explainer

QLD's new restrictions and Trump's vaccine claim: What you need to know about COVID-19 this weekend.

Queensland tightens restrictions after 9 new COVID-19 cases. 

Queensland's health authorities have limited indoor and outdoor gatherings in restricted areas after the state recorded nine new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

Six of the cases are connected to a burgeoning cluster at Brisbane's youth detention centre, and three are crew members on cargo shops.

On Sunday, two new cases were recorded, both of whom were contacts to confirmed cases.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Saturday announced indoor and outdoor gatherings without a COVID-safe plan in Queensland's southeast would immediately be capped at 10 people. There would be a 30-person limit on gatherings elsewhere in the state.

Aged care homes and disability accommodation services in the state's southeast would also go into immediate lockdown.

"We're concerned about this (detention centre) cluster because people have been out and about in the community," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

"We do expect there could be even more cases linked to this cluster but we will not know those until further results come in."

The cases mark Queensland's first locally-acquired transmissions in more than a month.

Victoria records 208 new cases and 17 more deaths. 

On Sunday, Victoria recorded 208 new cases and 17 more deaths in the past 24 hours. The news comes as today marks the halfway point of the state's stage four restrictions and state of disaster.  

On Saturday, there were 182 new cases in Victoria and 13 deaths.     

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Children aged 12 and over should wear face masks, WHO recommends.

WHO recommends children aged 12 and over should wear face masks. Image: Getty. 

The World Health Organisation recommends children aged 12 and over wear face masks, under the same conditions as adults, to help mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus. 

WHO said this was particularly important "when they cannot guarantee at least a one-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area."

As for children between six and 11, WHO said they should use masks on a risk-based approach.

The new recommendations come as studies have found older children likely play a more active role in spreading COVID-19 than younger children.

WHO says that children under five years old are not required to wear masks.

Northern Territory's election result.

Labor will return to power in the Northern Territory in the first state election in Australian since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Counting will continue today after the government of Labor incumbent Chief Minister Michael Gunner looked set to secure at least 12 seats in the 25-seat Legislative Assembly when counting stopped on Saturday night.

Gunner told supporters in a late-night speech he would lead a Labor government, after about 60 per cent of the votes were counted.

"Labor is in front on the votes, Labor is in front on the seats and tonight I can tell you I am very confident Labor will form the next government of the Northern Territory," he said on Saturday.

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Senior federal opposition MP Chris Bowen said it was a strong result for Mr Gunner.

"Michael Gunner has governed very strongly, not just through COVID, but through a lot of challenging financial circumstances," Bowen said on Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.

"The Labor party in the Northern Territory has brought together Territorians, just as the Labor party I believe and must do across the country."

If NT Labor secures those 12 seats, it will need another one or two to ensure it will lead a majority government. It won 18 seats in the 2016 poll.

Side note... Here's how to talk to anti-vaxxers. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia

World Health Organisation predicts an end-date to the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Health Organisation hopes the coronavirus crisis can be over in less than two years, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.

The Spanish flu pandemic that hit in 1918 took two years to end, he said.

"Our situation now with more technology, of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading, it can move fast," he said.

"At the same time we have the technology and knowledge to stop it."

More than 22.81 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and nearly 800,000 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove added that more research was needed on the impact of mutations in the coronavirus.

"A special working group has been formed to identify mutations... and we're looking at how we can better understand what the mutation means and how they behave," she told a briefing in Geneva on Friday.

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Trump's bizarre vaccine claim.

US President Donald Trump has accused "the deep state" of delaying the development of the COVID-19 vaccine until after the November presidential election. 

"The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics," Trump tweeted on Saturday.

"Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!"

The message was directed at US Food and Drug Administration commissioner Stephen Hahn.

Trump has said in the past he hopes a vaccine is developed around the time of the election.

Experts, however, have warned that any political interference in the vaccine testing and approval process could cast doubt and undermine its safety and legitimacy.

Any concerns about the vaccine could lead to a lower level of uptake, making it harder to battle the pandemic.

Hahn has repeatedly emphasised that the regulator will stick to its usual stringent scientific processes and has said that it has not faced any pressure to alter its criteria.

- With AAP.

Feature image: Getty. 


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