Coronavirus updates LIVE: Victoria COVID-19 cases may force lockdown, Spain death toll surpasses 4000 – The Age

We have made our live blog of the coronavirus pandemic free for all readers. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.SummaryThe number of locally transmitted cases in Victoria jumped from nine to 16 overnight. There were a total of 54 new cases as of 11am this morning, taking the state’s total to 574.On Thursday, it was announced that the first three people had died from the virus in Victoria. Australia’s death toll now stands at 13.A total of 2810 Australians have tested positive. In Victoria there are 520 cases, with 1219 in NSW.More than 510,000 have been infected worldwide, according to a running tally by the Johns Hopkins University.The death toll in the US has reached 1000 as cases top 80,000. Most are in New York City, where there are 37,258 cases and the governor has approved the sharing of ventilators. The Australian Consulate-General in Los Angeles has told Australians to go home11.33amSymptoms reported to state, federal authorities: Ruby Princess operatorBy Mary WardThe senior vice-president of Princess Cruises has released a statement in response to the Ruby Princess debacle, saying federal and state health authorities knew they had passengers with symptoms on board before the ship docked and he hoped the health of his fleet’s passengers and crew would be considered as states tighten their ports.Stuart Allison said the news that over 140 passengers from the Ruby Princess have now tested positive for COVID-19 was “as disappointing as it was unexpected”.Mr Allison said people who reported flu-like symptoms were self-isolated in their cabins, reported to “state and federal authorities” by Princess, and the ship’s medical team provided swabs for NSW Health for testing on shore.”Our guests could disembark Ruby Princess because that was the official health clearance process that existed at the time,” he said, saying the process was no different to people arriving by air and passengers had been told to self-isolate when disembarking.Loading”We’re a company and an industry that does the right thing. We will of course comply with the new arrangements for ship arrivals in Sydney and other Australian ports.”Our fundamental position is that the health and safety of our guests and our crew must always come first.”Yesterday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said no passengers would be let off a cruise ship in the state until a national protocol had been agreed upon.11.13amCormann says government will not pay workers’ wagesFinance Minister Mathias Cormann has ruled out a UK-style wage subsidy but says the Morrison government will announce alternative stimulus measures within the next few days.Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann arrives to address the media discussing the economic response to the pandemic, during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday.Credit:Alex EllinghausenBusiness and unions have urged the government to consider UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 80 per cent wage subsidy aimed at keeping people employed during what could be a prolonged coronavirus crisis.But the Australian government has repeatedly baulked at the idea.”No, we will not look at a UK-style system because in an Australian context that just wouldn’t work,” Senator Cormann told Sky News on Friday.LoadingHe said the country was looking at six months of economic disruption from COVID-19, so support needed to get to people “as quickly as possible”.”If we came up with a completely different system, a completely different approach and had to start up a system from scratch it would take us way too long to get that into the community.”But he said the government continued to assess ways to improve levels of income support, while further expanding support and incentives for business to hold on to staff.”We would expect an announcement in the next few days,” he said.AAP11.04amWith no sports, bookmakers get creativeBy Sam PhillipsAt this time of year, corporate bookmakers’ websites are typically flush with an extraordinary amount of racing and sport to bet on.Racing is hanging on but with almost no live sport available due to the coronavirus crisis, bookmakers have turned to some unusual markets – including betting on the weather.Sportsbet is offering temperature over/under markets for most Australian capital cities.Punters can also bet on whether the first decimal of the temperature will be odd or even at particular times during the day.10.39amVictoria records almost double the amount of locally transmitted casesThe number of locally transmitted cases in Victoria almost doubled overnight.As of 10.30am, there were 16 cases of local transmission, up from nine yesterday. It represents the most significant increase in local transmission to date in Victoria.Community transmission cases are those that did not originate from a person who was overseas. These cases worry health authorities as they indicate localised spread of the virus.According to the Victorian government’s virus tally, there were 54 new reported cases between yesterday and this morning, taking the state’s total to 574.The jump in cases yesterday from the previous day was also 54, but today’s numbers will likely rise as the day progresses. The Health Department will release more detailed daily figures later today.More than 30 cases are still under investigation, meaning it is unknown whether they are cases of community transmission.Premier Daniel Andrews is set to speak to media some time in the early afternoon following a meeting of the national cabinet with the Prime Minister and state premiers.It is expected that Victoria will announce harsher ‘stage three’ restrictions on movement that may force all non-essential outlets like retailers to shutter.9.56amColes asks shoppers to pack their own bags, use card instead of cashShoppers at Coles will be asked to pack their own bags at check-out and bakery items will be wrapped in plastic, as