25 June 2020
Victoria launches COVID-19 testing blitz in hotspots
Welcome to The Medical Republic‘s live COVID-19 blog.
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- Afternoon update: Victoria launches suburban testing blitz, and WHO says benefits of breastfeeding in COVID-19 outweigh risks.
- Morning update: SARS-CoV-2 remains viable on plastic for up to four days.
- Ten travellers in hotel quarantine in NSW have tested positive to COVID-19.
- Victoria is implementing a suburban COVID-19 testing blitz as its infection rates increase. Six local government areas have been identified as hotspots – defined as having at least five cases not acquired overseas – so testing is being ramped up in the following suburbs: Keilor Downs, Maidstone, Albanvale, Sunshine West, Hallam, Broadmeadows, Brunswick West, Fawkner, Reservoir and Pakenham.
- While SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA has been detected in breastmilk, the WHO says it’s not yet clear whether the virus can be transmitted from mother to infant through breast-feeding. In their latest advice on the issue of breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation says that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the relatively low risk to health and survival that COVID-19 poses for infants and children.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive and remain viable for nearly four days on surfaces such as plastic when it’s accompanied by the proteins found in human respiratory fluids, new research suggests. A study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases compared the infectivity of the virus on glass, aluminium and plastic, with different concentrations of bovine serum meant to represent the concentration of proteins in cough droplets, sputum and other respiratory secretions.
It found that the virus could maintain its infectivity on polystyrene plastic for 92 hours with even a moderate concentration of protein. On aluminium, there was a sharp drop in infectivity after less than four hours, and on glass there was a significant drop in infectivity after 44 hours.
“We showed that a moderate protein concentration in droplets markedly increased the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that a protein-rich medium like airway secretions could protect the virus when it is expelled and may enhance its persistence and transmission by contaminated fomites,” the authors wrote.
- New South Wales has recorded ten new cases of COVID-19, all of which are returned travellers in hotel quarantine. Meanwhile, Victoria’s infection figures rose by 20, many of which are close contacts of known cases. Here are the latest figures around Australia to 9pm yesterday:
National – 7521, with 103 deaths and 6924 recovered
ACT – 108
NSW – 3159
NT – 29
QLD – 1066
SA – 440
TAS – 228
VIC – 1884
WA – 607