Talks continue between the state and the federal government on financial assistance as Melbourne faces second week in lockdown. Follow the latest news
- Covid vaccine undersupply forces Melbourne GPs to turn people away
- At least half of Victoria’s paramedics yet to receive Covid vaccine
- Victoria’s Covid lockdown restrictions explained
- Victoria case alerts and exposure sites; NSW exposure sites
- Australia’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout live data
Also in estimates today is the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. There are still thousands of Australians stranded overseas, including Australians trying to get home from India. Daniel Hurst will bring you those updates.
It is important to note that despite Victorian government officials’ claims that the kappa variant in Melbourne is a “beast” spreading in ways not seen before including “low contact” and “fleeting” contact, the World Health Organization does not classify the variant in Melbourne – dubbed the kappa variant – as a variant of concern (VOC).
Kappa is at the moment graded a variant of interest (VOI). VOC have increased transmissibility, virulence or change in clinical disease, and a decreased effectiveness of public health and social measures.
VOIs, such as Kappa, are those shown to cause community transmission in multiple clusters and have been detected in multiple countries, but have not yet necessarily proven to be more virulent or transmissible.