Ten-year-old child becomes the youngest Australian to die with Covid-19
A Victorian child under 10 has become Australia’s youngest person to die with Covid-19, as a large anti-vaccination crowd rallies in Melbourne.
The state reported 1166 new infections on Saturday as active cases dived to 9581, down by about 30 per cent from Friday.
Victoria’s health department later confirmed the infected child was among five further deaths and had ‘other serious comorbidities’.
Previously, 15-year-old Osama Suduh from southwest Sydney was the youngest known person in Australia to die with the virus.
The teenager from southwest Sydney died in August after contracting pneumococcal meningitis, and while he was also COVID-positive it was not the reason for his hospitalisation or death.
It came as several thousands gathered in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday to rally against Victoria’s contentious pandemic bill and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The demonstrators loosely comprise groups who oppose COVID-19 vaccines, mandates and the state’s proposed pandemic laws, which stalled in the upper house this week.
Watched on by police outside parliament house, they chanted ‘kill the bill’ while carrying placards featuring a range of anti-government and anti-vaccine mandate slogans.
Independent MP Catherine Cumming, who said she would vote in favour of the pandemic bill if the government scrapped vaccine mandates, led a ‘no more mandates’ and ‘sack (Premier) Dan Andrews’ chant.
‘We are adults. We make our own decisions for our children. Get out of our lives Daniel,’ she said during a speech.
The crowd has since grown after marching to Flagstaff Gardens, where a band played John Farnham’s You’re the Voice amid a party-like atmosphere.
A counter demonstration at the nearby Eight Hour Day Monument attracted a smaller crowd in the hundreds and did not clash with other protesters.
The group marched down Lygon St and heard speeches before dispersing after 2pm.
Organiser Nahui Jimenez said the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism rallies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth were designed to draw public attention to the ‘growth of conspiratorial, anti-human and fascistic politics’.
‘Hostility to vaccines has become a gateway to the far right globally,’ she said.
It has been reported figures associated with the neo-Nazi movement have joined the recurring protesters, who staged a mock execution of the premier using wooden gallows on Monday evening.
Key Victorian crossbench MP Andy Meddick’s daughter Kielan was also allegedly attacked on a Fitzroy street on Thursday night and suffered a head injury after being confronted by an unknown man for spray painting an anti-vax poster.
Meanwhile, Victoria will join NSW in allowing fully vaccinated international students to fly into the state without quarantining.
The state government has clarified international students can skip quarantine if they are double-dosed and provide a negative test 48 hours before departure, as per requirements for all international travellers.