16/04/2020 - 14:44

COVID-19 daily wrap: restrictions to remain for 4 weeks

16/04/2020 - 14:44

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Australia's coronavirus restrictions will remain in place for four weeks. Health Minister Roger Cook has announced an expanded COVID-19 testing program in WA. The state has reported two new infections and an extra case from the Artania cruise ship.

Roger Cook has confirmed two new COVID-19 cases in WA and extra case from the Artania cruise ship. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira
  • Australia's strict coronavirus-related restrictions will remain in place for at least the next four weeks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. The national cabinet has agreed to lock in three key improvements before considering easing restrictions around social distancing, mass gatherings and freedom of movement.
  • Among restrictions the government is will lift include bans on elective surgery and students attending schools where possible, whilst the three key improvements are locked in.
  • Health Minister Roger Cook has announced an expanded COVID-19 testing program for Western Australia, which will provide free testing closer to where people live via a GP referral.
  • Testing will be available at 12 new private diagnostic sites, including at Australian Clinical Labs in Ocean Reef, Ascot, Subiaco and Mandurah; Clinipath Collection Centres in Joondalup, West Leederville, Fremantle and Cloverdale; and Western Diagnostic Pathology in Mandurah, Duncraig, Myaree and Rockingham.
  • “We need to trace, test and isolate and that role is vital if we want to stay on top of the virus,” Mr Cook said this afternoon.
  • The health minister has confirmed two new COVID-19 cases in WA as well as one extra case from the Artania cruise ship.
  • The new cases, aged between 38 and 74 years old, bring the state’s total to 535.
  • Of the two new cases, one is from the Costa Victoria cruise ship and the other currently under investigation.
  • Mr Cook said 214 of the state’s cases were linked to cruise ships, representing 40 per cent of confirmed cases in WA.
  • There are currently 33 COVID-19 patients in Perth metropolitan hospitals, eight of which remain in intensive care.
  • Mr Cook said 25,088 Western Australians have tested negative to the virus, including 5,279 people from regional WA.
  • There are now 340 recovered cases in the state, meaning 64 per cent of WA’s confirmed cases are fully recovered.
  • Premier Mark McGowan says he will make an announcement tomorrow, alongside education minister Sue Ellery, on the state's approach to Term 2.
  • "As a father of three, I believe the best learning environment for children is in the classroom," Mr McGowan said this afternoon. "Our approach to Term 2 will be influenced by expert public health and education advice."
  • The Australian Medical Association of WA has urged Western Australians to see their local GP and get vaccinated against influenza early, before the peak flu season kicks off in June. President Andrew Miller says getting the flu shot is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Both influenza and COVID-19 can cause severe illness, including pneumonia and respiratory failure," he said in an announcement today.
  • The prime minister declined to say today whether the federal government would bailout Virgin Australia. That follows comments from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg overnight that the troubled airline should look to shareholders, and not the government, for support.
  • Mr Morrison has also defended the World Health Organisation, one day after US President Donald Trump said he would seek to withold funds from the UN body. Though he said the organisation deserves to be criticised, he said their work in the region was important and deserved support.

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