ABC (Australia)

Coronacast is a podcast that answers your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.

Coronacast is a podcast that answers your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.




Coronacast is a podcast that answers your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.




Australia's borders are reopening when??

It seems that every time we talk about the timeframe of Australia's borders reopening to the world, the estimated date slips further into the future. In this week's budget, the government indicated that borders will probably remain shut until 2022 at least. And Qantas has also pushed back its plans to restart international flights by at least two months. So on today's Coronacast, what could be behind the reason for the slippages of border reopenings? Also on today's show: * Will we really...


It's Victoria's turn to hunt down coronavirus

It's Victoria's turn to hunt down coronavirus, after Victorian health authorities revealed a man tested positive to the virus yesterday morning. The man was a recent arrival from overseas, who completed his 14 days quarantine in South Australia before heading home to Victoria earlier this month. Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says he believes the man contracted the virus in hotel quarantine in South Australia. So on today's Coronacast, how could you spend two weeks in quarantine...


The one silver lining of coronavirus

We've spoken a lot over the last year or so about coronavirus, and for good reason. But there are plenty of other viruses out there that can make us seriously sick or kill us. One is the flu, or influenza, and usually at this time of the year, we'd be seeing a solid rise in the number of reported cases. But not this year. In fact, there's so little flu around that there's actually been more COVID detected than influenza. So on today's Coronacast, what could be going on? Also on today's show:...


How worrying is Sydney's missing link?

A string of community transmission donut days in NSW has been a nice to see since a mystery COVID-19 case popped up in Sydney late last week. However, despite its best efforts, NSW Health has not been able to find out how the case jumped from hotel quarantine into the community. The man has clearly picked up the virus from a mystery person in the community, who could well have spread it to others. So on today's Coronacast, how worrying it is that the link hasn't been found? Also on today's...


A new case of COVID and five new clots

Just when you think it's getting boring in coronavirus land, you're hit with an avalanche of news. Sydney is continuing to battle an outbreak of COVID-19, as health detectives narrow in on where it might have come from. And Australia's medicines regulator has revealed five more people have developed blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, bringing the total to 11 from around 1.4 million doses since the rollout began. So what have we learned about the variant circulating in...


Sydney's sudden and mysterious COVID case

When NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian started her press conference yesterday, she got straight to the point: NSW had detected a case of COVID in the community. And as yet, there’s no known source. The patient has not been overseas or interstate and has no known links to hotel quarantine. He's also been infectious in the community for the last several days. So as NSW Health tries to pin down where he might have got it, Coronacast asks how this mysterious case compares to other recent outbreaks....


One billion doses! But a long way to go

In a global pandemic, you have to take your successes where you can find them. Among the doom and gloom of three-quarters of a million new cases a day worldwide, it's important to look at how much progress we've made in fighting back against COVID-19. To date, more than a billion vaccines doses have been given out globally - a number that will hopefully continue to rapidly increase as more supply becomes available and distributed to those who need it most. Because - as explained on today's...


Will we finally see a jump in vaccinations?

The next phase of Australia's vaccination program began yesterday, and millions of people aged over 50 are now eligible to receive a vaccine. But many are still finding the booking process difficult and confusing, and while vaccines are available it can take a bit of work to find one. Before now, only the vulnerable and front line workers have been eligible, so health officials and experts will be hoping that finally we'll see a dramatic increase in the COVID-19 vaccination rate. So will we...


Perth's new outbreak. Can we avoid another lockdown?

For the second time in a fortnight, residents of Perth are facing lockdowns or increased restrictions due to a coronavirus outbreak from hotel quarantine. Last week, a security guard contracted the virus in a WA quarantine hotel. From there, it's broken into the community with at least two close contacts testing positive. It's again put a spotlight on hotels being used for quarantine and has disrupted the lives of millions of West Australians. So on today's Coronacast, what do we know about...


Could a little pill help treat COVID-19?

There's been a lot of talk over the last few months about coronavirus vaccines and how they'll hopefully end the pandemic sooner rather than later. But it'll be years before the world's entire population is vaccinated, and variants will also continue to provide a threat. So the world needs COVID treatments - drugs to help manage a patient's illness and stop them dying if they contract the virus. On today's Coronacast, what can we make of an-anti COVID pill from Pfizer which is now in early...


