Once overrun with almost 8000 active cases, Victoria will now learn if it has officially eliminated Covid-19.
That is despite elimination having never been the state’s official strategy against the highly contagious and deadly disease.
AAP report that, Victoria which instead pursued a suppression plan throughout the pandemic, will nonetheless meet the official definition of elimination if no new cases are announced on Friday.
Health authorities say 28 days with no new cases means the virus has been eliminated from the community, given that period represents two 14-day incubation periods.
It would be a remarkable milestone for Victoria, considering there were 7880 active cases on August 11.
The last Covid-19 patient in a Victorian hospital was discharged on Monday, leaving the state without an active case.
Despite this, the Department of Health and Human Services revealed on Thursday afternoon that more virus fragments have been found as part of its wastewater surveillance testing program.
This time it was detected in a sample from a treatment plant in the Geelong suburb of Corio, with residents of the area and visitors from Saturday to Tuesday urged to come forward for testing.
Good morning, Elias Visontay here to take you through all the day’s news in Australia.
Victoria is on the cusp of officially eliminating Covid-19. While the state pursued a suppression strategy to contain its deadly second wave of coronavirus, Victoria will have eliminated the virus if it records no new cases today. The official definition of elimination is 28 days with no new cases, given that period represents two 14-day incubation periods.
- The New South Wales government is planning a review of logging operations in bushfire-hit coastal regions, as tensions mount between the environment regulator and Forestry Corporation.
- Almost a dozen Queensland police officers have been forced into Covid-19 isolation after they came into close contact with an infected man in hotel quarantine. Victoria, meanwhile, is expected to mark 28 days with no community transmission and the official “elimination” of the virus from the state today.
- A $200m Chinese-built fishery plant planned for a Papua New Guinean island could allow Chinese-backed commercial vessels to fish legally in the Torres Strait, and has raised concerns about unregulated fishing in the same waters, potentially threatening the Australian industry and local PNG fishers.
- A major Brett Whiteley painting set a new Australian art record on Thursday evening. Henri’s Armchair fetched $6.136m at auction, surpassing the 2010 record of $5.4m for Sidney Nolan’s First-class Marksman.
- The cooling influence of La Niña may not be enough to save the Great Barrier Reef from another mass coral bleaching, experts have warned. With the world 1C warmer, modelling shows there’s still a significant risk of heat stress this summer.