/ 15 July 2021

Mo’ lockdowns, mo’ frustrations – but a glimmer of good

Lockdown will continue until at least 30 July for the 5.4 million people of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shellharbour as the state reported another 97 local cases of COVID yesterday. Of those, 24 were infectious while in the community, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian says that number needs to be “as close to zero as possible” before any restrictions are lifted. And it’s masks on for Victorians after 11 local cases were reported yesterday. All cases are linked to the Sydney outbreak after removalists and a returning family brought the virus with them. Victoria’s COVID-19 Response Commander Jeroen Weimar says what’s unfolding there is “a very rapidly moving situation”.

For many reasons. For those in southwestern Sydney, many have been forced to wait in queues for hours after the NSW Government mandated that essential workers from the area be tested for COVID every 3 days if they want to leave the local area. It’s also a thing for locked down parents whose home learning stretch just got longer. And it’s frustrating for singles who don’t have a front yard or street-facing balcony… Berejiklian said she knows more lockdown will “hurt”, but it’s what is needed to “get out of this lockdown as soon as we can”. As for Victorians, further restrictions will likely be announced today, reports say. Premier Daniel Andrews met with colleagues and officials last night to discuss what those might be – reports say a snap 3-day lockdown of Melbourne is an option being discussed. [Insert gritted teeth emoji…]

How about some scientists in Melbourne coming up with some promising developments to treat COVID? Sure, it might be shutting the gate after the ugly horse that trashed the stables and ate out the paddock has bolted, but finding effective treatments for those infected with the coronavirus is vital. Therapies resulting from the work of researchers from the Doherty Institute and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre could be some time off, but there’s hope their “molecular scissors” that can stop viruses from replicating in infected human cells could soon be used to stop new COVID strains in their tracks. Dr Mohamed Fareh from the Peter Mac says the technology, which is being used to treat cancer, is a “game-changer”. Go team…

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