Daily News Roundup

May 18, 2020


Australia’s coronavirus death toll has reached 99 after a man died in NSW, while McDonald’s has closed 12 outlets across Melbourne after a delivery driver tested positive to the disease.

In Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has suggested Queensland’s border with NSW may not be reopened until September and Australia’s push for an inquiry into the origins of the virus is gathering international momentum, with 62 countries co-sponsoring a World Health Assembly motion.

The motion is due to be voted on in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

China has been furious with Australia over the inquiry, which now has the support of Russia, the European Union, India, Japan, Canada and Britain

More than 7000 people have contracted coronavirus across Australia, with 6367 already recovered.

The latest fatality in Australia was a man in his 60s who had underlying health conditions and contracted the disease from a close personal contact.

NSW authorities have urged people to keep their distance from each other as social and economic restrictions are eased across the state.

The McDonald’s driver was an extended family member of a worker at Fawkner McDonald’s in the city’s north, where a cluster of 10 cases emerged earlier in the month.

Queenslanders could be allowed to visit far flung states before they’re allowed to return to NSW and Victoria.

Talking on ABC radio today Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, when asked if the border could be opened by the end of May, said: “I would say that things would look more positive towards September.” 

The premier has promised to review the border closure at the end of each month.

On Sunday she warned it would be irresponsible to allow border crossings when there’s still active community transmission of coronavirus in NSW and Victoria.

Asked about Queenslanders being allowed to visit the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia under a “travel bubble” arrangement, she said:

“I could see that happening before NSW and Victoria. But that’s a matter for the premiers there as well.”

In other COVID-19 developments:

  • The US continues to head the world in the confirmed case numbers and deaths from th4 virus, according to the  Johns Hopkins University with 1,486,375 confirmed cases (89,549 deaths, followed by Russia: 281,752 confirmed cases (2,631 deaths); United Kingdom: 244,995 confirmed cases (34,716 deaths); Brazil: 240,307 confirmed cases (16,091 deaths); Spain: 230,698 confirmed cases (27,563 deaths); Italy: 225,435 confirmed cases (31,908 deaths); France: 179,693 confirmed cases (28,111 deaths); Germany: 176,369 confirmed cases (7.962 deaths); Turkey: 149,435 confirmed cases (4,140 deaths); Iran: 120,198 confirmed cases (6,988 deaths).


An air and sea search is underway to find a fisherman who fell overboard from a trawler off the Sunshine Coast early this morning, reports the ABC.

The crew on board the boat called for help about 3:00am after they circled back to find the man but could not locate him.

The Sunshine Coast Lifeflight helicopter was sent to the main search site, about 80 kilometres east of Point Arkwright just after 4.15am.

The search is being led by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra.

In a second unrelated marine incident a body was found after an empty yacht ran aground at Mooloolaba Beach.

Residents reported seeing someone fall from the boat near Maroochydore as they were pulling the sail down.”

The yacht ran aground on the beach at the tourist destination with little damage, but with lights on and music playing.

The first teams to board the vessel found a passport belonging to a 57-year-old man from the United States.

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