(Australian Associated Press)
LATEST COVID-19 DEVELOPMENTS:
- Australia’s top bureaucrat has dismissed the focus on problems with the virus vaccine rollout. Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Phil Gaetjens criticised attention on several issues as “noise” that could undermine confidence.
- Labor senator and committee chair Katy Gallagher said the problems were serious, describing the hospitalisation of two elderly patients in Brisbane as traumatic.
- Wastewater testing in Adelaide has returned a second strong positive result for coronavirus, raising concerns among officials and prompting calls for more testing.
- SA reported two new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, one in a teenage girl and one in a man in his 60s who recently returned from overseas. They are both in hotel quarantine.
- Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk continues to warn about the risks of mounting virus cases in hotel quarantine as she prepares to get her first vaccine jab before the end of the month.
- Five new cases were reported in Queensland hotel quarantine on Tuesday, taking its total number of active cases to 33.
- NSW also recorded six cases in quarantine, while Victoria and Queensland each had one new overseas acquired case.
- Tasmania has rejected a proposal to quarantine international students in Hobart on behalf of NSW. Treasurer Dominic Perrottet was keen to strike a deal to salvage the Premier State’s lucrative $14 billion education sector but Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has given the plan a thumbs down.
- New Zealand’s top doctor was given VIP treatment at the Black Caps win over Australia, where he was personally lobbied by the sport’s top brass for access to COVID-19 vaccinations.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
- Australia recorded no new locally acquired cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday. There were 15 cases recorded in hotel quarantine: Six in NSW, five in Queensland, two in SA and one each in Victoria and WA.
- The national death toll is 909: Victoria 820, NSW 56, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 6, SA 4, ACT 3 (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states).
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
- Cases: at least 117,148,000
- Deaths: at least 2,600,000
- Recovered: at least 66,359,000.
Data current as of 1815 AEDT on March 8, taking in federal and state/territory government updates and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre figures.