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Coronavirus: What we know today, June 22

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Follow this post for rolling updates on the impact of the coronavirus in South Australia, the nation and the world.

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Refresh this page for updates – scroll down for links to official health information.

KEY POINTS

RAH seeks COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteers

Researchers from PARC Clinical Research at the Royal Adelaide Hospital are seeking volunteers to screen for a potential COVID-19 vaccine trial.

Royal Adelaide Hospital Clinical immunologist, Dr Pravin Hissaria, said people over the age of 18 are encouraged to apply for a possible upcoming trial.

“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the world and that is unlikely to change until we can find a permanent solution,” Dr Hissaria said.

“A number of vaccines are showing promising results in animal models so we are excited at the prospect of beginning human trials in Adelaide, and include others in this exciting journey.”

Researchers are seeking around 100 healthy Adelaide-based adults who would be interested in joining the first phase of the vaccine trial that potentially will go ahead later this year.

Potential participants will need to undergo a 45 minute screening session to assess their suitability which would include a review of their medical history and a blood test.

PARC Clinical Research’s Professor Guy Ludbrook, said the early screening process will commence shortly in order to allow the trial to begin straight away, once confirmed.

“We want South Australia to lead the way on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, so we would encourage anyone looking to play a part, to put their hand up and get involved,” Professor Ludbrook said.

“By commencing the initial screening process now, we will be able to get started on the trial without any delay as soon it has been finalised,

“Your involvement may result in success of medical research to find a vaccine for this global pandemic.”

The potential trial would run for a period of 6 to 9 months. Details for the trial are still being worked through, and further information is expected to be available in coming weeks.

For more information about participating in the screening, call PARC Clinical Research at the Royal Adelaide Hospital on 08 7074 2996.

No new cases in South Australia

There were no new infections in South Australia on Monday, according to SA Health.

More than 138,000 tests have been undertaken in South Australia, with 440 cases reported in total, and none currently active.

More Victorian cases as calls mount for lockdown

Victoria has recorded 16 new coronavirus cases overnight, as top medical officials call for a lockdown of six areas identified as coronavirus hotspots.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos confirmed there were 1847 cases in the state after five were removed due to duplication, making it a net increase of 11 cases on Monday.

The state’s COVID-19 case numbers are now the highest they’ve been in more than two months after six days of double-digit growth.

“Of the 16 new cases, six are linked to known outbreaks, four are detected in hotel quarantine, five have been detected through routine testing, and one is under investigation,” Mikakos said.

“We currently have nine patients in hospital, including two in intensive care.”

The new cases are made up of six linked to outbreaks, five cases identified through routine testing, four cases detected in returned travellers in hotel quarantine and one case under investigation.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee on Sunday urged residents who live in six coronavirus hotspots not to leave their suburbs.

The panel of chief health officers strongly discouraged travelling to and from Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Hume and Moreland until community transmission is curbed.

It said Victoria had accounted for 83 per cent of new coronavirus cases recorded in Australia in the past week.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said local officials were “very hopeful” that Victoria would get on top of the current spike in coronavirus infections and it was in the national interest for it to reduce the number of new cases.

“The entire country is on Victoria’s side,” he said.

But Marshall also cautioned that what had happened in Victoria was worrying and could impact on SA’s decision to reopen all its borders from July 20.

He said SA would take decisions based on what was best for public health.

“We are looking at the issue of borders very carefully and very closely at the moment,” the premier said.

“We won’t be opening our borders if it’s not safe to do so.”

Warnings against virus complacency

It’s dangerous for Australians to think the fight against the coronavirus is over, the Grattan Institute has warned.

The think tank has released a report showing the risk of new infections increases as shops, schools and workplaces reopen, particularly if people ignore social distancing rules.

The report says workplaces should be reopened slowly, with as many people working from home as possible to limit opportunities for the virus to spread.

The institute also backs mandatory quarantining for international arrivals, saying it must remain in place.

The think tank’s health program director Stephen Duckett says the transition to a new normal won’t have an end date until a vaccine or treatment is found.

“It’s dangerous for people to think this fight is over,” Duckett said.

“The nature of the virus hasn’t changed – our behaviour has.

“If Australians go back to a pre-COVID normal, the virus could spread quickly and wildly, like it has elsewhere.”

WHO reports 183,000 cases in a day

The World Health Organisation has reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the latest 24 hours.

The UN health agency on Sunday said Brazil led the way with 54,771 cases tallied and the US next at 36,617. Over 15,400 came in India.

Experts said rising case counts can reflect multiple factors including more widespread testing as well as broader infection.

Overall in the pandemic, WHO reported 8,708,008 cases – 183,020 in the last 24 hours – with 461,715 deaths worldwide, with a daily increase of 4743.

More than two-thirds of those new deaths were reported in the Americas.

In Spain, officials ended a national state of emergency after three months of lockdown, allowing its 47 million residents to freely travel around the country for the first time since March 14.

The country also dropped a 14-day quarantine for visitors from Britain and the 26 European countries that allow visa-free travel.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez urged people to take maximum precautions: “The virus can return and it can hit us again in a second wave, and we have to do whatever we can to avoid that at all cost.”

The US has the world’s highest number of reported infections, over 2.2 million, and the highest death toll, at about 120,000, according to Johns Hopkins.

Brazil’s Health Ministry said the total number of cases had risen by more than 50,000 in a day.

South Africa reported a one-day high of almost 5000 new cases on Saturday and 46 deaths.

– with AAP

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