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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Started by ozbob, February 29, 2020, 10:14:47 AM

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ozbob

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STB

I would not be surprised to see Australia to eventually go down the path of Italy, Spain and China.

On a personal note, I'm immunocompromised and the other day my specialist ordered me to stop attending places with crowds, including public transport.  So I'm basically homebound now, and if I go out it's Uber only.

ozbob

All the best STB.  I have to be careful too so we are in it together.

I hope that the spread is slow and not a rapid escalation.  It is the best hope to manage the COVID-19.  A slow burn but a more manageable burn.  I think by the end of this coming week we will see more protective actions.  I expect public transport to be initially scaled back and will be stopped when there is a significant community transmission.  We have to be realistic.  I have cancelled meetings already, one was to be at Queensland Parliament (Queensland Walks round table).  I have decided not to do any media interviews in person from this point as well.

If there is a slow dissemination there will be a gradual build up of ' herd ' immunity.  In time this will act to slow the rate of transmission, but we are long way off from that point.
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ozbob

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verbatim9

Couriermail.com.au---> Potential cashless ferries and buses to stem the spread of the Corona Virus.

QuoteBus and CityCat services could be reduced, with drivers isolated and no cash payments

verbatim9

Quote from: verbatim9 on March 15, 2020, 13:11:32 PM
Couriermail.com.au---> Potential cashless ferries and buses to stem the spread of the Corona Virus.

QuoteBus and CityCat services could be reduced, with drivers isolated and no cash payments

Good test for future cashless Public Transport in Qld.  :-t

verbatim9

Taking extra precaution while shopping in a Brisbane supermarket


ozbob

#87
https://twitter.com/9NewsQueensland/status/1239033824278908928

" ... Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a universal self-isolation period for all foreign arrivals in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak spreading.

Addressing the public this afternoon, the PM said all people arriving in Australia must self-isolate for 14 days.

"All people coming to Australia will be required, I stress, to self isolate for 14 days," said Mr Morrison. ... "

From midnight tonight. Includes returning Australians.

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#Metro

It is about time money handling was removed from PT operators. Sydney and other cities have cashless payments on PT.
I'm not a TMR. Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.

ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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ozbob

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techblitz

unfortunately had to report a 'dry coughing' TFB bus driver this afternoon from Willawong depot.
They were unable to cover their mouth while driving and the coughs were quite frequent.......although they did make an effort to not 'heavy cough'..
Hopefully nothing serious...

Gazza

Public transport should switch to rear door boarding only, no cash sales, close the front seats

Otto

Quote from: techblitz on March 15, 2020, 17:44:17 PM
unfortunately had to report a 'dry coughing' TFB bus driver this afternoon from Willawong depot.
They were unable to cover their mouth while driving and the coughs were quite frequent.......although they did make an effort to not 'heavy cough'..
Hopefully nothing serious...

Hope you don't catch my bus. I've always had a problem with coughing. It comes and goes.  :-r

2013, SNO's 13. Evaders 157
2014, SNO's 05. Evaders 075
2015, SNO's 05. Evaders 102
2016, SNO's 05. Evaders 217
2017, SNO's 03. Evaders 272
2018, SNO's 03. Evaders 487
2019, SNO's 04. Evaders 815
2020,
A waste of a year

ozbob

Brisbanetimes --> No handshakes, 1.5m distances: New social rules for Australians

QuoteAustralians should stop shaking hands and stay 1.5 metres away from each other at all times under tough new rules from the federal government to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The expanded "social-distancing" guidelines to handle the pandemic are in addition to a legally enforced ban on mass gatherings of 500 or more people from Monday and new 14-day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from overseas.

The Australian government has secured the borders from COVID-19, imposing an isolation period for all international arrivals.

The national cabinet of federal, state and territory leaders could introduce more measures in coming weeks for visitors of aged-care facilities, Anzac Day commemorations, remote communities and events in enclosed spaces, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday.

