FRIDAY, April 3
As the global number of COVID-19 infections passed a million and the death toll 50,000, tight movement regulations continued to be ramped up across Australia.
Queensland Police this morning implemented hard NSW border closures in Coolangatta, with numerous motorists and one man on board a bus being among those denied entry.
The man was ordered off the bus for not having a border permit, under a system introduced by the Queensland Government on March 25.
There are currently 17 entry points between Queensland and NSW, and all but three have been closed, with barricades and checkpoints set up at the remaining entries.
Australia’s death toll has risen to 25 with the death of a man in his 80s in intensive care at a Melbourne hospital.
As of 6:00am today, there were 5,224 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Australia, an increase of 248 cases over 24 hours.
In other COVID-19 news:
- Spain’s death toll passes 10,000 after its deadliest day
- UK deaths rise as Government promises to ramp up testing
- Record numbers of people seek unemployment benefits in the US
- EU Commission apologises to Italy over coronavirus response
Italy remains the country worst-affected by the outbreak with 13,915 deaths, followed by Spain, which passed 10,000 deaths on Thursday.
The US is now the third worst-affected country, with 5,316 deaths.
Spain’s death toll passed 10,000 after a record 950 people died overnight, according to the country’s Health Ministry.
The number of cases registered rose by about 8 per cent from Wednesday to 110,238 cases in total, the ministry said.
The proportional daily increases have been slowing down in the past few days, but the country has had a daily death toll above 800 for the past six days.
In the UK the death toll from the virus has risen another 24 per cent, reaching a total of 2,921 deaths after 569 people died on Thursday, up from 563 the day before, with the UK recording its highest number of daily deaths three days in a row.
A total of 163,194 people have now been tested for coronavirus, with 33,718 confirmed cases reported, the health ministry said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating after testing positive himself, has promised to ramp up coronavirus testing, after his government faced criticism for being slow to roll out mass checks for frontline health workers and the wider population.
“[Testing] is the way through: this is how we will unlock the coronavirus puzzle, this is how we will defeat it in the end,” Mr Johnson said.
While Germany has been testing about 500,000 people a week, Britain’s current capacity is about 13,000 tests a day, a figure the Government said it was aiming to double by mid-April.
In the US, more than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the last week, doubling a record high set just one week earlier, as layoffs accelerate due to coronavirus.
The report from the US Labor Department showed job cuts are mounting — the figure for last week is much higher than the previous record of 3.3 million reported last week.
The surging layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million American job losses by the end of April, while the unemployment rate could spike to as high as 15 per cent this month, above the previous record of 10.8 per cent set during a deep recession in 1982.
Stay-at-home orders have forced large and small businesses to curtail output or shut altogether: more than 80 per cent of Americans across 39 states are now under orders to remain at home.
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