“I would expect this to be as mandatory as you can make it,” Morrison said in a radio interview. “We are talking about a pandemic that has destroyed the global economy and claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world and more than 430 Australians. So you know we need the fullest and most comprehensive response to get Australia back to normal. “Australia Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said it wouldn’t be mandatory at first, but it was hoped there would be a “strong buy-in”.
As countries around the world strive to develop a vaccine or make sure they have one, Kelly noted that the most important task is to get a vaccine that “works and is safe.”
The Australian government has previously welcomed the outlines of a deal to secure the supply of the vaccine under development to the University of Oxford, which it says would be given free to Australians.
But the difficulties in securing uptake of the vaccine were highlighted by a survey in the UK this month which concluded that only half of Britons would certainly have a shot at guarding against Covid-19.
There has also been a wave of misinformation surrounding a potential vaccine, with singer Madonna censored by Instagram last month for sharing a vaccine conspiracy theory with her 15 million subscribers.
The coronavirus has now infected more than 22 million people worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, due to the persistence of large numbers of cases in the United States, Brazil and India. More than 777,000 people have died.
A leading scientist has suggested that the increasingly common coronavirus mutation found in Europe, North America and parts of Asia could be more infectious but less fatal than the strain that struck China in January and February.
Paul Tambyah, senior consultant at Singapore The national university hospital and president-elect of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, said the evidence suggested the proliferation of the so-called D614G mutation in some parts of the world had coincided with declining death rates, suggesting that it was less lethal than before. feared.
“Maybe it’s a good thing to have a more infectious but less deadly virus,” he says, adding that most viruses tend to become less virulent as they mutate.
However, the virus continues to wreak havoc across the world with South Korea recording its biggest increase in new daily cases since March Wednesday.
New cases increased by 297, including 283 local infections, bringing the total to 16,058, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Daily new cases have been running in triple digits for a week, forcing new social distancing measures and the closure of nightclubs, bars and cafes.
Of particular concern is the virus that is taking hold in the capital, Seoul, where a large cluster has been linked to the Sarang Jeil church.
In New Zealand, around 500 additional members of the defense forces will be deployed to the quarantine hotels, for a total military deployment of 1,200 to fight the latest outbreak in the country which saw six new cases on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “This increase in personnel will be phased in over six weeks… by increasing our defense force personnel, we can stop using private security contractors and replace them with personnel. defense forces. ”
New data released by Statistics New Zealand also showed that 1,200 fewer people died this year than during the same period last year. It was also the lowest death rate since 2016.
Although a definitive conclusion is not yet available, Professor Nick Wilson of the University of Otago told local media that fewer respiratory illnesses circulated this year and the air was clearer of pollution during both. months of lockdown.
Wilson said. “The lockdown must have just stopped these things… There will have been fewer older people dying from pneumonia due to the reduction in circulating viruses.
A number of European countries whose Netherlands and Ireland have warned of the growing spread of the virus, with the latter introducing “dramatically tightened” restrictions on the movement of people after skyrocketing to Europe’s fourth-highest infection rate.
Germany has extended its holiday pay program to 24 months as it attempts to improve the economic impact of the virus.
But there hasn’t been such a problem for investors in the stock market with the S & P500 index on Wall Street closing at a record high on Tuesday. Asian stocks followed suit on Wednesday as the gulf between financial markets and the plight of workers and businesses around the world widened.