Coronavirus live: Victoria calls for quarantine rethink; Venezuela receives Sputnik V vaccine – The Guardian

8.14pm EST

Foley says there are 940 primary close contacts have been identified connected to the Holiday Inn outbreak, and resulting exposure sites. This is down from 996 that had been identified yesterday, and he said this would fluctuate day by day.

Of that, 129 are direct family, workplace and immediate close contacts, 127 have tested negative, with two more results due shortly.

Foley is also defending the state’s contact tracing system, stating close contacts were contacted by health authorities within 48 hours over 98% of the time.

He also defends the state’s pathology system, stating that for the recent positive cases the average turnaround time is now 17 hours.

If you include the time it took for those test results to be analysed and returned by our labs, the average time from arriving at a testing site, getting swabbed, being interviewed as a positive case was 17 hours. This is a rapid turnaround by both our public and private labs and I want to thank our pathology team for their continued effort in improving over the course of the past 12 months as they get better and better at their job.

The number of test results that Victoria can process and turn around in these 24-hour timeframes as a result of that has significantly increased. In fact, from October until now, our testing process capacity has more than tripled in our eight public laboratories.

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8.11pm EST

The head of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley, has said the Australian Open tennis tournament will continue as normal after Greek player Michail Pervolarakis tested positive for Covid-19 in South Africa, after departing Australia on 9 February.

Pervolarakis had arrived in South Africa and tested positive earlier this week, and has said he believes it was likely he picked up Covid-19 on his flight, or in his stopover in Doha, rather than being connected to the Holiday Inn hotel quarantine outbreak which has led to a five-day snap lockdown in Melbourne.

Tiley told Nine on Sunday Tennis Australia was following health advice, but given Pervolarakis tested negative on the day he flew out of Australia, there is a higher chance he was infected outside of Australia.

“There was a fair bit of travel time and he was travelling to two of the hotspots in the world and the chance to become infected is fairly high in those places. We will leave all the information for the authorities and then continue until we get any advice from them, if any at all.”

He said the current practice of isolating and testing any players or staff who have symptoms at the Australian Open would continue, but said if health officials requested more testing then that would be conducted.

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8.09pm EST

China accuses the US of ‘severely undermining’ WHO

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8.06pm EST

Victorian press conference begins

The Victorian health minister, Martin Foley, is holding a press conference providing the latest on the five-day lockdown in the Australian state.

As we have heard already, two new locally-acquired cases both linked to the Holiday Inn at Melbourne airport, bringing the total linked to that cluster to 16.

The two cases are a child and a woman from separate households who attended a private function in Coburg on 6 February. They’ve been in isolation since 12 February.

The exposure sites I listed earlier are the sites connected to these two people, and anyone who attended at the same time must get tested and isolate for 14 days:

  • Elite Swimming, Pascoe Vale, Monday 8 February, 5pm-6pm
  • Woolworths Broadmeadows Central, Broadmeadows, Tuesday 9 February, 12.15pm-12.30pm
  • Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses, Broadmeadows, Tuesday 9 February, 12.30pm-12.45pm
  • Oak Park Sports and Aquatic Centre, Pascoe Vale, Wednesday 10 February, 4pm-7.30pm

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7.43pm EST

Victorian press conference for 12pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time)

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7.41pm EST

New Zealand reports three new community Covid cases

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7.05pm EST

New South Wales records 28th consecutive day of no new local cases

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7.01pm EST

For those wondering how federal MPs from the Australian state of Victoria will manage the upcoming sitting week in parliament with the lockdown in place, worry no longer – most arrived in the Australian Capital Territory before the lockdown, under advice from the sergeant-at-arms, so they could attend the coming sitting.

Those who elected to stay at home can attend via virtual sittings from their offices.

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6.34pm EST

Boris Johnson urges G7 leader to unite to defeat ‘common foe’ Covid

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5.38pm EST

Victoria adds new Covid exposure sites; Greek tennis player tests positive hours after leaving Melbourne

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