Another COVID variant emerges, but let’s deal with Delta first

coronavirus, coronavirus, covid-19, Australia

Tomorrow, fingers crossed, there will be more Australians with a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in their arm than not. Well, that’s the unofficial expectation anyway. And yes, for those playing at home, the unvaccinated will include all the kids. But with another planeload of vaccines on its way to us the number of Pfizer doses arriving in Australia during September will double. “From Downing Street to Down Under, we are doubling down on the Pfizer doses here in Australia this month,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said – without cringing once. Earlier in the week, Australia clinched a swap deal with Singapore for 500,000 Pfizer doses to be repaid in December. Last month, Poland agreed to send one million doses to Australia. Looks like the race is on in earnest now. And, pleasingly if not belatedly, vaccine rollout co-ordinator Lieutenant General John Frewen was due to unveil a plan to accelerate Indigenous jabs, at today’s national cabinet meeting. Meanwhile, in NSW the most tragic of stats was delivered a bit like someone reciting a shopping list as the continued emphasis on vaccination prevailed. Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a pandemic high of 1400-plus overnight cases and 12 deaths before skipping along to the next “talking point”. And during this Delta outbreak that’s what these Sydney press conferences have become – a good morning, a mini-introduction of the speakers sometimes, a laundry list of numbers, more words on the need for more vaccinations, guest speakers and then some questions. When necessary, condolences are shared but oh-so rarely is emotion ever on show. More than likely because, as Ms Berejiklian has repeatedly said this week, worse is still to come. Remember back in the day when the government told us to be “alert but not alarmed” at the raised terrorist risk? (It was a crazy 18 years ago and was the central plank in a $15 million campaign called Let’s Look Out For Australia). Well, the World Health Organisation is now tracking a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 – the Mu variant. It’s been reported in South America and Europe but hasn’t latched on as destructively as the Delta variant. WHO added it to the “variants of interest” list just four days ago. Loosely, that equates to the organisation being alert but not alarmed. Let’s leave that with them for now and just do our best to stay safe. as the days merge into each other. It is the weekend, right? Did you know you can receive this daily digest by email? Sign up here THE NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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DIGEST

Tomorrow, fingers crossed, there will be more Australians with a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in their arm than not.

Well, that’s the unofficial expectation anyway. And yes, for those playing at home, the unvaccinated will include all the kids.

“From Downing Street to Down Under, we are doubling down on the Pfizer doses here in Australia this month,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said – without cringing once.

Earlier in the week, Australia clinched a swap deal with Singapore for 500,000 Pfizer doses to be repaid in December. Last month, Poland agreed to send one million doses to Australia. Looks like the race is on in earnest now.

Meanwhile, in NSW the most tragic of stats was delivered a bit like someone reciting a shopping list as the continued emphasis on vaccination prevailed.

And during this Delta outbreak that’s what these Sydney press conferences have become – a good morning, a mini-introduction of the speakers sometimes, a laundry list of numbers, more words on the need for more vaccinations, guest speakers and then some questions. When necessary, condolences are shared but oh-so rarely is emotion ever on show. More than likely because, as Ms Berejiklian has repeatedly said this week, worse is still to come.

Well, the World Health Organisation is now tracking a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 – the Mu variant.

Let’s leave that with them for now and just do our best to stay safe. as the days merge into each other. It is the weekend, right?

Did you know you can receive this daily digest by email? Sign up here

THE NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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