TUESDAY, April 7, 2020 (2.30pm)
The Prime Minister has reiterated the need to maintain social distancing warning that Australia risks facing coronavirus “horror scenarios” witnessed overseas if abandoned, particularly during the Easter long weekend.
He made the comments as the Federal Government prepared to release the details of its coronavirus modelling, which the Prime Minister insisted was “theoretical” and not based on Australian cases of the virus.
Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy provided a summary of the modelling, based on overseas and not Australian infections, which he said canvassed “horrendous” but “highly theoretical”; scenarios
shown to the Government.
The Federal Government will today make public the scientific projections of the spread of coronavirus in Australia.
The modelling is expected to assess the impact of the Government’s response to the pandemic, including drastic social distancing measures and widespread travel bans.
The release of the data follows the death of 11 people from the virus in a devastating 48 hours.
Mr Morrison spoke after the national cabinet of federal, state and territory leaders is meeting today to discuss the data and the way forward with several days of slowing infection numbers leaving health officials cautiously optimistic – but still warning that it could be months before restrictions are lifted.
“We seem to have successfully flattened the curve at the moment, so whether we indeed will get a peak is hard to know,” deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
“Maybe we are there already. I don’t believe so.”
There are now 5800 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia, with 2637 in New South Wales, 1158 in Victoria, 921 in Queensland, 460 in Western Australia, 411 in South Australia, 96 in the Australian Capital Territory, 89 in Tasmania and 28 in the Northern Territory.
The national death toll stands at 45 after South Australia reported its first death– four in WA, four in Queensland, 19 in NSW, 10 in Victoria, two in Tasmania and two in the ACT .Twelve of the deaths were passengers on the Ruby Princess cruise ship, while six were from the Dorothy Henderson Lodge nursing home in Sydney.
- In other COVID 19 news:
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. Mr Johnson’s office said he was conscious and did not require ventilation at the moment.
- Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has announced State schools will reopen on Wednesday but students who can learn from home, must do so. “If you can’t learn from home, then schools will be open and we will run the same courses,” he said.
- NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says social-distancing will stay “until a vaccine is found’. The Premier said that although restrictions could potentially be eased in the future, social distancing was the new “way of life” until a vaccine was discovered.
- Australian shares are set to extend yesterday’s strong gains, following a rebound on global markets due to early signs the COVID-19 death rate appears to be slowing.
- Several major beaches on Queensland’s Gold Coast will be off limits from midnight today due to coronavirus concerns. “Unfortunately, over the weekend, out-of-towners are descending on the Gold Coast in mass numbers and I fear that this number will increase over the Easter weekend,” he said. “Therefore, as of midnight on Tuesday, The Spit, Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta beaches will be closed [to everyone].”
- Brisbane’s annual Royal show, the Ekka, has also been cancelled for only the third time in history.
- The 149th Open Golf Championship, scheduled for Royal St George’s in the UK from July 16-19, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, golf’s governing body the R&A has announced.
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