Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer press conference on 19 October 2020

Read the transcript of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Professor Alison McMillan's press conference on COVID-19 on 19 October 2020.

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Good afternoon. I'm here today to provide you with the national update on the COVID-19 figures for Saturday the 17th of October. In Australia now, since the commencement of the pandemic, we've seen 27,380 cases; four- sorry, 10 new confirmed cases in Australia today. Seven of those cases are in New South Wales, two were acquired overseas and those are in quarantine, five are locally acquired and contact tracing has confirmed that they are in fact linked to known clusters. Western Australia have two new cases, again, from overseas travel and are in quarantine. Victoria, one case locally acquired with the contact confirmed. There have been no deaths reported today in the last 24 hours, which is, of course, extremely pleasing. And that maintains our national total of deaths since the commencement of the pandemic of 904, sadly, across the country. Approximately 224 active cases continue across the system. Only 18 people now remain in hospital and none of those in intensive care. We've seen now in Australia more than 8 million tests since the commencement of the pandemic and seen almost 40,000 tests in the last 24 hours.           

Certainly we have seen the figures in Australia come down really most pleasingly and particularly where I am incredibly happy to see the figures in Victoria now so low, as I'm sure everyone both across the country congratulates all Victorians on what they've been able to achieve and really congratulate them on that effort. Particularly in recent days, we saw a small outbreak in Shepparton and evidence of the enormous effort that went so quickly and promptly to support all of the people of Shepparton in testing, increasing the numbers of testing across that state. And really pleasingly, only three positive cases, all negative so far and we hope it remains that way. That really was an incredible effort to do that so quickly. Internationally, the picture is not as positive. For the last three days, we've continuously seen new record international numbers of positive cases across the world, and the numbers seem to- appear to continue to increase, particularly we're seeing that in Europe. And so, again, it is a testament, not only to the effort of Victorians, as I've spoke to a few moments ago, but also of the effort of all Australians across the country for whom we are incredibly grateful, the work that you've done, the work you continue to do to mean that the numbers here are so low in comparison to the rest of the world.            

But that doesn't mean to say that we can't become complacent. So please, wherever you are or whatever you're doing today, I remind you of the importance of staying home if you're sick and getting tested. Remind you wherever possible, stay 1.5 metres away from others. Obviously, those things that are so important to us and have become part of our normal daily life, handwashing or hand hygiene, cough into your elbow or sneeze into your elbow, use a tissue and dispose of it really quickly. These are the things that will keep these numbers low for us and keep us safe across the country. So I thank everyone again for their enormous effort and I'll take any questions if there are any today.            

Okay. There's no questions, then thank you very much.


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