Daily News Roundup

July 29, 2020

 

WEDNESDAY JULY 29

Shopping centres, a school and restaurants are being closed by the Queensland Government after two 19-year-old women from Logan and Acacia Ridge tested positive to coronavirus after returning the Brisbane from Melbourne via Sydney.

In addition, aged care facilities in the Metro South are being closed to visitors as well as introducing enhanced screening of staff and a ban on staff working across multiple.

And an angry Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared Greater Sydney a coronavirus hotspot meaning anyone from there would not be allowed into Queensland.  

Police have launched a criminal investigation as to how the two women managed to travel to Victoria and return to Queensland without going into quarantine. They returned on July 21.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said: “This is very disappointing we have to get to this stage. I can tell you that this is a criminal investigation we are conducting so I am constrained about what I will say about that at this stage. 

“Our investigations are around the truth so we want to work out what actually happened here, in terms of what individuals may have done but also how the system has operated and see whether there are things we need to consider.”

“I’m absolutely furious that this has happened. That these two people have gone to Victoria, have come back and have given misleading information to authorities,” said Ms Palaszczuk.

“I also want to say now that it is going to cause a lot of inconvenience to families but it is too important and we must protect Queenslanders.”

Ms Palaszczuk said 31 new local government areas in Sydney were now official hotspots for the purposes of entering Queensland and the measures would come into effect from 1:00am Saturday.

Health Minister Steven Miles said a large contact tracing effort was underway at Parklands Christian College where one of the two 19-year-olds worked. Cleaning was also taking place.

“It is very disappointing this has occurred”, said Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer Jeanette Young.

”As a result of that, a lot of people are going to be inconvenienced”. 

“We need to act really, really fast. These two young women have been out in the community for eight days while unwell. 

“So please, anyone who lives in that Logan, Acacia Ridge, Springfield Lakes, areas, if you have any symptoms at all or if you are concerned, please come forward immediately and get tested.”

Dr Young said she apologised for what is now going to have to do occur. The shopping centres to be closed will be announced soon.

“But we know that if we act really fast now we can stop this spreading further and cause even more inconvenience to a lot of people. So there are going to be shopping centres, a school, restaurants to close now for at least 48 hours while we arrange a deep clean of those facilities and contact trace people who attended.”.

“We can’t guarantee that there has been no contact unfortunately.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said the state’s public health unit was doing “precisely what needs to be done”.

“There will be extensive testing and contact tracing is straight out of the playbook, of course, that NSW is using, that we endorse nationally,” he said.

“As always, we strongly recommend everyone with symptoms to immediately get tested,” the Queensland Health statement said.

“Vigilance is key to keeping community transmission out of Queensland.”

Victoria has recorded 295 new coronavirus cases, its lowest daily increase in more than a week, and nine people have died, as the Government announces every Victorian who tests positive will be doorknocked by defence force and health officials.

Victoria has recorded 295 new coronavirus cases, its lowest daily increase in more than a week, and nine people have died, as the Government announces every Victorian who tests positive will be doorknocked by defence force and health officials.

Premier Daniel Andrews said seven of the nine deaths were residents in private-sector aged care homes.

Seven of the nine deaths were residents from aged care homes

Gym restrictions in NSW have been tightened after health authorities confirmed 19 new cases of coronavirus across the state.

Ten of today’s cases were linked to the Thai Rock cluster in Wetherill Park, bringing the cluster’s total to 85 confirmed cases.

Two of the cases were linked to the sister restaurant Thai Rock in Potts Point, bringing that venue’s total to seven.

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Australia has resisted the United States’ push for more assertive freedom of navigation exercises in the disputed waters in the South China Sea at high-level talks in Washington.

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds flew to the US earlier this week to attend the annual AUSMIN talks with their American counterparts.

The talks focused heavily on China, with both countries condemning Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong and vowing to work together to counter state-sponsored disinformation campaigns.

The two countries have signed a new “statement of principles” to further expand defence ties and have also agreed to significantly ramp up health and development cooperation.

But Australia still appears to be resisting a push from the United States to conduct freedom-of-navigation exercises in the South China Sea.

When asked if the United States had pressed Australia to conduct exercises closer to the contested islands and land features controlled by Beijing, Senator Reynolds only said it was a “subject of discussion”.

“Our approach remains consistent, we will continue to transit through the region in accordance with international law,” she said.

Senator Payne stressed that while Australia shared enormous common ground with the US, the two countries were not automatically in lock-step on every subject.

“Most importantly, from our perspective, we make our decisions, our own judgements in the Australian national interest and about upholding our security, our prosperity and our values,” she said.

“Our relationship with China is important and we have no intention of injuring it. But nor do we intend to do things that are contrary to our interests.”

However the two nations both “expressed serious concerns over recent coercive and destabilising actions across the Indo-Pacific” and agreed Beijing’s maritime claims in the South China Sea were “not valid under international law”.

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Police in Germany have begun searching a garden plot near Hanover as part of the continuing investigation into the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann.

Madeleine disappeared 13 years ago from an apartment in Portugal while on holiday with her parents in the seaside town of Praia da Luz. She was just three years old at the time.

The allotment being searched is an hour’s drive from the town of Braunschweig, the last fixed abode of Christian B, who prosecutors last month named as their main suspect in Madeleine’s presumed murder.

Julia Meyer, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig, confirmed local media reports that police had been at the site since Monday.

German police excavate an allotment in a search linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Police have been using excavators and sniffer dogs but have not explained exactly what they are looking for.

Earlier searches in the case have focused on an abandoned industrial site in eastern Germany that was owned by Christian B, 43, who is currently serving a prison sentence for drug dealing.

Christian B spent many years in Portugal, including in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, and has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls,” authorities have said.

Last month German prosecutors said they had evidence Madeleine was dead but needed more information about where Christian B had lived so they could search for her body.

Hans Christian Wolters, from the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office, said he did not currently have enough evidence to go to trial.