WEDNESDAY, May 6
The Queen has phoned Prime Minister Scott Morrison to congratulate Australia on its success in handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Morrison said he received a phone call from Her Majesty on Tuesday evening, who was checking in to “see how we’re all getting on”.
“The Queen was very interested to hear about our progress in combating COVID-19 and was so pleased we have managed to prevent the terrible impacts,” Mr Morrison said in a post on Instagram.
She was also keen to hear how Australia was recovering after the devastating bushfires earlier this year.
“Our recovery from the bushfires was also a key area of interest for her, as well as the ongoing drought,” Mr Morrison said.
She was particularly pleased to hear “horse races were still running” and sent her “very best wishes” to the country, he added.
In other COVID-19 news:
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the Ruby Princess inquiry commissioner overstepped by aggressively questioning a NSW Health official over the cruise ship docking that has been linked to more than 650 COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths. Mr Morrison said commissioner Bret Walker SC got the balance wrong after his line of questioning reduced senior epidemiologist Kelly-Anne Ressler to tears. The health official was brought to tears as damning evidence was heard during the Ruby Princess inquiry. “I found that a bit out of line,” the Prime Minister said on 2GB this morning.
- Victoria has recorded another 17 cases of COVID-19, including four new diagnoses linked to a cluster at a meat processing facility. Cedar Meats Australia is now linked to 49 coronavirus cases in the state. Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the remainder of the new cases were returning travellers in mandatory hotel quarantine or cases still under investigation.
- There were no new cases of COVID-19 detected in Queensland overnight after 2457 tests were conducted. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said just 52 cases in the state are “active”: there have been 1043 people infected since January and 985 of those have since recovered. Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said more restrictions will be lifted in the state if numbers stay low.
- US President Donald Trump is preparing to wind down the White House coronavirus taskforce even as the US death toll has topped 70,000 and experts warn that the worst is yet to come. Mike Pence, the vice-president and taskforce chair, said on Tuesday that coordination of the pandemic response could be transferred back to federal agencies in late May or early June.
- But in the wake of a leaked internal White House report suggesting that the daily US death toll will climb to 3,000 per day by June, the move is likely to fuel concerns that Trump has all but abandoned a public health strategy in favour of economic imperatives.
In a timely reminder that Mother’s Day is approaching, a thief has stolen a van filled with flowers for Mother’s Day from outside a Melbourne florist. The 2016 Renault Master rental van, with registration 1HU 8FV, was taken from Toorak Road in South Yarra between 6am and 7am on Tuesday.
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