Turns out, the vaccines do stop you getting COVID-19

One of the biggest unknowns in the pandemic was whether or not vaccination would stop you getting infected with coronavirus, or just stop you getting sick. It sounds like much the same thing, but the difference is actually huge. Stopping infection means you don't have the virus at all, and thus won't go on to infect others. A study in the journal The Lancet has looked at both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines and found that they do indeed stop infection, which is great news - but sadly not...


Is the UK variant not so bad after all?

The UK variant, or as it's known the Kent variant or B117, is taking over the United Kingdom and other countries it's spread to. It's dominance is due to it to being far more transmissible than other variants, but according to new research just being more contagious doesn't mean it's more deadly. In fact, the study has found that it might be less deadly in people with severe COVID-19. But as with all things coronavirus, conditions apply. That's on today's Coronacast. Also on today's show: *...


Perth's lockdown ends. Hotel quarantine fight goes on

Residents of Perth are out of a snap three day lockdown, with many hoping life will again return to normal over the coming days. The lockdown orders were lifted at midnight, after zero new cases were found yesterday, and testing numbers over the last three days have been high. However the debate about hotel quarantine is on-going. So on today's Coronacast, what could be a good way to allow Australians to return from overseas, but reduce the risk for people already at home? Also on today's...


Perth's tense wait - will lockdown end on time?

Residents of Perth and the Peel region were given a boost of hope yesterday, when no new cases of coronavirus were discovered. The areas are in a lockdown until at least midnight tonight, after coronavirus escaped hotel quarantine late last week and has spread into the community. WA Premier Mark McGowan says it's too early to predict what will happen with the lockdown after Monday And it's also promoted another debate about who should run hotel quarantine: the states or the federal...


Rush on down for our COVID stocktake!

At the start of the year when vaccines were starting to roll out, there was much hope that maybe, just maybe, the worst was behind us. But oh no. Not in this global pandemic. Suddenly we had several variants of concern to worry about, vaccines remained in very short supply and countries argued with each other for who needed it more. So today, Coronacast is doing a bit of a stocktake - taking a step back to have a look at we are and what might come next. Also on today's show: * Quick Fire...


Uh oh. Can mRNA vaccines cause clots too?

The European Medicines Agency has reported that it's aware of 25 cases of rare blood clots from people who have had the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, and 5 cases from people who have had the Moderna vaccine. The numbers were revealed during a press briefing into blood clotting issues related to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. It's the first time such a number has been reported by a medical regulator, and may suggest very rare clotting events may not be confined only to AstraZeneca and Johnson and...


What's behind soaring COVID numbers in India?

The number of daily COVID-19 cases in India has been surging in recent weeks, and some are putting it down to a so-called double mutant COVID variant. New case records are being set nearly daily, and the number of people dying from COVID is also growing fast. The huge surge in cases is also being felt here, with the most recent NSW data showing people arriving from India are making up 20 percent of all cases in hotel quarantine. So on today's Coronacast, what could be behind the surge in...


Vaccines for everyone over 50!* (conditions apply)

The Federal Government is hoping for a vaccine rollout reset, and it may come later this week with National Cabinet agreeing 'in principle' to bring forward vaccinations for those over 50 Currently, people in phase 1a and 1b can get access to vaccinations - which is mostly the AstraZeneca vaccine. As local production of the AstraZeneca vaccine ramps, it may be very soon when the doors are opened to everyone who's over 50. So on today's Coronacast, the washup from yesterday's National...


Will we be taking international flights by October?

With every vaccination, we are a step closer to returning back to something that resembles the normal life we had before the coronavirus pandemic. And one of the big hopes is that people will once again be able to travel overseas to visit family, for work or for holidays. Airlines are taking bookings for later in the year, and report strong bookings so far. The Prime Minister was also yesterday talking about international travel opening up, albeit slowly and for essential travel. So on...


Is there such a thing as knowing too much?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, so much information has been flying around - some of it good and some not so good. Official information from Government and health authorities would be solidly in the good camp, but sometimes there's been a reluctance to provide us with all the information. Take blood clotting for example. In the USA, information has been made widely available and their vaccine advisory panel meets in public. On today's Coronacast, why being transparent in medical decision...