Australia COVID-19 cases on the rise
There have been 2,144 COVID-19 cases recorded in Australia with 8 deaths.
Globally there have been 417,693 COVID-19 cases recorded with 18,605 deaths.
Stage two social distancing restrictions
In a press conference on Tuesday (24th March) night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced further restrictions on businesses and other non-essential facilities to further stop the spread of coronavirus.
Here is the full list of closures:
- Registered and licensed clubs
- Entertainment venues and cinemas
- Licensed premises in hotels and pubs
- Nightclubs and casinos
- Gyms and indoor sporting venues
- Restaurants and cafes (restricted to only takeaway and home delivery)
- Wellness centres and swimming pools
- Tattoo parlours
- Beauty salons
- Amusement parks
- Places of worship
- Auction houses and open home inspections
- Food courts
- Outdoor and indoor markets
- Galleries, museums, historic sites
- Community centres and facilities
- Strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues.
The Prime Minister has also banned private gatherings and placed new restrictions on weddings and funerals.
The rules that will continue to be enforced include keeping 1.5 metres between yourself and others and avoiding all non-essential travel. Visitor restrictions to aged care facilities continue while schools will remain open to assist parents who cannot work from home.
Military on standby
Australia’s defence force has been placed on standby to be deployed if required. Military personnel can be utilised to ensure supply routes stay open, to stop civil unrest and to assist deliveries. These preparations are similar to those during natural disasters.
Children test positive for COVID-19
NSW has recorded its first COVID-19 cases in children under 10.
“A two-month-old boy who was tested following close contact with a confirmed adult case,” NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
“In a separate, unrelated case, we have a seven-year-old girl who was tested following close contact with a confirmed adult case.”
Both children had minimal symptoms and are in isolation at home.
Thousands of Australians without jobs
It’s estimated more than 800,000 jobs could be lost by the end of June and 1.5 million Australians could be unemployed. Centrelink offices have experienced huge queues, while the online portal crashed for the second day in a row as thousands of Australians tried to register for benefits. Centrelink will boost its workforce by 5000 people to deal with the influx of applicants and extend call centre hours.
Free training for Australian nurses
Australian nurses will be offered free online training to allow them to return to the front line to help fight against the coronavirus outbreak. The Federal Government will spend up to $1 million to enable 1000 eligible registered nurses to undertake an online refresher course on acute nursing care, including guidelines on COVID-19 infection control.
Scott Morrison establishes National COVID-19 Commission
Scott Morrison has launched a national COVID-19 Coordination Commission to advise the Government on actions to prepare and mitigate the economic and social effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It is made up of Australians from the private and public sector and will be led by Neville Power (former chief executive of Fortescue).
“There will be a board that will be appointed and we already have sitting on the board a number of eminent Australians who will be working with Nev to help guide the problem-solving task and others will be added to this board,” Mr Morrison said.
Tokyo Olympics postponed
The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021. It is the first delay to the modern Games in its 124-year history.