No local COVID-19 cases for 35th day as vaccine wastage revealed

Victoria has recorded no new local cases of coronavirus for 35 days in a row, after it was revealed around three in every 1000 doses of Pfizer vaccine in Victoria have been wasted during the rollout.

There were 15,829 test results returned on Thursday. Just one active case of COVID-19 remains across the state, an international flight crew member who tested positive on March 29.

Victoria is having to throw out around three in every 1000 Pfizer vaccine doses that were destined for hotel quarantine workers, according to Nine News.

The Department of Health stated as the Pfizer vaccine has a limited time window of use and can’t be transported after it has been prepared, there is some wastage of the vaccine.

Health authorities have again warned the public to get tested even if they have mild cold and flu symptoms, after more fragments of the virus were found in Altona wastewater samples.

Viral fragments were found in the following 12 Melbourne suburbs on these dates:

  • March 23 to 26 – Altona, Altona Meadows, Hoppers Crossing, Laverton, Point Cook, Seabrook, Seaholme, Williams Landing
  • March 22 to 29 – Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Truganina, and Werribee
  • March 21 to 25 – Beaconsfield, Berwick, Clyde North, Cranbourne East, Cranbourne North, Guys Hill, Hallam, Hampton Park, Harkaway, Narre Warren, Narre Warren North, Narre Warren South, Officer and Upper Beaconsfield.

Anyone who has symptoms and was in these localities on the above dates is encouraged to get tested for COVID-19.

“Fragments of the virus detected in wastewater may be due to a person with COVID-19 being in the early active infectious phase or it could be because someone is continuing to shed the virus after the early infectious period,” the health department said.

Victorians who travelled home from Brisbane before it was declared a red zone this week have now been released from isolation.

The Health Department reclassified Brisbane as an orange zone at 6pm on Thursday. Travellers from that area now need to isolate for 72 hours and get a negative test, instead of having to spend 14 days in isolation under red-zone guidelines.

“People in Victoria who are observing red zone permit conditions and quarantining for 14 days will be designated orange zone arrivals and can end their isolation from 6pm if they have had a coronavirus test and returned a negative result since arriving in Victoria,” the statement said.

“This excludes primary close contacts linked to exposure sites in Queensland and NSW, who must continue self-isolating for 14 days since their exposure.”

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