WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22
Queensland has recorded no new cases of coronavirus for the second time this week.
A smiling Annastacia Palaszczuk told a press conference: “We are really on the track to be smashing that curve.”
“But, of course, we still can’t be complacent,” she said saying there would be no relaxation of social distancing.
She urged residents to sign up to the Federal government’s COVID-19 contact tracing app, which is expected to be available shortly.
“If we are going to ease restrictions [in] … the future in Queensland, we will need Queenslanders to sign up to that app,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Ms Palaszczuk also raised concerns about aged care facilities preventing family members from visiting loved ones.
“I’m really concerned that, in Queensland — and I know this is the case, because people have been saying this to me — in Queensland, some aged care homes are in lockdown.
“There is no need for aged care homes to be in lockdown. Families should be able to visit their loved ones,” she said.
“There is no need for this practice to happen.
“I urge all of our aged care homes across Queensland, allow family members in to see their loved ones. We need to make sure that that is happening.”
In other COVID-19 news:
- NSW Health has confirmed two new coronavirus deaths in NSW, taking Australia’s total number of fatalities to 74. The state’s chief health officer Kerry Chant said a 75-year-old man died in St George Hospital, and a 80-year-old woman died in Gosford Hospital yesterday. Thirty-three people in NSW have died from coronavirus. There were just five new coronavirus cases in NSW yesterday, taking the state’s total to 2,974.It was the lowest number of new infections since four were recorded in the 24 hours to 8:00pm on March 10.
- The UK Health Ministry has announced plans to start human trials of a coronavirus vaccine on Thursday. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday the COVID-19 vaccine was being developed by scientists at Oxford University and a separate team at Imperial College in London. “Both of these promising projects are making rapid progress, and I’ve told the scientists leading them that we’ll do everything in our power to support,” Mr Hancock said during Downing Street’s daily press conference.
- Globally, more than 2.5 million people have now been infected with COVID-19, a figure that has risen by over 70,000 a day in April. The United States is by far the hardest hit country, with 816,240 infections and 43,921 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Five other countries have recorded more than 100,000 infections, all of them in Europe: Spain (204,178), Italy (183,957), France (156,522), Germany (148,226) and the United Kingdom (130,172). In total, more than 175,000 people have died of COVID-19.
- Britain’s coronavirus death toll is more than 40 per cent higher than the UK Government’s daily figures had indicated. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which records all deaths including those in care homes and hospitals, reported 13,121 deaths in England and Wales by April 10. The UK Government’s daily toll, which includes only hospital deaths, was 9,288 by that date.
- Singapore, hailed as a coronavirus success story only weeks ago, has been forced to extend its lockdown after the virus mounted a forceful comeback. It will extend its partial lockdown by another four weeks after reporting thousands of new coronavirus cases in recent days, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Tuesday. The tiny city-state reported 1,111 new cases Tuesday to increase its total to 9,125, the most in Southeast Asia.It marked the second straight day of over 1,000 new cases after a single-day high of 1,426 were announced on Monday. Foreign workers staying in crowded dormitories account for nearly 80% of infections.
- The forced lockdown of pubs, clubs and casinos has resulted in savings of up to $1.5 billion for poker machine gamblers, a gambling reform network says.
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