Daily News Roundup

June 10, 2021

THURSDAY, JUNE  10

A Covid-positive Melbourne woman who took a road trip through NSW and Queensland only got tested because her husband needed negative results for work purposes, despite having symptoms for the previous five days.

Travelling with her partner from one of Melbourne’s outer suburbs, the woman, 44, left Victoria on June 1, four days after Victoria’s lockdown started.

It’s understood the woman broke lockdown to visit her family in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.

It was there she tested positive on June 8 after joining relatives, but had been experiencing symptoms since as early as June 3.

The woman’s husband has also tested positive.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Thursday the husband had originally tested negative but serology results in the past 24 hours showed that the couple are both towards the end of their illness.

“Which is very good news for Queensland, in that means the risk of transmission to anyone else is less,” she said.

“It’s still there, and I still need everyone to come forward who develops any symptoms at all who lives in the Sunshine Coast, or Goondiwindi or Toowoomba.”

In an extraordinary twist this morning, the Courier Mail reports the case was only detected when the couple came forward for testing because the husband needed negative results for work purposes.

The Melbourne woman is being managed by Sunshine Coast University Hospital staff and her partner is also in hospital being monitored in case he develops symptoms with concerns he may catch the virus after spending so much time inside the car.

As three states now scramble to track the pair’s movements, questions are rightly being asked about how they managed to leave Victoria and cross state lines when Melbourne had been declared a hotspot.

Melburnians in lockdown were banned from travelling 5km from home and Victorians have been banned from entering NSW unless they live in border communities.

Queensland declared all of Victoria a hotspot on May 28, meaning anybody who had been in Victoria within 14 days of attempting to enter Queensland faced mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine.

The Queensland Health website outlines the only reason for entry into Queensland from a hotspot: “Essential purposes”. But authorities said nothing about an exemption when addressing the media on Wednesday afternoon.

“I don’t know the details of why they left or what the reason was,” Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said.

“Of course we will be looking into how all this happened.”

The couple took a route through regional NSW, stopping at Gillenbah, Forbes, Dubbo and Moree before crossing the border into Queensland at Goondiwindi – a town on the Macintyre River, 350km southwest of Brisbane.

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A woman has been shot dead after opening the front door of her Newcastle home on Wednesday night.

NSW Police said they were called to the home in Queen Street, Stockton just after 8pm following reports of a shooting.

Police said the woman answered her front door before she was shot.

The woman died at the scene, and despite not yet being formally identified, she is believed to be 61 years old.

Police said a crime scene had been established and specialist forensic police were probing the scene.

Detectives have launched Strike Force Backhouse to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

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The Biden administration plans to donate 500 million Pfizer coronavirus vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries over the next two years, three sources familiar with the matter say.

The US is likely to distribute 200 million shots this year and another 300 million in the first half of next year, the sources told Reuters.

The vaccine doses will go to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union.

The donations will go through the COVAX vaccine program that distributes COVID-19 shots to low- and middle-income countries and is backed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

President Joe Biden will announce the deal on Thursday at the Group of Seven advanced economies (G7) meeting in Britain.

The deal was negotiated over the past four weeks by White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients and the coronavirus task force team, one of the sources said.

The White House and Pfizer declined to comment.

The US has given at least one Pfizer vaccination shot to around 64 per cent of its adult population.(AP: Jeff J Mitchell)

Biden and Johnson to discuss reopening travel

Mr Biden arrived in England on Wednesday for his first overseas trip as President.

He and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are expected to agree to work to open up travel between the two countries “as soon as possible,” according to a statement by the British government on Wednesday.