Rules outlined by Mr Morrison include avoiding physical contact "whether it might be a handshake or something a bit more intimate, unless [they are] close family and friends". He said they were commonsense measures but acknowledged it would be a disruption until everyone adjusted.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said there would be no more handshaking under these guidelines, including among officials, with more cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus being seen in Australia.

"That is a new thing we've moved to, something I will be practising, my cabinet members and others," Mr Kelly said.

"There will be other measures that may need to be introduced depending on how things work out in the coming weeks or months."

Schools would stay open, Mr Morrison said, explaining that keeping them open might sound counter-intuitive but shutting them would affect availability of critical workers such as doctors and nurses who might have to stay home and look after children.

Closing down schools might also put children "back in the broader community", which could also increase risks of them catching a virus, he said.

"That could make the situation worse, not better ... the states and territories are not moving in that direction."

Universities, workplaces and public transport are also expected to operate as usual, but the principle of social distancing will apply.

Scott Morrison has announced a 14-day isolation period for all international arrivals amid coronavirus concerns.

However, "static, non-essential gatherings" of more than 500 people should not go ahead, such as events held in stadiums or in theatres. Outdoor gatherings reduce the risk of contracting the disease while inside events are more of a concern.

"It would occur in events such as those where people are together in close proximity for a sustained period of time," Mr Morrison said.

"The advice is those gatherings should not continue at that scale ... The states and territories will be moving to put in place the appropriate arrangements under state-based legislation to ensure that is supported."

The rules do not include train stations, shopping centres or markets, but the national cabinet is set to meet again on Tuesday night to consider more restrictions on enclosed areas.

One pressing concern for Australia's health officials is that countries where the virus is escalating, such as Italy and Spain, are in the northern hemisphere.

"What is different about Australia is that we are not yet in winter," Mr Kelly said.
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ozbob

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ozbob

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia

Data is based on media reports and verified with updates from state and federal health departments.

https://www.covid19data.com.au/



That is an exponential growth curve. 
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ozbob

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red dragin

Quote from: ozbob on March 16, 2020, 01:11:19 AM
That is an exponential growth curve.

Let's hope that the reduction in the angle of the slope, continues!

ozbob

^ be good.  It may just reflect late reporting sad to say ...   
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ozbob

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STB

Quote from: red dragin on March 16, 2020, 10:02:08 AM
Quote from: ozbob on March 16, 2020, 01:11:19 AM
That is an exponential growth curve.

Let's hope that the reduction in the angle of the slope, continues!

Very unlikely unfortunately.  The cat is out of the bag, there is very obviously community transmission happening, and we do know that you can spread it without symptoms.

In all honesty, it's only a matter of time before the country is locked down like overseas, it's going to be a rough year ahead.

techblitz

QuoteWe're launching a dedicated shopping hour in our stores to help support the needs of the elderly & people with disability in the community. From tomorrow until at least friday, we'll be opening exclusively for them to shop from 7-8am, where permitted
at absolutely minimal cost to woolies....oh how generous....
Nowhere near good enough for such a huge company.....they know exactly what they need to do but wont.....and that is FREE home delivery for all elderly who spend over 50 bux....C.O.D approved...or the very least to the ones who don't have the means to get to the stores between 7-8...

Preferably extend it to as many people as possible to help reduce in-store contact rates.....as we know just how crowded some of these busier supermarkets can get...

Staffing shouldnt be an issue....just give the security/crowd controller companies a ring who have just had to suspend the hours of thousands of workers......transition to 24hour deliveries to make up any shortfall in delivery trucks.....of which extra could probably be sourced from corporations that have or will suspend operations...

We are hearing it everyday....'everyone pull together' and 'big companies should lead by example' ....well there is an opportunity to properly prove it...

ozbob

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ozbob

Updated ...

Quote from: ozbob on March 16, 2020, 01:11:19 AM
Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia

Data is based on media reports and verified with updates from state and federal health departments.

https://www.covid19data.com.au/



That is an exponential growth curve.
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red dragin

Quote from: ozbob on March 16, 2020, 15:55:49 PM
Updated ...

