New South Wales and Victoria have reported more than 21,000 new COVID-19 cases and 35 virus-related deaths.
As of Saturday, there were still almost 2900 patients in hospital with coronavirus nationwide, more than a hundred of them in intensive care.
Meanwhile, a person from NSW has been fined almost $40,000 for importing thousands of prescription-only drugs known to be used to treat COVID-19 against clinical advice.
It is alleged more than 2500 ivermectin tablets and nearly 10,000 doxycycline capsules were brought into the country in a month, far more than allowed.
The Australian medicines regulator has issued 15 infringement notices over the matter.
“The individual did not have authority or an exemption to import the medicines, nor did they hold a valid prescription,” the Therapeutic Goods Administration said on Friday.
Australian consumers were recently cautioned by the TGA about counterfeit ivermectin and strongly advised against self-medicating and self-dosing with it.
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A UK study, published in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet last year, also showed doxycycline, an antibiotic used to treat many different bacterial infections, was ineffective when treating COVID patients.
“Treatment with doxycycline was not associated with clinically meaningful reductions in time to recovery or hospital admissions or deaths related to COVID-19, and should not be used as a routine treatment for COVID-19,” it concluded.
Elsewhere, telephone voting for Saturday’s federal election has been extended to tens of thousands of people with COVID-19.
Under original plans, people stuck in isolation on election day who tested positive for the virus before 6pm on Tuesday were limited to casting their ballot via post.
But many missed the application deadline of 6pm on Wednesday.
It has now been extended to anyone who tested positive after 6pm on May 13, with telephone voting registration remaining available until 4pm on Saturday.
Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers is urging people to be prepared when they call and expect delays as staff will in some cases be “effectively reading out the ballot paper”.
It is believed more than 200,000 Australians tested positive for COVID-19 between Saturday and Tuesday, some of whom may have already cast their ballot through postal and pre-poll options.
LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA
NSW: 9632 cases, 14 deaths, 1187 in hospital with 41 in ICU
VICTORIA: 11,925 cases, 21 deaths, 552 in hospital with 25 in ICU.