Isolation of SARS-Cov-2

Waiting for an internal review by Department of Health of their handling of this request.

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. To eliminate the possibility of contamination, I ask that these documents show 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.)

Please note that I am using "isolation" in the every-day sense of the word: the
act of separating a thing(s) from everything else. I am not requesting records
where "isolation of SARS-COV-2" refers *instead* to:

• the culturing of something, or
• the performance of an amplification test (i.e. a PCR test), or • the sequencing
of something.

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,

Liam P

FOI, Department of Health

Dear Mr Power


I am writing to notify you that the Department of Health (department) received your request on 18 August 2021 for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) being:

"the documents held within the Department of Health that show the evidence of the isolation of the SARS-Cov-2 virus"

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, along with 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 17 October 2021.

Please contact the department by 23 August 2021 with your decision to the 30 day extension of processing time.

You can contact the FOI Unit on (02) 6289 1666, or via email at [email address], should you have any questions.

Kind regards
FOI Officer

FOI and Legislation Support Section
Legal & Assurance Division |  Corporate Operations Group
Legal Advice & Legislation Branch
Australian Government Department of Health
T: 02 6289 1666  | 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. 

If you receive this email in error, please delete it and contact the sender immediately.

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Dear FOI,

Yes I am happy to have the information beyond the 30 day limit but as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,


Dear FOI,

I’m kindly requesting an update on the information I have sought from the Department of Health regarding the isolation of SARS-Cov-2. Please respond as soon as possible as this is a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely,

Liam Power