29/04/2020 - 15:28

COVID-19 Wrap: One new case as term two commences

29/04/2020 - 15:28

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One new case of COVID-19 was recorded in Western Australia overnight, more than 250 Australian residents arrived in Perth from South Africa this afternoon, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reiterated that emergency welfare measures will cease in September.

Mark McGowan has said around 60 per cent of students returned to school today. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira
  • Just one new case of COVID-19 was recorded overnight, bringing the state’s total to 551. Of that, only 43 cases are active.
  • A plane carrying 256 Australian residents arriving from South Africa has landed in Perth today, with 200 of those passengers to be quarantined on Rottnest Island. Around 80 of those passengers are from Western Australia.
  • Premier Mark McGowan and Tourism Minister Paul Papalia have announced a new hygiene training course for the hospitality sector, intended as the first step in reopening the state’s industry. The initiative will require all employees at a given hospitality venue to be adequately trained ahead of a possible reopening. (Read more)
  • The Premier has said an initial survey of public schools has found 60 per cent of students have returned to face-to-face learning in term two. Accurate figures are expected this evening.
  • The Nationals WA leader Mia Davies has said regional residential and agricultural colleges are still waiting to find out if students should return to class, as term two has today commenced. In her comments, Ms Davies cited facilities in Cunderdin, Denmark, Harvey, Morawa and Narrogin that were affected by lack of confirmation for a return date.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that the JobSeeker payment will be halved in September, when the federal government has said it will cease to provide direct stimulus to consumers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many key figures in the federal government such as Barnaby Joyce have complained that the current rate of welfare is not feasible for many people, Mr Morrison said the doubled rate currently on offer was an emergency response, and that it did not telegraph any wider changes to the country’s social safety net.
  • While 2.8 million Australians have already downloaded the federal government’s COVIDSafe app, the Prime Minister has said he would like to see millions more download and use the app. The federal government is not expected to make downloading and using the app a mandatory exercise.
  • Australians are likely to lose up to $60 billion in wages and profits between April and August this year, according to new economic analysis from Deloitte. That loss will not be equally distributed, the consultancy firm said, with the hospitality sector set to lose around $8 billion in that period, the most of any industry in the country. That was followed by arts and recreation, which is set to lose more than $6 billion, and mining, which is set to lose around $5 billion.
  • Ford Australia has said it will produce and donate up to 100,000 face shields to healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The prototype for the face shields was developed in Victoria, with around 50,000 already produced.
  • Moody’s has said Australia’s economy is likely to shrink by five per cent this year, with budget deficits expected to increase over the current and following financial year. Despite that assessment, the agency said Australia would retain its triple-A credit rating, citing strong finances overall.
  • US President Donald Trump has said testing in the country will be dramatically increased in the coming weeks, as he moves to allow states to reopen their economies. More than 1 million people in the US have now been infected with COVID-19, and just fewer than 60,000 have died as a result of contracting the virus.

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