Coronavirus updates LIVE: Mass testing blitz in Melbourne suburbs; NSW poses greater risk as Victoria reopens; Pfizer vaccine ‘more than 90 per cent effective’

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  • Victorians are hoping to record their 11th consecutive day of no new COVID-19 infections today. Health officials will launch a mass testing blitz in Melbourne’s north and west in a bid to find any remaining COVID-19 cases among 500,000 people.
  • After Victoria’s success at containing the virus, NSW now poses a greater COVID-19 risk, experts say.
  • Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says its experimental vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data from a large study.
  • The US has confirmed more than 10 million coronavirus cases, with an average of nearly 109,000 new infections a day. President-elect Joe Biden has implored Americans to wear masks after a meeting with his newly formed coronavirus task force.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Britons not to slacken their resolve in battling the coronavirus despite news of a vaccine on the horizon, warning that the country is now ‘heading towards the levels of the previous peak’ in terms of COVID-19 patients in hospital.

After Victoria's success, NSW now poses greater COVID risk

Victoria has been the national pariah for months, its residents enduring lonely weeks of isolation as other states closed their borders when coronavirus cases soared during the state's second wave.

But that balance has shifted. Victoria, which has recorded no new cases for 10 consecutive days, is now considered more at risk from NSW when it comes to outbreaks, rather than the other way around, experts say.

Masks remain mandatory in Victoria despite the state boasting a lower number of active cases than NSW.Credit:Getty

One leading epidemiologist has even suggested there is an argument for Victoria to close the border to NSW, which is set to reopen on November 23 for the first time since July.

"You don’t want any more cases in Victoria after all that sacrifice, even though the risk is low," said Adrian Esterman, professor of biostatistics at the University of South Australia.

"It’s really a balance or a trade-off. Opening up the borders will allow people to see their relatives and friends and improve the economy with visitors, but there is that risk. It’s really up to [Victoria’s] modellers to work out if that risk is worth it."

Victoria has recorded just six cases of coronavirus in the past fortnight, with the drop in cases prompting a further easing of restrictions from Monday, removing limits on the distance people in Melbourne can travel and allowing them to visit regional Victoria.

In comparison, NSW has recorded 18 locally acquired cases and 38 cases remain active, compared with just four in Victoria.

A number of other states still accepting international travellers are also reporting more active cases than Victoria, including South Australia, where 18 of 19 active infections were acquired overseas. Queensland has eight active cases and Western Australia has 10.

Read more here.

A holiday for Victoria's CHO Brett Sutton

Following Victoria's run of 10 consecutive double "doughnut days" of no new COVID cases and no deaths, the state's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has announced he is taking a holiday.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton is taking a holiday.Credit:Getty

Professor Sutton rapidly became a local cult figure during the state's second coronavirus wave, with people selling doona covers and pillowcases with his face on them.

It's not clear how long Professor Sutton will be on leave. He will be relieved by Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng.

Trump campaign adviser Bossie tests positive for COVID-19, sources say

Keeping with news from the US for a moment, where there's more bad news for outgoing President Donald Trump.

The lawyer charged with leading Trump's post-election legal challenges, David Bossie, has tested positive for COVID-19, a source familiar with the matter said.

David Bossie reportedly tested positive for COBVID-19 at the White House.

Bossie, a prominent conservative activist who leads advocacy group Citizens United, tested positive on Sunday, joining White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Housing Secretary Ben Carson as victims of the latest coronavirus outbreak to touch the White House. Bossie was picked to lead the legal challenges to Trump's election loss.

Bossie has been in the campaign headquarters in Virginia several times in the last week and has also travelled extensively, according to American news outlet CNN.


'Extraordinary': Early data shows Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective

This morning's big headline is the news from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which says its experimental vaccine is more than 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data from a large study.

The Australian government has secured 50 million more potential coronavirus vaccine doses through two new agreements – one with Novavax and a second with Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE.

Pfizer and BioNTech SE are the first drug makers to show successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The companies said they have so far found no serious safety concerns and expect to seek US emergency use authorisation later this month.

If authorised, the number of vaccine doses will initially be limited. Many questions also remain including how long the vaccine will provide protection. However, the news provides hope that other vaccines in development against the novel coronavirus may also prove effective.

Outgoing US President Donald Trump drew attention to Pfizer's announcement and the positive reaction in financial markets via his favourite social media medium.


An interim analysis of the Pfizer vaccine, from an independent data monitoring board, looked at 94 infections recorded so far in a study that has enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the US and five other countries.

The World Health Organisation's senior adviser said the vaccine development could "fundamentally change the direction of this crisis" by March.

Read more here.

Global cases pass 50.7 million

First off, let's take a look at the global figures according to Johns Hopkins University this morning.

The global tally of COVID-19 cases has passed 50.7 million, driven largely by the US, while the death toll has now exceeded 1.2 million.

The US has confirmed more than 10 million coronavirus cases, as infections continue to rise in nearly every state. The US hit the grim milestone on Monday.

The US accounts for about one-fifth of the world’s 50 million confirmed cases.

US coronavirus deaths are up 18 per cent over the past two weeks, averaging 939 every day. The virus has now killed more than 237,000 Americans.

On a positive note, more than 33.1 million people have recovered from the virus. You can explore our data centre (above) for the latest figures across the world.

Good morning

Good morning, Welcome to our rolling pandemic coverage on this Tuesday, November 10. It's Marissa Calligeros here and I will be with you for much of the day, bringing you the latest developments from across the country and the world.

Thousands of Victorian year 12 students are sitting their VCE English exam today. We're wishing them all the best of the luck!

For some reason, in my final year of school, this song became a bit of an anthem for our year level (I have no idea why). So, here's one for this year's VCE students.

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