners. The PM provided an update on the vaccination rollout with over 184,000 vaccines administered yesterday, while also taking responsibility for the delays in rolling out the vaccination program to date.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the administration of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) will now consider the approval before advising on which groups of children in this age group should be prioritised in the vaccine roll out.
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