Canberra (Tribune International, PM Office Release, 13 Aug 2021); The National Cabinet met today for the 51st time to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, recent outbreaks of COVID-19 and the Australian COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy.

National Cabinet continues to work together to address issues and find solutions for the health and economic consequences of COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been 38,165 confirmed cases in Australia and, sadly, 948 people have died. More than 27.5 million tests have been undertaken. Testing has increased nationally over recent days with 1,409,573 million tests reported in the past 7 days.

Globally there have been over 205.3 million cases and sadly over 4.3 million deaths, with 684,895 new cases and 10,185 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in many countries around the world.

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out continues to expand. Australia hit another milestone of one in four eligible Australians fully vaccinated. To date 14,747,221 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Australia, including a record 270,898 in the last 24 hours. One in four Australians are now fully vaccinated. The primary care network of general practice (GPs) and pharmacy has ramped up significantly over coming weeks.

In the previous 7 days, more than 1.47 million vaccines have been administered in Australia. More than 46.6 per cent of the Australian population aged 16 years and over have now had a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including over 70.9 per cent of over 50 year olds and more than 82.5 per cent of over 70 year olds.

More than 25 per cent of Australians aged 16 years and over are now fully vaccinated including more than 36.1 per cent of over 50 year olds and more than 50.9 per cent of Australians over 70 years of age.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly provided an update on current outbreaks of COVID-19. The Chief Medical Officer has announced a number of hotspots across Australia in Greater Sydney, the Hunter, Greater Melbourne and the Australian Capital Territory.

National Cabinet noted the business support packages agreed between the Commonwealth and the Victorian and ACT Governments due to their lockdowns, and with the Queensland and Tasmanian Governments due to the impact of lockdowns along the eastern seaboard.

Lieutenant General John Frewen, Coordinator-General of Operation COVID Shield, provided an update on the vaccine roll out.

All leaders reiterated the importance of Australians, especially those in vulnerable groups, to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are registered for use in Australia and are proven to be effective in preventing serious illness and death, as well as limiting transmission.

National Cabinet discussed how state and territory safety regulators could amend their ‘statements of regulatory intent’ to ensure that businesses who made vaccinations voluntary would not be breaching workplace health and safety laws.

National Cabinet agreed to meet next on Friday, 20 August 2021.


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