Thanks. Looks like the data is being updated throughout the day, which caused that downward curve.

ozbob

RSL Queensland advises sub branches to cancel Anzac Day commemorations due to coronavirus risk

https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/rsl-queensland-advises-sub-branches-to-cancel-anzac-day-commemorations-due-to-coronavirus-risk/news-story/ca77482d3e1fb4110781192cdd0df52f

Traditional ANZAC Day commemorations will be cancelled in Queensland due to the risk coronavirus posed to veterans. Other options are being considered.
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Couriermail --> ECQ website crashes as thousands sign up for postal votes amid coronavirus crisis

QuoteQueensland's local government elections are still set to proceed on March 28, but the minister responsible warns this could change.

MILLIONS of Queenslanders are still expected to head to the polls for the March 28 local government elections, but the State Government has warned this could change.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe this afternoon said the latest advice from the Chief Health Officer was that the election did not need to be delayed.

But Mr Hinchliffe also warned circumstances may change in the future as they respond to the "best and most current health advice".

"We will always act on the latest expert advice and will continue to seek updates," he said.

"Based on current advice, local government elections will be held on Saturday March 28 and applications for postal votes will close at 7pm.

"That's not to say things may not change in the future."

The Electoral Commission of Queensland has already received tens of thousands of phone and internet inquiries this morning about the poll, as early voting opened today across the state.

Mr Hinchliffe urged voters to be patient with the ECQ, describing it as "extraordinary times".

"Conversations are being held about volunteer staffing at polling booths, how-to-vote cards, postal vote supplies and how to best address the needs of vulnerable people, including the elderly and people living with disabilities," he said.

"Early voting stations have opened at about 150 sites across Queensland and more information is available on the ECQ website."

People trying to access the page that allows for online registration ahead of the 7pm cut-off have been met with an error page today, although the page was back up this afternoon.

An ECQ spokesman urged people to continue trying as the website tried to cope with the extraordinary demand.

But Queensland Electoral Commissioner Pat Vidgen said tonight's deadline could not be extended due to legislative stipulations.

He said more than 96,000 postal vote applications had been made over the weekend.

And those that had to vote in person are being encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil to guard against germs.

"The ECQ will be implementing a range of new measures for people attending early voting centres and polling booths to vote in-person," Mr Vidgen said.

"This includes sourcing additional supplies of hand sanitiser for use by voters at polling booths."

Mr Vidgen said the local government elections and Currumbin and Bundamba by-election were proceeding as normal, in accordance with advice that only non-essential mass gatherings should be cancelled.

"Elections facilitate an essential service by providing for democratic representation for Queenslanders," Mr Vidgen said.

"However, we recognise that this is an extraordinary situation and are adapting our service model accordingly

"I ask for the understanding and co-operation of all voters to make sure that the elections are conducted smoothly and with minimal impact on voters and election staff.

"This is a unique and evolving situation and we will update voters if circumstances change.

"I encourage people to check the ECQ website for up-to-date information about how to cast their vote."

Unless the rate of growth of new cases is checked (slowed), I doubt if the elections will proceed.  A lot can happen in the next week or so.

I registered for a postal vote as soon as it was open.  No issues then.
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red dragin

My wife is in the call centre, she was meant to finish at 5pm, but they've asked her to stay back till 7pm to answer as many calls as they can.

ozbob

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ozbob

Herald Sun --> Coronavirus: Defence medicos may be deployed to hospitals

QuoteHigh level discussions are looking at deploying the military as a last line of defence in the event of increasing outbreaks and rising social panic.

Defence force medicos could be deployed into our public hospitals to help the health care system cope with an expected influx of those either with suspected or actual coronavirus.

It is understood high level discussions are looking at deploying the military as a last line of defence in the event or increasing outbreaks and equally worrisome, the social panic.