the supermarket implements measures to minimise human-to-human contact in stores.Coles recently introduced a dedicated shopping hour for health and emergency workers.Credit:Getty Images AsiaPacCleaning will be increased and self check-out screens and trolleys will be sanitised regularly.To observe distancing guidelines, Coles recommends shoppers do not stand within a trolley’s length – about 1.5 metres – from other shoppers.At check-out, shoppers will be asked to pack their own bags and use card rather than cash, if possible.Coles does not reccomend shoppers wear gloves or masks at stores. The company says the risk of airborne transmission at supermarkets is low.Last week, Woolworths introduced plastic screens between shoppers and staff at check-out stations.9.42amAnother act of kindness emerges in time of adversityIn these bleak times, it’s nice to be reminded of just how extraordinary people can be.Take lawyer and businessman John* (who did not want to use his real name), who rolled up to the Box Hill Centrelink this week and started handing out $100 notes, or as he calls them, “lettuce leaves”.”I came here as a six-year-old from a village in Greece and this country has been good to me,” he said.”I was watching the queues at Centrelink – all those people lining up just so they could buy food for their families – and it made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t take it anymore.”John went to his bank and withdrew the maximum amount of $10,000.”I started at the back of the line so I didn’t miss anyone,” he said. “I still had money left over so I went in the building and made sure everyone inside got some too.”That day they just needed instant relief. These are just innocent people who, through no fault of their own, can’t put food on the table.”There is a lot of wealth in this country and we can ship some of that off so people can get back on their feet, that’s all there is to it.”If everyone who is a little better off can take out what they can and hand out some lettuce leaves, do you know how much better we will be?”9.28amKathmandu the latest retailer to closeKathmandu and Adairs have become the latest retailers to shut their doors.Both brands will shut more than 100 stores and stand down about 2000 workers each, all of whom will have access to entitlements.As economics correspondent Shane Wright reports, businesses have resigned themselves to the coronavirus pandemic wiping out jobs and forcing many firms to the brink as evidence grows the global economy is facing an “unprecedented” collapse.With almost 100,000 Australians tipped out of work so far this week as well-known retailers such as Smiggle, Athlete’s Foot and Tarocash announced they would temporarily close their doors, the business community and shoppers believe the next few months will be extremely difficult.Fear among consumers is also growing rapidly, with nine out of 10 people surveyed saying their biggest concern is the overall economic impact of the coronavirus.An online survey of 1000 Australians by Newgate Research carried out between Monday and Wednesday found 87 per cent were worried about jobs and unemployment while 84 per cent said they feared Australia was headed for a recession.Read more here.With Dominic Powell9.11amTour de France may go ahead, but will not have spectatorsThis year’s Tour de France may still go ahead despite the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, but without roadside spectators.Following the postponement of the Euro 2020 soccer championships and the Tokyo Olympics, the Tour de France – which takes place in June and July – is one of the last major global sporting events that’s not yet been cancelled or postponed.”The Tour is a sports monument. It is too soon to decide,” French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu wrote on Twitter.”There is a time for everything. For now, we have a more urgent battle to fight. Let us focus on this mountain in front of us and then consider what’s next.”Since the Tour’s inception in 1903, only the two World Wars have forced organisers to cancel the race.A Sports ministry spokeswoman told Reuters that the ministry was monitoring the pandemic’s evolution.”There is no rush to decide today,” she said, 92 days ahead of the Tour’s scheduled June 27 start in Nice. It is due to finish in Paris on July 19.In an interview with radio station France Bleu late on Wednesday, Maracineanu said that one option would be to organise a Tour without roadside spectators.”The Tour’s economic model is not based on ticket sales but on TV rights. During this period of confinement, everybody is aware of the risks and responsible,” she said.AAP9.09amNew Corp staffer tests positiveBy Zoe SamiosA staff member from News Corp Australia’s Holt St offices in Sydney has tested positive for COVID-19.Nicholas Gray, managing director of The Australian, NSW & Prestige Titles told staff the building was safe to remain open, but that all areas where the infected employee had been, like the gym, would be cleaned.Mr Gray said the person last worked on site on March 16 and has reported mild symptoms. “Those staff who had close contact have been identified and are being informed,” he said.”They are already working remotely but will be advised to undertake any appropriate precautionary measures as may be required. They have been asked to contact their GP for any medical advice and to keep their business leader updated.”8.56amUK social media campaign praises heroic health workersA popular social media campaign in the UK has sprung up to show appreciation for the country’s health workers.The UK’s National Health Service (NHS), their version of Medicare, has long been a source of national pride.The campaign has drawn high-profile contributions from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the royal family.The cover of the latest edition of Britian’s Glamour Magazine, usually adorned by models and celebrities, also embraced the campaign.Most Viewed in NationalLoading
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *