Amid mounting concerns about the efficacy of contact tracing, Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the rate of unexplained transmission was deeply concerning.
“This increase in cases, particularly locally acquired cases, particularly those that are not related to known clusters, are a concern,” he said.
National Cabinet met on Friday to discuss the emerging crisis in Victoria. After that meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said other states and territories were poised to offer more help to Victoria.
“All states and territories again reaffirmed their support for Victoria in providing whatever resources they needed to deal with the outbreak in Victoria,” Mr Morrison said.
“The challenges of those many months really did create a very capable work force in this area and that is now at the disposal of any state or territory that could find themselves in this situation.”
Despite criticisms in recent months that the COVIDSafe app had not been useful in tracing contacts, Mr Morrison urged all Australians to continue using it.
Premier Daniel Andrews would not be drawn on what support could be provided from interstate, but defended his government’s handling of the process so far.
“Contact tracing is a difficult, laborious and really challenging task no matter how many close contacts you have, even a small number,” Mr Andrews said.
“Our team is equal to it but we are growing that team. It is bigger than it has ever been and I will have more to say soon about additional resources and support to expand that team even further.”
Mr Andrews said there were “dozens” of specialised contact-tracing staff conducting in-depth interviews with confirmed cases, and the government had also “beefed up” its entire contact tracing workforce including clinicians.
A government spokeswoman said more than 1300 people were working “around the clock” to find and contain coronavirus.
“Due to the concentrated efforts in recent days there have been some delays with this process and our team is working quickly to get hold of everyone.”
Melbourne woman Shelley Turner said she waited 12 days for an official notice from DHHS that her child had been in close contact with another student who had tested positive for COVID-19 at Flemington Primary School.
“I’ve worked at DHHS so I have sympathy for them, but I’d be urging people to rely on their informal networks for information,” she said.
“All they had to do in this case is contact the class it’s not even contact tracing, it’s basic information.”
Ms Turner received an email from DHHS on July 8, informing that her youngest daughter had been exposed to a child with the virus on June 26.
The school’s leadership had told parents there was a confirmed case at the school on July 1 and advised that DHHS would be in touch if their child was considered a close contact.
Some parents travelled interstate not knowing their child could have been exposed to the child who tested positive, Ms Turner said.
“If you’re hearing about it on WhatsApp before you’re hearing about it from them
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Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. except certain content provided by third parties.
Scientists say some Covid-19 vaccines need screening for raising HIV risk – South China Morning Post
Researchers have raised concern about candidates made with a cold virus known as adenovirus 5.