The move follows Spain which has now deployed its military to "contagion hot spots" just 24 hours after the country declared a state of emergency and ordered its citizens into lockdown.

Their military which only usually gets deployed domestically to fight fires, were ordered into "reconnaissance missions" to enforce movement restrictions with military doctors to help local communities.

The Australian military has already discussed implications for its troops if the government enforces the Bio Security Act 2015 which deputises troops as National Response Agency bio hazard officers, to help co-ordinate communities manage risk, quarantines and protection of assets including medical stockpiles.

But it is now looking at doing more.

Such is the seriousness, Defence has appointed a three-star general in Lieutenant-General John Frewen to head a military task force created specifically to analyse how it can respond, where and critically when.

Other national crisis including the recent Operation Bushfire Assist, floods and Pacific humanitarian airlifts have only ever had a two star general tasked.

General Frewen, currently the principal deputy director of spy group Australian Signals Directorate, is considered one of the most experienced officers in the ADF and a likely contender to become the next chief of army.

He is looking at co-ordinating health and welfare of the ADF's personnel to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the ranks, with three personnel already contracting it and acting as a liaison for federal government decisions.

Among those decisions being flagged is a State-by-State call-up of some of the ADF's full-time and reservist military doctors and nurses to help the public health system.

Most of the reserves are already working as public or private medicos but some may have to be called back from long-term deployments or exercises.

General Frewen is also specifically looking at the globally spread of Australian Defence Force personnel in the event they are required domestically.

Already military exercises are looking to be cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus including the cancellation now of the 2020 Air Power Conference in Canberra that was to involve more than 1000 delegates from around the world next week.

The naval RIMPAC exercise, the largest warfare drill in the world involving 25,000 personnel due to be held about Hawaii is under review.
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ozbob

Herald Sun  --> Coronavirus Australia: Queensland researchers find 'cure', want drug trial

QuoteSome patients who tested positive for coronavirus in Australia have already been treated with one of the drugs and "all did very, very well," researchers say.

A team of Australian researchers say they've found a cure for the novel coronavirus and hope to have patients enrolled in a nationwide trial by the end of the month.

University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research director Professor David Paterson told news.com.au today they have seen two drugs used to treat other conditions wipe out the virus in test tubes.

He said one of the medications, given to some of the first people to test positive for COVID-19 in Australia, had already resulted in "disappearance of the virus" and complete recovery from the infection.

Prof Paterson, who is also an infectious disease physician at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, said it wasn't a stretch to label the drugs "a treatment or a cure".

"It's a potentially effective treatment," he said.

"Patients would end up with no viable coronavirus in their system at all after the end of therapy."

The drugs are both already registered and available in Australia.

"What we want to do at the moment is a large clinical trial across Australia, looking at 50 hospitals, and what we're going to compare is one drug, versus another drug, versus the combination of the two drugs," Prof Paterson said.

Given their history, researchers have a "long experience of them being very well tolerated" and there are no unexpected side effects.

"We're not on a flat foot, we can sort of move ahead very rapidly with enrolling Australians in this trial," Prof Paterson said.

"It's the question we all have – we know it's coming now, what is the best way to treat it?"

Prof Paterson said positive experiences in the fight against coronavirus have already been recorded overseas, citing China and Singapore. His research team are confident they can start getting the drugs to patients in a very safe way on home soil.

"We want to give Australians the absolute best treatment rather than just someone's guesses or someone's anecdotal experiences from a few people," Prof Paterson told news.com.au.

He said they hope to be enrolling patients by the end of March.

"And that way, if we can test it in this first wave of patients, we do fully expect that there are going to be ongoing infections for months and months ahead, and therefore we'll have the best possible information to treat subsequent patients," Prof Paterson said.

"That's really our aim, to get real world experience in Australia."

He said the trouble with the data coming from China was that it wasn't really gathered "in a very controlled way", given they were the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak at the time.

"Things were just chaotic," Prof Paterson said.

