WEDNESDAY, April 8
Whether tough coronavirus social-distancing rules are relaxed or tightened in the near future could depend on which state you live in.
After Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday that lockdowns won’t be lifted any “time soon, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned he “won’t hesitate” to bring in stage four restrictions.
And this morning Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queenslanders needed to buckle up for six months of strict social distancing measures.
This was in stark contrast to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian saying this morning the state’s tough social-distancing rules could be relaxed as early as next month.
This was after yesterday saying social-distancing was “a way of life” that would remain until a COVID-19 vaccine was found.
Cafes, gyms, pubs, clubs and tattoo parlours are among a raft of businesses across Queensland that have been forced to shut amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But Ms Palaszczuk, speaking on Today this morning, said that Queensland was looking at six months of tough measures.
“Our border closures are obviously having an impact, the cruise ships leaving are having an impact but like I said we’re looking at six months here,” she said.
“I think everyone needs to buckle in for the six months and then let’s see how we go after that and what measures then we can look at.
“But we’ve got to flatten that curve.”
“You don’t want to have our hospitals overrun like they are in other countries.”
Ms Berejiklian said: “If the [health] advice in a couple of weeks is that there might be a couple of aspects that we can tweak to provide relief to our citizens, well then, we’ll take that advice.”
However, she said lifting restrictions “comes with a risk”.
“When you do lift any of the restrictions, it does mean that more people will be admitted to our hospitals and more people who will succumb to the virus,” she said.
“Every time you relax a restriction, more people will get sick. More people will die.”
- In other COVID-19 news:
- The Prime Minister’s mammoth $130 billion wage subsidy package to keep millions of Australians in a job during the coronavirus pandemic is expected to be approved in Federal Parliament today.The flat rate wage subsidy called the JobKeeper payment is worth $1,500 a fortnight for each worker. The Government is anticipating 6 million Australians — just under half the working population of the country — are likely to need the subsidy.
- There are now around 6000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia with 2734 in New South Wales, 1212 in Victoria, 943 in Queensland, 415 in South Australia, 470 in Western Australia, 98 in Tasmania, 97 in the Australian Capital Territory and 28 in the Northern Territory The death toll stands at 46.
- Global infections near 1.5 million and global deaths near 300,000.
- US Defence Secretary Mark Esper says he has accepted the resignation of Acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who came under fire for his handling of a crisis involving the captain of a coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier.
The controversy started when Mr Modly fired the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt last week, saying Captain Brett E Crozier had shown “extremely poor judgment” in widely distributing by email a letter calling for urgent help with the COVID-19 outbreak aboard his ship.
Mr Modly then flew to the ship, at port in Guam, and delivered a speech to the crew in which he lambasted Captain Crozier, saying he was either “too naive or too stupid” to be in charge of an aircraft carrier.
- New York City’s coronavirus death toll is now at least 3,485 surpassing the September 11 terrorist attacks death toll.
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still in intensive care.
- After 76 days of lockdown, Wuhan is beginning to lift its coronavirus restrictions .
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