LATEST COVID-19 DEVELOPMENTS:
* A Melbourne man’s rare blood clotting disorder, likely linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, will not affect its rollout to Australians.
* The Therapeutic Goods Administration and Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation met on Saturday morning and Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said no changes to the AstraZeneca rollout were recommended.
* Prime Minister Scott Morrison has agreed to let NSW help with the national rollout in the state, a move federal Labor says is a strategic failing of the government.
* Prof Kidd said other states and territories could get more involved in the vaccine rollout too.
* The about-face comes after NSW criticised the federal government over leaked data suggesting states were causing delays. The state government said the erratic supply from Canberra was to blame.
* Queensland has also hit back following accusations arising from a three-day lockdown in Brisbane that it was stockpiling jabs and leaving frontline workers vulnerable.
* Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says phase 1a of the state’s vaccination program has been practically completed ahead of schedule but supply from the federal government is still lacking.
* Queensland health chief Dr Jeannette Young says Papua New Guinea’s soaring COVID-19 infection rate is “an enormous concern” as health officials race to vaccinate vulnerable communities in the state’s far north.
* “Severely unwell” patients from PNG are being transferred for treatment in Queensland hospitals.
* The state on Saturday reported Australia’s only locally-transmitted case, a man in quarantine for the entirety of his infection.
* Australia’s top medical advisory body is seeking further guidance on the AstraZeneca vaccine following investigations into whether it’s linked to a Melbourne man’s rare blood clot condition.
* Australians have a new-found respect for teachers after a school year interrupted by lockdowns and transition to online learning, according to research.
* A survey of more than 1000 people conducted by Monash University has found 41.6 per cent of them have a greater appreciation for the work of educators as a direct result of the pandemic.
* Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has received political leadership award, the McKinnon Prize, for his “courageous and collaborative” contribution to combating COVID-19.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* Australia reported one locally acquired case of the coronavirus on Saturday. A Queensland man was in quarantine when he fell ill and has not been infectious in the community. There were nine overseas-acquired cases reported in hotel quarantine: four in the Northern Territory; three in NSW, two in Queensland.
* The national death toll is 909: Victoria 820, NSW 56, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 6, SA 4, ACT 3 (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states).
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* Cases: at least 130,260,529
* Deaths: at least 2,838,162
* Recovered: at least 73,770,391
Data current as of 1730 AEDT on April 3, taking in federal and state/territory government updates and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre figures.
Australian Associated Press