January 24, 2021

Half of Canadians ‘to get vaccine by September’; Italy to ease measures in some regions – as it happened


11.14pm GMT23:14

Peru secures 23 million doses of vaccine.

11.05pm GMT23:05

at 11.20pm GMT

11.04pm GMT23:04

10.11pm GMT22:11

10.06pm GMT22:06

at 10.07pm GMT

9.55pm GMT21:55

9.46pm GMT21:46

In Australia, the once Covid-19 ravaged state of Victoria has now recorded 29 days with no infection or virus-related deaths. This means the state has essentially eradicated the virus, however health officials have still urged citizens to be careful and restrictions, including mandatory mask-wearing while inside, are still in place.


Yesterday there were 0 new cases and 0 deaths reported. There are no active cases. #EveryTestHelps and thank you to all who came forward for testing – there were 9,403 results received. https://t.co/pcll7ySEgz #StaySafeStayOpen #COVID19Vic pic.twitter.com/EoF59atenS

November 27, 2020

The other big news out of Victoria is the continuing fallout from the inquiry into hotel quarantine.

Late on Friday afternoon, the inquiry released hundreds of pages of emails, call records, meeting notes and affidavits obtained in the two months since the inquiry held its last hearing.

The Victorian chief medical officer, Brett Sutton, said in an affidavit released on Friday that he was aware that the emails showed an “apparent inconsistency” with his earlier evidence. But he maintained he was unaware of the use of private security guards in hotel quarantine until late May.

Former police commissioner Graham Ashton told the inquiry it was top Victorian bureaucrat Chris Eccles who led him to believe private security would be used.

The ex-police chief’s recollection of a phone call at 1.17 pm on March 27 was detailed in a fresh sworn statement tendered to the inquiry on Friday. Ashton wrote that he and Eccles spoke for 136 seconds following a meeting of the national cabinet.

“At least part of this conversation involved Mr Eccles informing me regarding the potential use of the ADF to guard returned travellers during the transfer from their flights and the use of private security to guard them at the hotels,” he wrote.

“But my belief as to what he told me in this regard is based only on the inference which I draw from the contents of the text message which I sent to AFP Commr Reece Kershaw.”

This text to Ashton’s AFP counterpart was sent just minutes after the call with Eccles, saying he had been advised private security would be used. Eccles maintained he could not recall the content of the conversation with Ashton and was adamant he had “no knowledge” of any decision to use police, the ADF, the AFP or private security.

at 10.05pm GMT

9.45pm GMT21:45

at 9.48pm GMT

9.31pm GMT21:31

Brazil reports further 514 deaths

8.47pm GMT20:47

at 9.46pm GMT

8.32pm GMT20:32

8.20pm GMT20:20

at 8.23pm GMT

8.08pm GMT20:08

Belgium to ease lockdown restrictions

at 8.12pm GMT

7.58pm GMT19:58