Wuhan biological weapons lab leaked the virus

Original article by Didi Tang
The Australian – Page: Online : 5-Jan-21

US Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger claims there is strong evidence that the coronavirus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology rather than developing in a Wuhan livestock ‘wet market’. The Institute is located 17 kilometres from the Wuhan market, with Wuhan reporting the first COVID-19 cases in December. Pottinger was speaking on the eve of a visit by World Health Organisation experts to China to investigate the source of the coronavirus, although some claim the investigation will be a "whitewash". A majority of scientists are of the view that coronavirus originated in nature.

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WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

Fans face health bans, refunds

Original article by Finbar O’Mallon
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 5-Jan-21

Crowd numbers for the third Test at the SCG have been capped at 25 per cent of capacity as the SCG Trust responds to Sydney’s current COVID-19 outbreak. Current ticket holders for the game will be refunded and given the chance to repurchase tickets, while food and beverage outlets are being increased to prevent crowding. Residents of the northern zone of the northern beaches will be barred from attending, as well as anyone who has visited COVID-19-affected venues. The SCG Trust hopes to lift crowd limits if Sydney’s COVID-19 numbers improve before the Test starts on 7 January.

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SYDNEY CRICKET GROUND TRUST

COVID-19 reinfections are likely much worse than we know

Original article by Jill Margo
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 24-Dec-20

More than 78 million people worldwide have contracted COVID-19, although there have been just 31 confirmed and 2,200 suspected cases of reinfection to date. However, Professor Ivo Mueller from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research believes that the number of reinfections has been underestimated; he says the genome sequencing data that is necessary to confirm two separate infections is often not available, while many reinfections may not be detected because the person is asymptomatic. There has been one confirmed case of reinfection in Australia, and just two confirmed deaths from reinfection worldwide.

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WALTER AND ELIZA HALL INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL RESEARCH

Survival of the fittest: Media’s toughest year in decades

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 21-Dec-20

Few would disagree that 2020 has been the toughest year for the Australian media sector for decades. The year began with the remnants of the summer bushfires, before the sector was hit by the impact of COVID-19. The virus saw media companies lose huge amounts of revenue, while forcing big changes to the way that production houses and newsrooms operated. The year has been one of mergers and restructures, of shutting down newspaper and magazine titles, and of executive and talent changes. Competition increased within the streaming sector, media outlets continued their stoush with Google and Facebook, while relations between ABC chair Ita Buttrose and the federal government became increasingly strained over the course of the year.

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GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL

Vaccine’s immune boost

Original article by Grant McArthur
Herald Sun – Page: 7 : 23-Nov-20

Research undertaken by scientists in Melbourne suggests that some people who contract COVID-19 may be immune from reinfection for a year or more. The researchers at Monash University, The Alfred hospital and the Burnet Institute tracked the immune cells of 25 COVID-19 patients and found that they were still able to fight off the virus some 242 days after contracting it. The scientists are hopeful that a COVID-19 vaccine would provide protection for a similar length of time, without the need for regular booster shots.

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MONASH UNIVERSITY, ALFRED HOSPITAL, THE MACFARLANE BURNET INSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH LIMITED

Open delay a serious blow to Nine’s plans for the year

Original article by James Madden, Emily Ritchie
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Nov-20

The prospect of the Australian Open being delayed due to coronavirus restrictions could prove costly for Nine Entertainment. The grand slam tournament is traditionally a key vehicle for the host broadcaster to promote its program line-up for the new year. Audience numbers are also likely to be affected if the Open is shifted from mid-January to late February or March, when the official ratings year will have begun. Media analyst Martin Hickson of 1851 Capital says Nine should seek to renegotiate its broadcasting rights deal with Tennis Australia. Some top tennis players have warned that the Open will have to be cancelled if training is prohibited during the mandatory quarantine period.

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NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN OPEN TENNIS, 1851 CAPITAL PTY LTD, TENNIS AUSTRALIA

Is reaching zero COVID-19 possible?

Original article by Kingston Mills
The Conversation – Page: Online : 23-Oct-20

A number of countries have successfully suppressed the coronavirus. However, an elimination strategy is more difficult to achieve; New Zealand came close to doing so, but new cases emerged after the nation had been COVID-free for 100 days. Potential options for achieving ‘zero COVID-19’ include herd immunity; however, reaching the threshold for this through natural infection will result in many more deaths, while some people who survive COVID-19 will experience long-term health effects. A vaccine is the best chance of reaching zero COVID-19, but it is unrealistic to expect the first vaccines to be fully effective, and distributing a vaccine worldwide could take years.

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Virus can live for 28 days

Original article by Miles Kemp
Herald Sun – Page: 10 : 12-Oct-20

Research by the CSIRO has found that the COVID-19 virus can survive at room temperature on smooth, non-porous surfaces for at least 28 days. This includes polymer banknotes and the glass screens of mobile telephones. Previous research had suggested that the virus could survive on most surfaces for 3-7 days, and for up to 14 days at most. The CSIRO’s deputy director Debbie Eagles says the coronavirus can survive for up to 10 days longer than the flu virus, which underlines the need for good hygiene practices.

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CSIRO

Women twice as likely as men to be discouraged workers after Covid-19 job loss

Original article by Paul Karp
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 7-Jul-20

A report by the Australian National University has noted an increase in the number of people who are unemployed but not actively looking for work. The report was based on a survey by the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods, and report co-author Nicholas Biddle says the increase fits in with the notion of the ‘discouraged’ worker, namely someone who would like to work but does not believe there are any suitable jobs available. The ANU found that women who have lost their job because of COVID-19 are much more likely to be ‘discouraged workers’ than men.

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AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

Work visa sweetener for uni students

Original article by Tim Dodd, Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 7-Jul-20

Australian universities and state governments had been hoping to start bringing international students back into the country from the end of July. However, the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Victoria has put these plans on hold. In an attempt to help Australian universities to remain competitive with rivals in Canada and Britain, it is believed that the federal government will grant post-study visas to foreign students who are enrolled in Australian universities but have had to return to their home countries and study online. Currently, only overseas students who study in Australia are awarded graduate work rights.

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