THURSDAY, AUGUST 26
A regional COVID-19 quarantine facility will be built west of Brisbane, despite being repeatedly rejected by the federal government.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today that Cabinet had approved the project, to be built on vacant land at Wellcamp airport, near Toowoomba.
The announcement came as the state recorded two new cases of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine.
Construction is underway, with 500 beds available by the end of the year and a total capacity of 1,000 by March.
“Our hotels were not built for the Delta strain of this virus,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The best way to keep you safe, and keep Delta out of Queensland, is to build a regional quarantine facility.
“This is going to be a great boost for our defence against the Delta virus in this country, and in fact I believe we need regional facilities, right across the country.”
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said travellers would be transported by bus to the site from Brisbane airport, if the Commonwealth Government decided not to allow flights to land at Wellcamp airport.
“We currently bus arriving travellers from Brisbane to hotel quarantine accommodation on the Gold and Sunshine Coast, and so that would remain an option to get people here safely,” he said.
The design is being modelled on the Howard Springs quarantine facility in the Northern Territory.
“It will be purpose-built based on the learnings from that facility,” he said.
“Therefore, the infection control can keep our staff, the other people in the facility as well as the local community safe.
“In fact, much, much safer than non-purpose built hotel quarantine.”
*Victoria has recorded 80 new local cases of COVID-19 as hospitals begin to feel the strain of having hundreds of staff taken out of the health system.
Of the new cases, 67 are linked to known outbreaks, and 39 have been in isolation for their entire infectious period.
The new cases were identified from 56,248 test results received yesterday, and there were 33,932 doses of vaccine administered at state-run sites.
The Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association has warned that hospitals are under immense pressure from the furloughing of staff due to the outbreak.
It was announced yesterday that Victoria will fly in 350 medical staff from overseas to ease the pressure on its weary health system.
Victorian Australian Medical Association (AMA) vice-president, Sarah Whitelaw, said hundreds of staff had been taken out of the system.
“I would estimate we’ve got close to 1,000 healthcare workers on furlough, which does put an enormous strain on the system,” she told ABC News Breakfast.
“Absolutely, we want people to come if you need emergency treatment, if you’re sick, please do not stay away. But there is no doubt that healthcare workers are stretched, they’re exhausted.”
The AMA wants international medical graduates who are already in the country to have their rights to work in the hospital system fast tracked.
“What we need to be sure of is that there are no barriers to credentialing those international medical graduates who are already in Australia. We need to make sure that any delays to them sitting exams with the AMC [Australian Medical Council] or processing their applications through registration are removed.”
*NSW’s records 1029 new cases
All children aged 12 to 15 will be vaccinated against coronavirus, as the rollout is expanded in hope it will lead to freedom from serious illness – and lockdowns.
Amid an ongoing debate over the level of vaccination needed to open up Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said cabinet’s national security committee would consider how to widen the program on Thursday.
“Twelve to 15-year-olds in Australia will be vaccinated,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
The news came as NSW reported a record 1029 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, and three deaths, as the government announced outdoor gatherings of up to five fully vaccinated people are permitted from September 13.
The Afghan baby girl born on a C-17 military aircraft during an evacuation flight from Afghanistan will forever carry that experience with her.
That’s because her parents have named her after the plane’s call sign — Reach.
The head of US European Command on Wednesday said that officials had spoken to the mother and father of the child, who is the only one actually born on an evacuation flight.
General Tod Wolters said the parents decided to name her Reach because the transport aircraft’s call sign was Reach 828.
She was born Saturday, and members of the 86th Medical Group helped in her birth as the plane flew from Kabul to Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
European Command said the mother went into labour during the flight and began experiencing complications due to low blood pressure.
The pilot descended in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilise the mother.
Military medical personnel delivered the baby in the plane’s cargo bay.
General Wolters said the baby and family were all in good condition.
Two other babies, whose parents were evacuated from Afghanistan, have been born over the past week at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the US military hospital in Germany.
General Wolters said 55 evacuation flights from Afghanistan had flown into Ramstein Air Base in Germany and three into the US Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy.
American actor Michael Nader, who is best known for starring on the original Dynasty, has died aged 76.
His wife, Jodi Lister, confirmed the news on social media this morning, saying he died in his California home from untreatable cancer on August 23, just 10 days after being diagnosed.
“His death and diagnosis was sudden and unexpected and I have never experienced such agony as watching my soulmate die before my eyes,” Lister wrote via Nader’s official Facebook page.
Lister, who married Nader in 2014, added in a press statement: “We had 18 wonderful years together with the many dogs we fostered and adopted. Recently, Michael was so thrilled to reconnect with his friends from the cast of Dynasty during Emma Samms virtual event to help raise funds for Long-Covid research. He was a beautiful and fascinating man with many talents and skills. I will miss him forever.”
Nader was best known for his role as Dex Dexter on the ABC prime time soap opera Dynasty from 1983 to 1989, his character becoming the third husband of Joan Collins’ character, Alexis Carrington Colby.
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