01/05/2020 - 14:59

COVID-19 daily wrap: Decision on social restrictions due next week

01/05/2020 - 14:59


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The National Cabinet has brought forward its decision to ease restrictions. The federal government will inject a further $205 million into aged care. Western Australia has reported zero new coronavirus cases overnight. The state government will launch a COVID-19 testing program in schools.

COVID-19 daily wrap: Decision on social restrictions due next week
Scott Morrison has encouraged more Western Australians to download the COVIDSafe app. Photo: Attila Csaszar
  • The National Cabinet has brought forward its decision to ease some of Australia’s coronavirus-related restrictions, with state and federal leaders due to make an announcement on May 8.
  • The Cabinet will meet twice next week ahead of its decision on Friday. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said easing restrictions would enable Australians to go back to work and support the economy.
  • “We need to restart our economy. We need to restart our society. We can’t keep Australia under the doona. We need to be able to move ahead,” the prime minister said this afternoon. “Australians have earned an early mark through the work that they have done.”
  • Mr Morrison said the government was prepared to ease some restrictions if more Australians downloaded the COVIDSafe app. More than 3.5 million Australians have downloaded the app so far. “There needs to be millions more. This is incredibly important,” Mr Morrison said. “It’s like not putting on sunscreen to go out into the blazing sun. Our numbers may be low, but the coronavirus is still out there.”
  • The federal government will inject a further $205 million into the Australian aged care sector, bringing its total contribution amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to $850 million.
  • The return of elite and community sport will be decided with further decisions on lifting restrictions, due next week.
  • Premier Mark McGowan has reiterated Western Australia’s approach to easing restrictions would be careful and cautious. “There is no way that we will do anything to compromise the health of Western Australians,” he said.
  • WA has reported zero new infections for the ninth time since February 21, bringing the state’s total to 551. Only two COVID-19 cases have been reported this week.
  • Four more COVID-19 patients recovered overnight, reducing the WA’s active cases to 32. Twenty-three of these are Western Australians, while one is from interstate and the remaining eight are from overseas. Only three of the state’s active cases are in regional WA, in the Goldfields.
  • The number of Western Australians in hospital has reduced to 11, three of which are in intensive care.
  • There have been 41,241 COVID-19 tests completed in WA. Health Minister Roger Cook said the state would change the way it reports coronavirus testing to the nationally agreed approach, which records the number of tests performed rather than the number of people tested, due to some people being tested more than once.
  • Mr Cook unveiled new details of a randomised COVID-19 testing for Western Australians called The Detect Program, which will initially focus on schools, then FIFO workers and frontline healthcare workers. “Detect is a series of WA-based population studies, designed by some of the state’s leading researchers which examines the prevalence of COVID-19 on key sectors of our community,” Mr Cook said. “A major aspect of the program involves a randomised testing of people who do not display COVID-19 symptoms.”
  • The state government has partnered with the Telethon Kids Institute for the school study. The study will include primary and secondary schools, education support centres and residential colleges in Perth and regional WA.
  • There are now just over 1.5 million Australians on JobSeeker. Over 900,000 claims have been processed over the past six weeks.
  • More than 650,000 businesses have registered for the JobKeeper scheme.
  • Over 950,000 applications have been made to access super, totalling around $7.9 billion in claims.
  • More than 340,000 businesses have received a cash flow boost from the federal government, totalling over $6 billion.
  • The government has made a one-off $750 payment to 6.8 million Australians, totalling $5.1 billion. Another payment will be made in July.
  • Rio Tinto has introduced rapid COVID-19 screening for its fly-in, fly-out workforce at Busselton, Geraldton and Albany airports.


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