Daily News Roundup

July 23, 2020

 

Thursday July 23

Five more people have died from coronavirus in Victoria, taking the state’s death toll to 49, as it records 403 new cases overnight.

Premier Daniel Andrews said three of the deaths — a woman in her 70s, a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s — were connected to aged care facilities.

A man in his 50s and a man in his 70s also died overnight in the state.

Of the 403 new cases, 69 are connected to known outbreaks and the rest are still under investigation.

There are 201 people with COVID-19 in Victorian hospitals, including 40 in intensive care.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said four children were in hospital recovering from coronavirus, and 20 per cent of the state’s COVID-19 patients were under the age of 50.

The Premier said patterns of behaviour, especially people who felt unwell but did not self-isolate or get tested, were “contributing in a very clear way” to increasing cases.

“One of the terrible tragedies today is a man in his 50s — this is not just something that affects people that are frail-aged,” he said.

“That would be reason enough to do what we’re doing, but it would be wrong to assume that young people are somehow immune to this.”

Mr Andrews said there were now 3,630 active cases across Victoria.

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Australia’s budget deficit hit almost $86 billion last financial year, the biggest blow to the bottom line since World War II, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has revealed.

The deficit is projected to grow even further this financial year, with the Government forecasting a blowout of more than $184 billion in 2020-21.

The Government has delayed the budget until October and instead today delivered an economic and fiscal update, which revealed the depths of the economic destruction of the coronavirus.

Treasury is predicting the unemployment rate will be above 9 per cent by the end of this year.

“Our economy has taken a big hit and there are many challenges to confront,” Mr Frydenberg said.

In December last year, Mr Frydenberg was forecasting a $5 billion budget surplus in 2019-20.

But coronavirus spending measures, including the $86 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy, have instead taken debt to record levels.

“These deficits reveal the real cost to the budget of protecting lives and livelihoods as result of coronavirus,” the Treasurer said.

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Two boys have been saved from an apartment fire in France when they dropped about 10 metres from a window and were caught by people below, reports international newsagency AP.

The brothers, aged 10 and 3, were unharmed by the fall but might have suffered from smoke inhalation, French media reported.

Video of the dramatic rescue in the south-eastern city of Grenoble showed the younger brother being dropped from at least three storeys up as black smoke billowed from the window and flames engulfed an adjacent balcony.

As onlookers screamed, the older brother then hung from the window and let himself fall into the arms of those below.

The boys were hospitalised along with 17 residents of the building, media reports said.

Four of the people who caught the boys also were taken to the hospital for examination.

Athoumani Walid, a 25-year-old student who suffered a broken wrist from helping catch the children, said he heard screams and went out to investigate after seeing the fire from his nearby apartment, rushing to help along with four or five other people.

“We didn’t know what to do. We wanted to break the door but it wasn’t possible,” Mr Walid said.

They then went outside and shouted for the boys to jump into their arms.

“When they jumped, fear disappeared. What mattered was to catch them,” Mr Walid said.

Mr Walid said he hopes the rescue will change perceptions of the Villeneuve neighbourhood, which has a large immigrant population and is designated as a “sensitive urban zone” by authorities, making it a priority for urban policing.