7.37pm EDT19:37 AAP: Australia’s federal health minister Greg Hunt is cautiously optimistic that a vaccine to conquer the coronavirus will be available next year. Hunt says the government is close to striking a deal which would permit the production of a vaccine in Australia, but was unable to provide the names of the companies involved
AAP: Australia’s federal health minister Greg Hunt is cautiously optimistic that a vaccine to conquer the coronavirus will be available next year.
Hunt says the government is close to striking a deal which would permit the production of a vaccine in Australia, but was unable to provide the names of the companies involved due to contractual reasons.
“We are in advanced negotiations with a range of different companies with regards to a vaccine,” Hunt told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda.
“I am now on the basis of our best advice genuinely more optimistic, I think the work is moving closer to a vaccine.’
He said very significant progress is being made around the world to produce a vaccine.
“All our advice has been 2021 is the most likely anything that occur,” he said.
“Before then, then that would be an outstanding result, not just for Australia but for the world.”
Hello and welcome to our continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. This is Helen Davidson in Sydney here to take you through the next few hours.
First, a look at the most recent developments:
- Britain’s health secretary Matt Hancock will announce this week that Public Health England (PHE) will be scrapped and replaced by a new body.
- The US Food and Drug Administration on Saturday granted emergency use authorisation for Yale School of Public Health’s saliva test to detect Covid-19, after a trial on National Basketball Association players and staff.
- Algeria started reopening its mosques, cafes, beaches and parks on Saturday for the first time in five months, gradually relaxing one of the world’s longer virus confinement periods.
- Greek authorities have announced 230 new coronavirus cases over the past day, 27 from international arrivals.
- South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday that all indications were that South Africa had reached the peak of Covid-19 infections, as he announced a sweeping removal of lockdown restrictions on the economy.
- Students in Saudi Arabian public schools will be educated via distance learning for the first seven weeks of the new school year.
- Malta posted its highest ever daily-on-day rise in coronavirus infections.
- Turkey confirmed 1,256 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest daily rise in infections since June.
- The French health ministry on Saturday reported 3,310 new coronavirus infections in France over the past 24 hours, setting a new post-lockdown high for the fourth day in a row and taking the country’s cumulative cases to 215,521. France is to propose that masks be worn in shared workspaces.
- Ireland reported a “deeply concerning” 200 new Covid-19 cases arising from multiple clusters across the country on Saturday, the highest daily amount since the beginning of May.
- The chairman of Ireland’s tourism authority has resigned after defying government guidance to avoid all non-essential travel by going on holiday to Italy.
- The United Kingdom has recorded 1,012 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, the fifth day in a row more than 1,000 infections have been reported in daily figures.