Coronavirus live news: Germany threatens legal action over vaccine delays; NSW marks 14 days of no cases | World news
The earliest references to the “one-stop shop” emerged during the first decades of 20th century as the fast-growing US economy spurred rapid retail innovation. A single location for various products provides obvious benefits: removing the hassle of travelling around town to visit different stores.
Jeff Bezos redefined that logic for the internet age, making Amazon a dominant (and perhaps ambivalent) force first in selling books, and then in pretty much everything else. Before 2020 Amazon was a phenomenon, but the coronavirus pandemic has made it all but ubiquitous.
The numbers in its financial results for the last three months of 2020, to be published on Tuesday, will be even bigger than Amazon’s earlier instalments in the first pandemic year. Christmas and Thanksgiving always make the final quarter of the year the strongest for Amazon. Christmas 2020 will mainly be remembered for locked-down celebrations, but analysts predict that it will also mark the first time Amazon’s revenue surpasses $100bn in one quarter:
Victoria state health authorities investigating ‘indeterminate’ test result
Health authorities in the Australian state of Victoria are investigating an “indeterminate” test result.
Victoria notched up its 25th day in a row without a community transmission coronavirus case on Sunday, but one test has not yet been confirmed as negative.
The state’s health department said it would provide more information on the potential case later on Sunday.
There were 10,681 tests undertaken in Victoria on Saturday.
EU vaccine export controls not expected to affect Australia: health minister
Australia’s health minister says the European Union’s dramatic decision to impose export controls on vaccine manufacturers is “not expected to affect Australia”.
The EU has imposed sweeping powers that would allow it to block Covid-19 vaccine shipments from the bloc and Australia was left off a list of 120 nations exempt from the measures.
But Greg Hunt sounded an optimistic note on Sunday after discussions with EU representatives and key vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
We have our diplomats that are working with the World Health Organization and the European Union through the commission.
Our advice is that our vaccine supply and guidance remains on track, those dates that we provided earlier in the week followed discussions with country heads of Pfizer and AstraZeneca and took into account supply and regulatory conditions within Europe and had been reaffirmed in the last 24 hours. The guidance from the EU is provisional and preliminary at this stage, so I will remain cautious, but that guidance is that the EU regulatory steps are not aimed at Australia, and not expected to affect Australia.
Hunt said the Pfizer vaccine was expected to commence with 80,000 doses a week by late February, while approximately 1.2m doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be administered in March.
There would be 50m doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in Australia by CSL.
Australia to enlist pharmacies to distribute vaccines
The Australian government says thousands of local pharmacies will be enlisted to distribute Covid vaccines.
Greg Hunt, the health minister, told a press conference on Sunday that community pharmacies would administer the vaccine for free from phase two of the Australian rollout. That begins in May, when the jab will become available for those over 50 and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
They are experienced, they are trained in dispensing medicines, and they would be participating from Phase 2A onwards, and that means more points of presence for Australians in terms of where they can receive their Covid-19 vaccine.
Hunt noted that local pharmacists were already involved in administering the flu shot. From Monday, 5,800 community pharmacies will be invited to apply to participate in the $200m program.
Hunt said applicants would need to meet a set of standard to be included, but that the program would “give more options and better access to Australians”.
General practitioners will also distribute the Covid-19 jab. The first phase of the roll out will begin in late February.
Germany threatens legal action over vaccine delivery delays
South Australia reopens border to Sydney travellers
In case you missed this earlier, the Australian state of South Australia has lifted its Covid-19 restrictions for travellers from the Sydney region.
The change comes after New South Wales reached two weeks without a locally transmitted case. The Victorian government has revealed figures that show it issued more than a million travel permits since virus border restrictions were imposed just over six weeks ago.
As of late Saturday 1,014,787 permits had been granted for travellers to enter Victoria, an average of almost 15 for every minute of every day since restrictions were imposed on 16 December.
But while plenty of visitors are being granted permits, authorities have detected evidence of virus fragments at six locations, including the popular tourist towns of Cowes on Phillip Island, and Castlemaine in the north-west.
Fragments have also recently been found in waste water at the satellite Melbourne suburb of Pakenham, rural Gisborne, Hamilton in the state’s south-west and the South Gippsland town of Leongatha.
The health department is urging residents and visitors to these locations to get tested if they have even mild symptoms.
On Saturday Victoria notched up 24 days since its last locally acquired case. Meanwhile Victoria’s chief health officer will allow up to 30,000 people to attend the Australian Open in Melbourne each day, about half the usual numbers.
The last players and participants still in the hotel quarantine system are expected to leave on Sunday.
NSW Health warns virus could re-emerge
Australian state of New South Wales marks 14 days with no new cases