Truck driver

Victoria COVID cases increase by four; national cabinet to review truck driver protocols

Professor Sutton praised the Victorians for their “extraordinary achievement” in suppressing a Delta outbreak, particularly the more than 40,000 people who isolated themselves as primary or secondary close contacts. Compliance teams continue to visit Victorians in isolation and see high rates of people adhering to the rules.

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“Our household engagement teams visited 525 people yesterday; 501 of them were close contacts, and they continue to see very high compliance with these visits, ”he said on Tuesday.

“Over 90 percent of primary close contacts have now been eliminated in this outbreak. A big thank you to everyone doing their home quarantine, which is why we see every day that our new cases are primary close contacts who have had their entire infectious period outside the community.

“You couldn’t congratulate the Victorians more on what has been accomplished. To roll back a Kappa-Delta outbreak, another Delta outbreak, various other forays into the Delta, has been an extraordinary achievement. “

The state broke its daily record for the number of site registrations, with people using the Service Victoria app 6.1 million times on Saturday and 11 million times over the weekend.

“It is really becoming a part of our habits, as it should be,” said Professor Sutton.

“This played a very important role in our ability to track down key close contacts, people who have been to exhibition sites, and so that we can contact them in a very short period of time so that they can quarantine appropriately. “

Modeling behind the published four-phase strategy

Vaccinating young people is key to stopping the spread of the coronavirus in Australia, new modeling showing it would be the most effective strategy to slow epidemics.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday revealed the Doherty Institute modeling the national cabinet relied on to chart Australia’s new path out of the COVID-19 pandemic, which left several states stranded even 18 months after its beginning.

Professor Jodie McVernon of the Doherty Institute says modeling shows that immunizing young people who tend to transmit the virus more – rather than older Australians who come into contact with fewer people – is a better strategy for the country to adopt from now on.

“So this shows why, at this point, a strategic change to target transmission and prevent these people from being exposed in the first place can dramatically improve outcomes,” Professor McVernon said.

Its charts predict much lower rates of symptomatic infections, wards admissions, ICU admissions and death if Australia adopts an “all adults” vaccination strategy versus an “all adults” strategy. older first ”.

A Victoria Police checkpoint in Chiltern on the Hume Freeway in July.Credit:Jason robin

New protocols for truck drivers

Last week, the Prime Minister and state premiers sanctioned federal and state transport ministers to determine improvements to the licensing and testing requirements for cross-border truck drivers that vary for each state.

Ministers will consider a proposal by state transport associations to allow drivers to use rapid home antigen test kits and a nationwide QR code registration system that would allow truckers to scan in states across the country. place to apply for permits.

The review comes after new measures were announced Monday preventing NSW residents in the border bubble from entering Victoria other than for essential reasons such as caregiving and exercise.

Health Minister Martin Foley said under current border bubble rules people could theoretically have traveled from a town on the New South Wales border to Melbourne or Lorne. “I would have thought the Victorians would have been a little surprised [by that],” he said.

Mr Foley said the government could increase the level of testing in border areas to look for traces of COVID-19 that may have infiltrated NSW, and that testing stations could be set up along trucking routes .

Age reported last week that thousands of truck drivers are likely disobeying testing requirements for state freight workers.

The Victorian Transport Association is pushing for cheaper, but less accurate, rapid tests for workers and a QR registration system – in which drivers would scan QR codes near freeways – in a bid to increase compliance with the rules borders.

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The border bubble changes come after Victoria recorded two new locally acquired cases on Sunday, NSW recorded 207 new cases and Queensland health officials said the state’s lockdown would continue until at least Sunday.

From Wednesday, travelers in the bubble will only be able to cross the Murray River without a permit to access necessary goods and services, for reasons of care, work and education, vaccination and exercise.

Mr Foley said the changes applied to both New South Wales and Victorian-era residents.

“The epidemic in NSW continues to grow, and with projections and models suggesting that the position in NSW is likely to worsen before it improves, it is prudent for Victoria to take action to ensure the bubble border operates in the safest way possible, “he said.

“We really don’t make these changes lightly. “

Fines for those crossing the border into Victoria for unnecessary reasons can be up to $ 5,452.

With Nick Bonyhady, Ashleigh McMillan

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