COVID live updates: National Cabinet makes coronavirus vaccine mandatory for all aged care workers – ABC News

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By Jon Healy

By Jon Healy

Why are we only sorting out key issues like vaccinating aged care workers more than a year into the pandemic?

“I certainly understand [people’s] frustration when it comes to dealing with this pandemic. We’re very conscious of those great frustrations.

“The pandemic is still upon us. And I know when you’re maybe midway, maybe further through the course of this pandemic, we can grow tired and frustrated and anxious. I understand that, but how should we go forward? Do we give into that? Or do

we continue to show the same determination that we have showed, particularly over that first year in the pandemic and more? We were able to come through and Australia was able to achieve a result in saving lives and livelihoods like virtually no other country in the world. I’d be encouraging Australians to hang in there. We don’t have a choice. The pandemic is still upon us. It’s the pandemic, that’s the reason why these things are happening in places all around the world.

“When it comes to the issues of mandatory vaccines, this is not something any government should do lightly. Imposing on a person the requirement to have a vaccine or not be able to work in a particular sector is something that no government would do lightly. And as a result, we have been considering this matter for some time now based on the best possible medical advice. It was only at this point this evening, after some determined questioning of the AHPPC by the National Cabinet and myself in particular, that we have arrived at the position tonight that supports that decision.”

The path ahead

Scott Morrison has just been asked if Australians should prepare for restrictions and lockdowns for years to come as other places around the world open up.

“The government’s plan currently is to maximise the vaccination of the Australian population as soon as we can. There is a keen sense of urgency about that and that is where we are focusing our attention right now. At no stage of that plan, under any scenario is that we considered last year when we agreed the national vaccination plan was there a situation contemplated this time of the year that the vaccination would have reached anywhere near the level of herd immunity that would enable sorts of things you are talking about.

“We were always going to be having to deal with what we’re dealing with now this time of the year and I only have to refer you to the number of cases they are seeing in the United kingdom. I think 18,000 was their most recent daily cases with a population that is 81 per cent vaccinated on their first dose. We are also seen reports coming out of Israel, which also has a very high level of vaccination, but under this new Delta variant we are seeing potentially 50 per cent of new cases are people who are vaccinated.

Hi Myla, I don’t have those exact numbers to hand right now, but I can tell you that 30 people attended that house party in West Hoxton. Of those, 24 tested positive. The six people who didn’t test positive were all vaccinated health workers, according to NSW Health.

‘Very, very lousy’ communication from state government on latest lockdown: Shellharbour Mayor

When the lockdown was announced on Saturday a lot of you were confused and curious as to the status of Shellharbour, which was included in the initial restrictions, but omitted from the locked down regions.

To be clear, it is included, but Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said her constituents were very confused.

“There was no announcement that Shellharbour would be included in this lockdown and I think it’s total incompetence from the Premier, the Deputy Premier and the Minister for Health in making this announcement, because it’s sent my community into disarray.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro actually said on Twitter shortly after the government’s announcement that it absolutely wasn’t, but then corrected himself later on in the evening.

Ms Saliba said if Shellharbour was locked down then Kiama should be too.

“There are no active cases in Shellharbour. … I know the Deputy Premier said that it was about interconnectivity [workers travelling between Shellharbour and Wollongong] but, of course, 60 per cent of Kiama work in other areas, like Wollongong and Sydney. So they should also be included in this blanket lockdown if it’s about interconnectivity. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

But even knowing they are under lockdown, people are still confused, and the comments we get on this blog would certainly back that up.

“I had a florist contact me and ask if it was OK for him to open his business. Now, the way I look at it, if funerals are still going ahead and weddings are still going ahead, then florists are required. You just look at having no contact — deliver the flowers, pay online, that sort of thing — but people don’t know what the requirements are for them and their businesses. I think the state government have done a very, very lousy job of selling this particular public health order to the community.”

This content was originally published here.

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