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Coronavirus: What we know today, July 2

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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

Vaccine to begin human trials in Adelaide

The first potential coronavirus vaccine developed in the southern hemisphere is set to begin human trials in Adelaide.

Australian company Vaxine will use a clinical trial unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital to test the COVAX-19 vaccine.

Forty volunteers aged between 18 and 65 will be given two doses three weeks apart and will then have blood tests to measure protective antibody and responses.

Vaxine research director Nikolai Petrovsky said COVAX-19 used a type of technology that mirrored previous work on vaccines for the SARS coronavirus.

He said that was believed to provide the most certain and reliable results.

Vaxine business manager Sarah Pringle said the company had been working for 18 years to develop a successful pandemic vaccine platform.

“Pandemic research is not something you can turn on and off like a tap,” she said.

“People should not think that short-term funds no matter how large can deliver instant pandemic solutions after a crisis hits; it will always be too little, too late.”

No new SA cases 

South Australia recorded no new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

SA Health said there were three active cases – all returning travellers who remain in quarantine in the CBD.

SA set to take more international arrivals

Interstate premiers are divided on accepting international flights diverted from Victoria, with SA’s Steven Marshall saying the rest of Australia will “take the strain”.

But NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says her state is not keen to take additional international flights redirected from virus-hit Melbourne and that they should instead go to other capital cities such as Adelaide or Perth.

Marshall says it’s perfectly reasonable for the Victorian government to suspend international arrivals as it deals with a worrying spike in coronavirus cases.

He says SA has already done an extraordinary job in handling the repatriation of about 800 Australians and Health Minister Stephen Wade says the state is ready to accept more.

“We’ve indicated we’re willing to take international arrivals,” Wade said on Wednesday.

“We have various processes in place to quarantine international arrivals and that will free up Victoria Health workers, police and other officials to focus on other aspects in the containment of the outbreak.

“Other states have indicated they have offered to help share the load. It’s up to the commonwealth to allocate those flights.”

300,000 Victorians in lockdown as cases rise again

Another 77 coronavirus cases have been recorded in Victoria, with 415 active cases in the state.

Of the new cases, 13 are linked to outbreaks, 37 detected through routine testing, none are in hotel quarantine and 27 are under investigation.

There are now 20 patients in hospital, including four in intensive care.

Stay-at-home orders are in place for 10 postcodes in Melbourne’s inner north and west from Thursday until at least July 29, after a 15th consecutive day of double-digit increase in cases in the state.

Residents  will only be able to leave their homes to shop for food and supplies, to receive or provide care, to exercise, and to study or work if they can’t do so from home.

Spotlight on hotel quarantine

Health Minister Greg Hunt has urged authorities to investigate allegations security guards slept with guests under quarantine at Melbourne hotels.

Claims of widespread rorting and misconduct have rocked the security firms responsible for enforcing Melbourne’s hotel quarantine regime.

Companies charged taxpayers for shifts never worked, leading to fewer security workers on duty and a higher risk of infections, The Herald Sun reports.

“If those claims are correct, then that is completely and utterly unacceptable,” Hunt said.

“We would encourage the Victorian authorities to throw the book either (at) individuals or if there’s any systemic inappropriate action, at those who are responsible for it.”

The Victorian government has launched a judicial inquiry into hotel quarantine after Melbourne’s infection spike was linked to guards sharing cigarette lighters.

AFL players in hotspots have to move

AFL players living in Melbourne’s coronavirus hotspots are urgently relocating to other suburbs so they are eligible to play games in Sydney.

With Victoria’s 10 AFL teams on the brink of moving to interstate quarantine hubs because of the state’s fresh COVID-19 threat, some players and staff have been told to find temporary accommodation by midnight Wednesday.

NSW health officials have warned residents from suburbs about to re-enter lockdowns could face up to six months in jail or a $11,000 fine if they enter the state.

The move will affect up to seven of Melbourne’s nine AFL clubs.

“As a precautionary measure we have taken the step of working with clubs to temporarily relocate the players, club football department staff, umpires and officials living in the Victorian government declared hot zones,” AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said.

“We will continue to be guided by the advice of the state governments and relevant medical officials.”

Players will be put in hotels at the AFL’s expense if they cannot find alternate accommodation.

NSW previously had an open-border arrangement, but with Victorian COVID-19 cases spiking health authorities have opted to toughen their stance.

US records 48,000 new cases in a day

Coronavirus cases in the United States have risen by more 48,000, the biggest daily increase since the pandemic started.

The number of US COVID-19 infections has surged during the past week, with daily figures setting new records several times, according to a Reuters tally.

Arizona, California, Florida and Texas have led the increases and were among 14 states that have reported a more than doubling of case numbers during the month of June, according to a Reuters analysis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday warned any nation that fails to use every mechanism available to combat the still raging novel coronavirus is in for a “long, hard” battle.

More than 10.6 million people have been infected globally and more than half a million have died since the first cases were identified in China in December.

While it accounts for four per cent of the world’s population, the United States is responsible for around 25 per cent of all reported COVID-19 cases and deaths.

OFFICIAL SOURCES OF ADVICE AND INFORMATION

Local updates and resources

State Government central information

SA Health

Mental health support line (8am to 8pm): 1800 632 753.

National advice and information

Australian Government Coronavirus information hotline: 1800 020 080

Government information via WhatsApp: click here

Travel

Australian Government travel advice: smartraveller.gov.au

Check your symptoms

Free, government-funded, health advice: healthdirect.gov.au

– Reporting by InDaily staff, AAP and Reuters

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