Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Questions without Notice
Dave Sharma (Wentworth, Liberal Party) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source
My question is to the Minister for Health and Aged Care. Will the Minister please update the House on how the government is helping to keep Australians safe from COVID-19?
Greg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Minister for Health and Aged Care) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source
I want to thank the member for Wentworth particularly for his work in encouraging the people in his electorate and across New South Wales to be vaccinated. During the course of today, we expect that the 2,000,000th person in New South Wales will have been vaccinated. In terms of the work already done, the New South Wales government has vaccinated 710,000 people across the state and the Commonwealth government, in partnership with GPs and through our work with aged and disability care, has vaccinated over 1¼ million people. Around the world, though, we know that the pandemic continues to rage. In the last 24 hours, there were over 400,000 cases officially reported worldwide. There were over 9,600 lives lost. That means that this year there have been approximately 2,080,000 lives officially lost to COVID-19. In Australia we remain in the almost unimaginable position of having lost no people this year who caught COVID and passed from COVID in this nation. In terms of keeping Australians safe, there could not be a stronger test.
But I am very pleased to be able to inform the House that, shortly before question time, the National Incident Room informed me that the last remaining person in ICU with COVID has left ICU. There is no Australian at this moment with COVID in any ICU anywhere in Australia. Of course, any case could be fatal. That's why this is such an ongoing national challenge in the face of a global pandemic. And that's why all of the things that we have done together as a nation from the beginning—the closure of the borders, which the Leader of the House mentioned, the testing, the tracing, the distancing and the vaccinations—have worked. They have worked together to protect this nation on a scale and in a way that is almost unparalleled across the world.
As we speak, at this point, as the Prime Minister mentioned, in the last 24 hours, there were 140,800 vaccinations. Over 6.86 million vaccinations have occurred in Australia, and, critically, that means 49 per cent of people who are over 50 years of age have been vaccinated. Over 66 per cent of those over 70 years of age have been vaccinated. And 100 per cent of aged-care facilities around the country have had first doses, and approximately 99 per cent of aged-care facilities around the country have had second doses. These are the things that are keeping Australia safe. It's a global pandemic with catastrophic results outside of our borders. It's a challenge inside our borders, but we have kept Australians safe, and we will continue to do that.