Daily News Roundup

April 16, 2020


Schools could reopen within four to six weeks to start unlocking the economy and getting people back to work, according to a report in The Australian.

The paper said it understood state and territory governments will priorities getting high school students back into classrooms.

The report by Geoff Chambers and Simon Benson said, while most states and territories support schools reopening in line with health advice and potentially through a gradual process, Victoria and NSW are considering their options contingent on infection rates and community transmission modelling.

More than 6400 Australians have now caught the virus, with 3598 having recovered and Australian deaths, up to last night, numbered 62 (26 in NSW, 14 in Vic, four in Qld, six in WA, six in Tas, two in ACT, four in SA). 

Eighteen were passengers on the cruise liner Ruby Princess which is currently under investigation by police and a commission of inquiry.

In other COVID-19 news:

  • US President Donald Trump has threatened to suspend both houses of Congress so he can make appointments to vacant government positions, leading to accusations he was behaving like the leader of a “banana republic”.
  • Trump’s remarkable threat – which came on the day US recorded its highest number of coronavirus deaths – drew immediate criticism, including from a constitutional scholar who argued against his impeachment last year. The US recorded 2492 new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday (Thursday AEST), the highest daily death toll so far, taking the total American deaths beyond 30,000.
  • There’s more evidence the US economy is in a deep recession because of government lockdowns and business shutdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Retail sales in the US fell by a record amount last month and factory production slumped by the most since 1946.
  • A Perth man has spent his first night behind bars after becoming the first person in Australia to be jailed for breaching emergency coronavirus laws after he repeatedly snuck out of his hotel room while he was supposed to be in quarantine.\
  • South Dakota’s coronavirus cases have begun to soar after its governor steadfastly refused to mandate a quarantine. The number of confirmed cases in the state has risen from 129 to 988 since April 1 — when Gov. Kristi Noem criticised the “draconian measures” of social distancing to stop the spread of the virus in her state.

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