Victoria’s ability to overcome the worsening Delta outbreak will be decided “by the choices people make” warned Premier Daniel Andrews on Friday.
“The choices people make over the weekend will decide where Victoria goes next,” the Premier said.
Only 25 of the state’s 55 cases recorded on Thursday were quarantined during their infectious period.
The new cases include 13 linked to a multicultural youth centre at Broadmeadows in Melbourne’s north.
“That makes today a bad day,” Premier Andrews said.
“Get vaccinated, make an appointment now, get tested if you got symptoms and follow the rules.
“Do everything you can, be vigilant and tell members of your family and friends that you know, who maybe aren’t following the rules, to follow them.”
He warned against those who think that they “can just let this thing roll on” and said that without vaccinations there will be “many, many people getting sick and dying.”
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Neos Kosmos asked that if we, like Israel which has around 70 per cent vaccination, will come to see the Delta variant of COVID-19 as a new reality once we hit the 70 per cent vaccination rate.
“I looked at Israel and while it has done well by world standards, it has not reached 70 per cent, it’s done very well but they’re not yet at 70 per cent and they still have some rules in place
“They’ve seen it [Delta] tear through the unvaccinated
“Once we get to 80 per cent then the rules do change… We don’t lock down, or we don’t lock down the whole community,” Mr Andrews said.
The Premier warned that “those who chose not to vaccinate will be in greater danger.”
“With 70 per cent or 80 per cent vaccination, regardless of the rate of infection of the Delta, we won’t be locking down, or not locking down the same way we are now.
“It will be a particular localised problem and then you might take localised measures if you had a vulnerable group in the community who had not been vaccinated for whatever reason. There are some people who can’t get vaccinated.
“When we move to these vaccine passports, we’re going to need a code for people who for medical reasons can’t get vaccinated.
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“But if we want to have this debate properly, we all have to get vaccinated as fast as possible and the challenge at the moment is that there’s millions of people who want to get vaccinated and there’s no vaccines right now for them.”
The Premier pleaded with Victorians to abide by the rules, “wearing a mask is not hard” he said.
“Sunday will be quite a nice day at home, otherwise it will be lots of Sundays spent in hospital. That’s a fact.
“That is the choice we have: either stay home or have lots and lots of people in hospital, and some of them won’t come out.”
Commander Jeroen Weimar underscored “how much younger those infected are”.
“Breaking that down by age group the children aged between zero and nine years we have 89 cases, so that’s 26 per cent of our entire cases are children aged 10 years and under, and between the ages of 10-19 there were 72 cases, 20 to 39 years 120 cases, 40 to 59 and only 56 cases as people aged 60 years and over.
“Vaccination in Victoria is saving lives right now,” Commander Weimar said.
Neos Kosmos asked the Deputy Chief Health Officer Associate Professor Daniel O’Brien if he was aware of the new Israeli-Greek phase II trials of CD24 which has been tested in Athens and has shown excellent results in treating mild to severe illness.
The Deputy CHO said that there are a “range of immunotherapies, or treatments that effect the way how your system responds to COVID-19”.
“I have heard of CD24 and more emerging therapies, but I think it’s really important to remember we have effective treatments right now available.
“From the middle of last year, we were using Dexamethasone and other immune modulating treatments which we saw based on trials done the United Kingdom which significantly reduced the mortality rate,” Associate Professor O’Brien said.
He pointed to Sotrovimab the novel monoclonal antibody treatment “which Australia has been negotiating to procure.”
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“It’s all exciting, we want to have as many treatments as we possibly can for this illness, what I would strongly caution though is something we learned all through last year, is that you really have to wait for the full evidence before you get too excited about the new trail or something abstract or even worse, a press release.”
Neos Kosmos pressed the Deputy CHO by underscoring that these were not media releases, and that Israel and Greece has been working on CD24 since last year.
The Phase II trial in Athens of the Israeli CD24 had excellent results with seriously sick people released from hospital in days of becoming ill.
“It can sometimes take a bit of time to go through data as so many teams around the world are working so hard to develop this evidence.
“We are not discounting it but we do have to wait for the full data and for it to go through,” the Deputy CHO said.