COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Defence

Defence’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise with the 12th case added to the map, in Sydney, at 1130am today, 25 March 2020.

As per current protocols, Defence is offering no other details of the new case – unlike the first two cases, in which we were told that “having tested positive to COVID-19, the members have been isolated and efforts to trace any contacts they had are focussed on the first two officers travelling to a meeting at Defence Headquarters, Russell, ACT on 28 February 2020”.

In the mean time, Defence has also created a new but separate second daily update page covering its activities in support of other agencies [which, confusingly, replicates some of the information already provided in the original daily update, which was only updated to reflect the number of cases, but not this other information. And since this other information is still on the original daily update page in its original iteration, it is obviously now out of date and incomplete – but still there].

The new daily update page says…

National

  • Defence has established contact tracing teams to work with the authorities in New South Wales and Queensland with teams ready to support the remaining states and territories.
  • Defence is providing reconnaissance and planning support teams to all state and territory governments.
  • Defence has established the three-star-led COVID-19 taskforce to coordinate Defence’s contribution to whole-of-government efforts and manage its people.
  • Defence established support to Emergency Management Australia-led (EMA) planning for the National Communicable Disease Incidence of National Significance Plan in response to COVID-19.
  • Defence established support to the Department of Health with logistics and specialist staff.
  • Defence provided health, logistics and movements support to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Border Force repatriation and care of Australian Nationals on Christmas Island and Howard Springs via RAAF bases Learmonth and Darwin.
  • Defence has been supplying clinical and epidemiological support to the Department of Health National Incident Room since early February 2020.

Victoria

  • Defence provided a small team of highly qualified engineering maintenance specialists to a surgical face mask factory in Lemnos, Victoria, until supplementary civilian workers can be recruited.

Northern Territory

  • The Australian Defence Force is providing logistics, communications and medic support to the NT Police at three Northern Territory border control locations.
  • The logistics support is focused on catering and other sustainment operations for the NT Police in the remote locations.
  • The communications support will assist police data and voice transmission in the remote locations with limited reception.
  • The medic support will assist police in health screening individuals at border control locations.
  • Defence personnel are not involved in the enforcement of border controls.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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