Documentation that shows evidence of the isolation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Health, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Department of Health,

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 I am requesting for you to please provide me with the documents held within the Department of Health that show the evidence of the isolation of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

Please provide me with any or all of the following documents:

1. Documentation proving isolation of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta strain by means of a purified viral sample being imaged with an electron microscope.
2. Documentation where the isolated SAR-CoV-2 virus sample mentioned in point 1 is exposed to healthy humans or animals and shown to cause the disease COVID-19.
3. Documentation showing the virus has been isolated from only the sample of a symptomatic patient of COVID 19, where it was not first combined with any other source of genetic material (not limited to but by way of example; monkey kidney cells/vero cells or liver cancer cells.)

As this information is of extreme public interest at this time, I request any fee for finding this information to be waived. Thank you for your time.

Yours faithfully,

Justyna Wozna

FOI, Department of Health

Good afternoon

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – NOTIFICATION OF RECEIPT AND REQUEST FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME

I am writing to notify you that the Department of Health (department) received your request on 10 October 2021 for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) being:

1. Documentation proving isolation of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta strain by means of a purified viral sample being imaged with an electron microscope.
2. Documentation where the isolated SAR-CoV-2 virus sample mentioned in point 1 is exposed to healthy humans or animals and shown to cause the disease COVID-19.
3. Documentation showing the virus has been isolated from only the sample of a symptomatic patient of COVID 19, where it was not first combined with any other source of genetic material (not limited to but by way of example; monkey kidney cells/vero cells or liver cancer cells.)

The statutory timeframe for processing your request is 30 calendar days within which a decision on access to the requested documents is to be notified. The department may impose a charge for the work involved in providing access to the documents. If this request attracts a charge you will be notified in writing.

Unless you advise otherwise, draft and duplicate documents and Commonwealth employee names and contact details below Senior Executive Service level and mobile telephone numbers of all staff will be excluded from the scope of your request under s22(1)(a)(ii) of the FOI Act.

Request for extension of time

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the department is dealing with a very high volume of FOI requests. To ensure the department can process your request in accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act, including locating and providing access to all relevant documents, the department would be grateful if you would agree to an extension of 30 calendar days for processing your request.  If you agree, the department will endeavour to provide a decision to you by 9 December 2021.

Next Steps

Please contact the department by 25 October 2021 with your decision to the 30 day extension of processing time.

You can contact the FOI Unit via email at [email address], should you have any questions.

Kind regards
FOI Officer
Freedom of Information Section

Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group
Legal Advice & Legislation Branch
Australian Government Department of Health
E: [Health request email] 
GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to all Elders past and present. 

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Dear FOI,

As per your request, I agree to an extension of 30 calendar days for processing my request.

Yours sincerely,

Justyna W