14/04/2020 - 15:55

COVID-19 daily wrap: four new WA cases, three from ships

14/04/2020 - 15:55

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Only one new local COVID-19 case has been reported in WA. The state will maintain a hard border closure. New laws have been announced for residential tenancies.

Three out of WA's four new COVID-19 cases came from the Artania cruise ship. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira
  • Western Australia’s coronavirus-related restrictions will be in place for some time longer while the state continues to drive down rates of infection.
  • WA has reported four new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total to 527. Of the new infections, only one was a local case and three were passengers previously aboard the Artania cruise ship.
  • Premier Mark McGowan says WA’s response to the virus has been pleasing so far. “Western Australia rose to the challenge and we are now witnessing the encouraging signs early in this battle,” he said. “But we still have a long way to go and we need to ensure everyone stays the course. We can’t let our guard down.”
  • Mr McGowan said the state government was prepared to ease or tweak some coronavirus-related restrictions in a methodical or measured way. “Any adjustment in restrictions will be based on the best health advice,” he said. “I don’t want to take any unnecessary chances here.”
  • The premier confirmed WA would maintain a hard border closure for a long period of time. “This will give us the best chance of protecting every Western Australian and defeating the virus,” Mr McGowan said. “We live in one of the best and safest places in the world, but I need everyone to stay focus and not get complacent.”
  • Mr McGowan also announced a six-month moratorium would be placed on the eviction of residential tenants and rent increases would be put on hold for the same period, under legislation set to be introduced in Western Australian parliament this week.
  • The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission will issue a General Order amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that enables state system employees to take unpaid pandemic leave, annual leave on half pay and annual leave in advance.
  • There are 296 recovered COVID-19 patients in WA. Six people have died from the virus. Fourteen cases have come from unknown sources.
  • Nationally, there have been 44 new coronavirus cases, bringing Australia’s total to 6,366. Sixty-one people have died from the virus and more than 363,500 tests have been conducted across the country.
  • NSW is still the worst-affected state, currently with 2,870 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg expects Australia’s unemployment rate to rise to 10 per cent in the June quarter from 5.1 per cent in the most recent data. He said without the federal governments $130 billion JobKeeper payment scheme, Australia’s unemployment rate would instead be 15 per cent.
  • More than 800,000 Australian businesses have registered for the JobKeeper payment, under which businesses will gain $1,500 per fortnight to be handed down to employees.
  • At least 2,000 WA healthcare workers will help test whether an existing tuberculosis vaccine can reduce their chance of COVID-19 infection, lessen the severity of symptoms and boost immunity. The Minderoo Foundation today committed $1.5 million to the Telethon Kids Institute to support the roll out of the BRACE trial using the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine in Western Australia.

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