"There were these emergency hospitals being built and the system really being very, very stretched."

One of the two medications is a HIV drug, which has been superseded by "newer generation" HIV drugs, and the other is an anti-malaria drug called chloroquine which is rarely used and "kept on the shelf now" due to resistance to malaria.

He said the researchers want to study them in a "very meaningful way" against the coronavirus to "try and alleviate that anxiety of Australians".

"There have already been patients treated with these in Australia and there's been successful outcomes but it hasn't been done in a controlled or a comparative way," Prof Paterson said.
The drugs would be given orally, as tablets.

Prof Paterson said patients would be asked to participate "as soon as they're admitted" to hospital with the aim of beginning treatment "very early on in their illness".

He said the research was sparked by Chinese patients, who were first given the drug in Australia, showing their doctors information on the internet about the treatment used overseas.

"Our doctors were very, very surprised that a HIV drug could actually work against the novel coronavirus and there was a bit of scepticism," he said.

"That first wave of Chinese patients we had (in Australia), they all did very, very well when they were treated with the HIV drug.

"That's reassuring ... that we're onto something really good here."

The RBWH Foundation has established a Coronavirus Action Fund. By Monday afternoon it had raised $30,000 of the desired $750,000 for the clinical drug trials and other related medical research.

"The trials will start as soon as funding is secured," the fund states.

When asked why they had to put a call out money, Prof Paterson said they "want to give as many people in Australia access to this" and can't take doctors away from their normal work.

"The reality is that doctors are going to need to be concentrating on their patients and we need to get a very strong research team across Australia that can make sure that all the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed and make sure that it is a really high-quality study so that we can be really confident in the results," he said.

"We did this with bushfires, this is an example where we're reaching out to the public to put the financial support behind the study so it can get underway.

"Fifty hospitals have expressed interest in participating and we expect there may even be more to come."

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ozbob

#115
^

"  ... 
One of the two medications is a HIV drug, which has been superseded by "newer generation" HIV drugs, and the other is an anti-malaria drug called chloroquine which is rarely used and "kept on the shelf now" due to resistance to malaria. ... "


I was given chloroquine in the 1980s when I had malaria.  Not used much these days for malaria due to resistance of the malarial protozoa but it might just be back in a new role.  Looks like in conjunction with one of the earlier anti-HIV medications results are good.  The Federal Government should now bank roll this.   The big advantage of this combination is that they are well tested medications and don't have to go through the normal work up for new drugs > straight to clinical trials. 
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ozbob

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ozbob

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2020/3/16/additional-cleaning-for-seq-public-transport

Media Statements

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Monday, March 16, 2020

Additional cleaning for SEQ public transport

Cleaning across all South East Queensland public transport will be ramped up in a bid to further minimise the risk of coronavirus.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey today instructed TransLink to work with operators and sanitise buses, trains, trams and ferries more frequently.

While Gold Coast trams have already moved to daily sanitised cleans, Brisbane City Council buses will start a similar regime from this week and Queensland Rail will boost dedicated cleaning staff, ramping up regular cleaning measures and beginning a new disinfecting process on SEQ commuter trains from tomorrow.

"Public transport is an essential service and it's critical we ensure people continue to have confidence when travelling on buses, trains, trams and ferries," Mr Bailey said.

"We're also encouraging operators and their staff to continue taking practical health and safety measures such as using hand sanitiser and gloves when handling cash."

Mr Bailey said the cost of increased cleaning would be met by the Palaszczuk Government.

"As of right now, all public transport will continue to operate normally, however our business continuity planning includes reducing services if required in response to advice from health experts and authorities.

Mr Bailey urged commuters to continue practicing proper personal hygiene as advised by Queensland Health when catching public transport.

"Experts advise that catching public transport is safe if we all follow some simple steps," he said.

"Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly, avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, and stay at home if you are unwell."

For more information visit www.translink.com.au (external site) or call 13 12 30 anytime.
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ozbob

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ozbob

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