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, as Australia reports another 47,000 COVID-19 cases, and 45 virus-related deaths.
It is alleged more than 2,500 ivermectin tablets and nearly 10,000 doxycycline capsules were brought into the country in a month, far more than allowed.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued 15 infringement notices over the matter.
The medicines regulator says “the individual did not have the authority or an exemption to import the medicines, nor did they hold a valid prescription”.
The TGA and the US Food and Drug Administration have warned consumers about counterfeit ivermectin and strongly advised against self-medicating and self-dosing with it to treat COVID-19.
A major UK study last year also showed doxycycline, an antibiotic used to treat many different bacterial infections, was ineffective.
Elsewhere, telephone voting for Saturday’s federal election was extended to tens of thousands of people with COVID-19.
Under original plans, people stuck in isolation who tested positive before 6pm on Tuesday were limited to casting their ballot via the post.
But many missed the application deadline on Wednesday and it’s been extended to anyone who tested positive after 6pm on 13 May.
Another 45 people die from COVID-19
Australia has more than 2,800 patients hospitalised with coronavirus, more than a hundred of them in intensive care in the most recent 24-hour reporting period.
Victoria reported 21 COVID-19-related fatalities on Saturday, NSW had 14, Western Australia had one death, Queensland four and South Australia had five deaths. There were no deaths in Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the ACT.
Western Australia added more than 14,000 infections to its caseload, Victoria almost 12,000, and NSW had a touch under 10,000. There were 6,221 new cases in Queensland, 3,171 cases in South Australia, Tasmania recorded 962 cases, the Northern Territory recorded 224 cases, and there were 859 new cases in the ACT.
NSW had 1,187 COVID-19 hospitalisations, with 41 of them in intensive care; Victoria had 552 in hospital, with 25 in ICU; there were 420 in Queensland hospitals, 12 in ICU; Western Australia has 301 in COVID-related cases in hospital, 12 of them in ICU; South Australia has 211 in hospital, 11 of them in ICU.
Meanwhile, Tasmania has 50 hospitalised with one in ICU; the Northern Territory; has 19 COVID cases in hospital, two of them in ICU; and the ACT has 89 cases in hospital, with three in ICU.