The EU has officially launched its program of mass vaccination against Covid-19, with the goal of making shots available to all its adult population by the end of 2021.
Meanwhile cases of the new coronavirus variant first detected in the UK were confirmed in at least eight European countries, piling further pressure on the vaccine campaign to help get the pandemic under control.
Yesterday South Australian health authorities also revealed they had detected the strain in a returned traveller who had tested positive to Covid-19. The traveller has been transferred from a medi-hotel to the Royal Adelaide hospital.
It remains one of the most dramatically successful outcomes in the battle against Covid-19. A cheap treatment for inflammation was found to save lives of seriously ill patients while a trio of much-touted therapies were shown to have no effect.
Here’s my colleague Robin McKie on the breakthrough medicines that could change the course of Covid-19:
Good morning, and welcome to the Australia news live blog for 28 December. I’m Elias Visontay. Here’s what’s making news this morning.
-Health authorities in New South Wales are racing to uncover the source behind a mystery case they hope will shine light on the initial northern beaches outbreak, as further cases with unknown transmission threaten Sydney’s new year’s eve. Five of the nine locally-acquired cases in NSW under investigation are people who live outside the northern beaches.
–Police in NSW have issued 15 infringement notices since Christmas Eve to Sydneysiders who have broken Covid-19 restrictions. The fines include 11 people who remained at a house party in North Bondi, after the majority of the party’s 40 visitors ran away when police arrived at the home on Saturday night. Two businesses have also received fines.
-NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to provide an update on the northern beaches coronavirus cluster this morning. On figures announced over the weekend, authorities noted a steep decline in daily testing numbers, from almost 70 decline in testing numbers – from about 70,000 on Christmas Eve to about 24,000 on Saturday.
-A woman who fled hotel quarantine in Perth has tested negative to Covid-19 after police found her at a Perth hospital. Western Australia’s health minister Roger Cook has blasted the traveller for making a dent in “fortress WA”, as she faces a fine of up to $50,000 or 12 months in prison.
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