Date published: 
7 June 2021
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

NATALIE BARR:   

Now, the race to contain Melbourne's COVID outbreak is far from over with four new cases, including an aged care nurse and resident, who will be included in this morning's official figures.

DAVID KOCH:       

Authorities are trying to identify the source of several mystery cases, including the worrying emergence of the highly infectious Delta strain of the virus.

NATALIE BARR:   

For more, we're joined by Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Alison McMillan. Good morning to you. Now, the Victorian Deputy Chief Health Officer says the lockdown is really a day-by-day prospect. What do you think? Is there chance it will be extended?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Well, I think, Nat, we've heard what Allen Cheng had to say yesterday. Yes, they are monitoring day-to-day. I know they will only extend this for [audio skip] absolutely anything- the minimum amount they can. They do realise the impact this has on the Victorian community, so they're doing everything they can to make sure that they're minimising impact on all Victorians.

DAVID KOCH:       

Authorities are yet to determine when and where the Delta variant entered the community from India. Just how tough will it be to locate the source? And are people covered from this Delta strain by the existing vaccinations?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

So, Kochie, let's tackle the first question first. We have got this amazing network of genomics now that we didn't have a year ago that gives us so much more information, but it may be that we never do find out where this came from - that's the reality of this genomic testing stuff that we have right now.

We do know that it is highly infective, more infective than some of the others, but at the moment we're still looking at the data to say whether or not it gives you any more severe disease. And we do know that the- both vaccines that are available in Australia - both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca - are both extremely effective in preventing disease and death, even in this Delta strain.

DAVID KOCH:       

Good.

NATALIE BARR:   

So, 100,000 more Pfizer doses are going to be sent to Victoria from June 14 to meet the extra demand, because everyone's lining up to get these. Is that enough?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Well, we are providing, you know, another 100,000 which is terrific. And also doubling the available vaccine- AstraZeneca vaccine to general practice. So, there are a number of ways that Victorians can access the vaccination. And you know, it makes me very proud as a Victorian to see the great response we've seen from everyone getting on and getting that vaccine as quickly as we can.

DAVID KOCH:       

Yup. Too right. Now, a West Australian man has returned a moderately positive COVID-19 test result after leaving hotel quarantine in Perth. It's thought he was viral [audio skips]. Is there any risk to the community?

ALISON MCMILLAN:      

Well, that's what we heard from the Chief Health Officer yesterday, Andy Robertson, is that we think this man is in fact a chronic shedder. We have seen this phenomena before, Kochie, but he was wearing a mask, and certainly, West Australian Health are doing all of that necessary contact tracing. But the sense is that the risk is relatively low but we'll- they will continue to monitor this to see if there's any transmission.

DAVID KOCH:       

Okay.

NATALIE BARR:   

That's a bit unfortunate being a chronic shedder.

DAVID KOCH:       

Shedder. Yeah.

NATALIE BARR:   

Doesn't sound good. [Laughs]

DAVID KOCH:       

Not a great tag to carry around, is it?

NATALIE BARR:   

We don't know who's a chronic shedder or not.

DAVID KOCH:       

Yeah.

NATALIE BARR:   

Alison, thank you. There's so much we don't know. Alison, thank you.

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