03/04/2020 - 15:18

COVID-19 daily wrap: Australia in suppression phase: PM

03/04/2020 - 15:18


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Australia has moved into the suppression phase of the coronavirus. There were 22 new infections in Western Australia, and 217 new cases across the country. Places of worship taking part in religious services over Easter will be considered "workplaces".

Scott Morrison says Australia needs to continue to supress the virus. Photo: Attila Csaszar
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia has moved into the suppression phase of the coronavirus pandemic, citing a declining infection rate.
  • “Had the virus kept growing at the same rate 12 days ago, we would now have more than 10,500 cases in this country – there’d be 5,000 more cases,” Mr Morrison said this morning.
  • “That is a tribute to the work that has been done by Australians in getting around and supporting the very sensible measures that have been put in place all around the country by the state and territory governments. But we must continue to do this.”
  • Australia recorded 5,350 cases as of this afternoon, up 217 new cases since yesterday. Twenty-six people in the country have died from the virus.
  • Western Australia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases grew by 22 today, bringing the state’s total to 422. WA recorded only eight new infections yesterday.
  • Mr Morrison said the national cabinet will regularly release key statistics around the coronavirus via “daily dashboard”, with an accompanying summary of the data by Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy.
  • The information will be available on health.gov.au and will be published in the afternoon.
  • The prime minister also said places of worship broadcasting or streaming religious services for Easter will be considered “workplaces”. This means they will be permitted to host extra people as long as they abide to workplace social distancing rules.
  • The City of Subiaco has announced a $4 million COVID-19 relief package. The package will include rent relief for tenants of City-owned properties, free parking and relaxed parking compliance to support medical staff and essential staff still working in Subiaco.
  • Amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 provide the Minister for Planning with authority to temporarily override requirements and conditions set out in a local planning scheme, and existing conditions in planning approvals. 
  • This could include exemptions relating to noise or amenity restrictions that guide supermarket deliveries, waste and recycling services and construction activities, and take-away and retail delivery services among other locally driven compliance requirements.
  • Under the amendments, the Minister for Planning can issue a notice to suppress local scheme provisions for a single council, across a specific region or across the state.
  • Optus Stadium has donated $70,000 worth of food and beverage to OzHarvest to help those in need during the COVID-19 crisis. The food and drinks were purchased for the AFL season which was suspended in March. RAC Arena also recently donated sandwiches, sushi, milk, fruit and vegetables to the Salvation Army after the Perth Wildcats NBL grand final series was cut short.
  • Earlier this week Screenwest announced a $2.5 million sustainability package to help support the TV and film industries over the next six months. Key elements of the package include the Bright Ideas Crew Capacity Initiative allowing practitioners to innovate during this time, a funding boost to existing Screenwest development programs, repurposing and boosting the funding of the On Demand Content Fund for projects which can be completed in the current environment, and a production company and producer support package. Talent development and diversity initiatives will be announced in coming weeks.
  • WA's largest Aboriginal art market, The Revealed 2020 Art Market, has been cancelled. The market was due to be held at the Fremantle Arts Centre today and tomorrow, but was cancelled due to restrictions on outdoor gatherings.


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