Daily News Roundup

July 28, 2020

Medical staff with bags of clinical waste is seen at St. Basil's Homes for the Aged in Victoria in Fawkner, Melbourne, Monday, July 27, 2020. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett)

 

TUESDAY JULY 28

Victoria has recorded 384 new coronavirus cases, and six more patients with COVID-19 have died.

At a special press conference today, Premier Daniel Andrews said two people aged in their 90s, three people in their 80s and one person in their 70s had died.

Four of those fatalities are linked to clusters in private-sector aged care homes.

Mr Andrews also announced “with some regret” that elective surgeries would be cancelled, except for category one and the most urgent category two procedures.

The suspensions will apply to public and private hospitals in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, which are under stage three restrictions.

“This will free up beds and free up staff,” he said.

Mr Andrews said the decision was made with “a sense of absolute urgency” in order to ensure hospital staff were on hand to treat residents from aged care.

“Staff is the biggest issue,” he said.

“We have the better part of 200 residents that have already been moved from private sector aged care to clinical settings, hospitals, both public and private.”

Mr Andrews said he no longer had confidence that staff and management across a number of private aged care homes could provide appropriate care to keep residents safe.

“We don’t run this sector, but the residents in these homes are all Victorians,” he said.

“The Commonwealth Government have asked for help and that is exactly what my Government and our agencies will provide to them.”

He said registered nurses had already been sent to St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Fawkner which has been linked to 86 coronavirus cases.

“Ultimately the sickest people must get treated quickest and whilst this is not a sector that we have any involvement in …  the residents are Victorians and we need to look after them,” he said.

In NSW, Health authorities have urged anyone who visited the Sydney suburb of Potts Point in the past two weeks to get tested for COVID-19.

NSW Health today confirmed 14 new coronavirus infections in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.

Of the new infections, six are linked to the funerals cluster in Sydney’s south-west and four to the Thai Rock restaurant cluster in Wetherill Park.

With infections spreading into Sydney’s east, two new cases have been reported in Potts Point, one linked to the Thai Rock restaurant and another to the Apollo restaurant.

One new case acquired their infection in Victoria and another is a returned overseas traveller in hotel quarantine.

Health authorities yesterday said anyone who attended the Apollo restaurant at Potts Point between July 23 and July 25 should quarantine for 14 days after their visit.

A staff member there has tested positive and NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said patrons should be on the lookout for symptoms.

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An outback Queensland pub has banned emus after a spate of bad behaviour from the feathered guests, reports the ABC.

The Yaraka Hotel, in remote south-west Queensland, has barricaded its entrances to keep the birds out.

The emus were hatched and raised in the town and have become a tourist highlight.

But the hotel’s owner, Chris Gimblett, said they had recently learned to climb the front steps and were causing havoc.

“We didn’t really want them becoming patrons in the hotel,” he said.

“Because when they do get in here, they behave a bit badly.”

The hotel has erected barricades and put up signs urging tourists to keep the emus out. (Supplied: Chris Gimblett)

One emu expert is not surprised by the behaviour of the birds.

Stephen Schmidt, from Try It Emu Farm in Marburg, said they would go for any easily available food.

“They’re like a chook … they’ll eat anything a chook will eat, basically,” he said.

“Especially in the winter months, because there’s very little protein available.”

Mr Schmidt said people needed to take care.

“Even a very friendly emu can get aggressive … mainly in the breeding season,” he said.

“People have been killed by them.

“I’ve had them chase me up onto the top of the truck.”