Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer press conference about COVID-19 on 29 June 2020

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer press conference about COVID-19 on 29 June 2020.

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General public


I'm here to provide you with the national update on the COVID-19 response and the pandemic. So I can report that we now have 7767 positive cases in Australia since the commencement of this pandemic. We know that that is an increase of 85 cases in Australia in the last 24 hours. Seven new cases in New South Wales, three cases in South Australia, and 75 cases for Victoria. 15 people remain in hospital, and one in intensive care. And I can report there are no further deaths in the last 24 hours, the number remains at 104. We've seen now in Australia, also, more than 2.4 million tests conducted since the commencement of this pandemic.

I have heard, and we are hearing, a suggestion that we are seeing in Victoria, a second wave. And I want to reassure all Australians that whilst we are very concerned about what we see in Victoria, what we have is a community outbreak, in one part of the city, in one state of the country. But this is very serious, and we all need to take note, as we've warned that this pandemic is not over. Whilst Victoria is doing an enormous job and we are- we congratulate them on the effort that they are taking to contain this community spread, it's an important reminder to everyone of the responsibility we all have to keep doing the right thing.

So I understand that this morning, Minister Hunt has spoken to Minister Mikakos in Victoria, and has re-emphasised that Commonwealth stands with Victoria in this response, and that we are offering every assistance we can to them should they require it in their response to this. And if there is anything they need we will of course come to their aid. We are, of course, as I just said, taking this very seriously and we are concerned. And so I'm going to remind everyone, as we have said before, this pandemic is not over. We have seen an enormous achievement in Australia, but now is not the time to be complacent. So we all need to keep doing the right thing. So I'm going to re-emphasise to everyone, that if you are sick, any symptoms whatsoever of a cold or flu, or that loss of taste or smell, please do get tested. Testing is available broadly across the country, and is free. You do not need a Medicare card.

If you are sick, please stay at home. And this really does mean, stay at home. Don't have visitors around, don't go to the shops, and definitely don't go to work. Because those are the places and times when you're likely to spread it to other people. We're also hearing suggestions that young people are saying this is a disease of the older part of the community, and I'm here to reinforce that we are seeing, young people catching COVID-19, and transmitting it across the community. And whilst they may have mild symptoms, they have the potential to infect large numbers of other people. And so, this is a cry or call to everyone, to do the right thing.

So I remind you, stay-at-home if you are sick. Follow those really clear instructions about cough and sneeze etiquette. Wash your hands as often and as frequently as you can, particularly after going to the bathroom or after using a tissue, and try, wherever possible, to keep the 1.5 physical distancing as a means of preventing the spread.

We do see in Victoria, and they have seen today and over the weekend, an enormous testing blitz. So anyone in those affected local government areas in Victoria, you should be able to find someone quite close to you who is willing to do a test. And we do know that Victoria is making an enormous effort to talk to their local community, whether it's through talking through community groups, to community leaders, or having people out on the ground, knocking on doors. So please, if you are in one of those local government areas of Victoria and somebody does knock at the door, these people are here to help you, and you should hopefully listen to what they're going to say.

I'm happy to take any questions.


If this isn't a second wave, what is happening in Melbourne, what would a second wave look like?


A second wave is not something that is easy to describe, but we do look to say where we would see wider spread of community transmission across the country. As I've said before, we're seeing this in localised to a particular area at the moment in Victoria, and Victoria are working incredibly hard to contain that and minimise the spread. But we're watching this very closely. The label is less important than the actions we take, and the actions we are taking are really positive to containing the further spread. We do, as Brett Sutton has already said this morning, we could anticipate to continue to see an increase in numbers in coming days, as all of those measures that have been put in place over the weekend, come into effect.

Thank you.


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