Daily News Roundup

August 17, 2020



Victoria has recorded 282 new cases and 25 more coronavirus deaths making it the state’s deadliest day since the pandemic began.

Premier Daniel Andrews said 22 of the 25 deaths are linked to aged care homes.

Victoria’s previous highest daily coronavirus death toll was 21, recorded last Wednesday.

But in a sign of hope, today was the second consecutive day where new case numbers were under 300.

Yesterday Victoria recorded 279 new coronavirus cases and 16 deaths, pushing the state’s COVID-19 death toll over 300.

The Victorian milestone came as: 

  • Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, after announcing no new cases of coronavirus overnight, said the state’s border restrictions will not be relaxed until there are no cases of community transmission in New South Wales and Victoria.
  • NSW recorded seven new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday.
  • New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the country’s general election will be moved from September 19 to October 17.

Mr Andrews said now was not the time to become complacent. 

“This is an ultramarathon,” he said. 

“While there is a trend that is positive, today is a very sad day for 25 families.” 

Mr Andrews yesterday pleaded with Victorians to get tested, saying there was “every chance” even mild symptoms could be coronavirus.

“There’s so little flu in the Victorian community this year because of a range of things, not least of which distance, hand hygiene, all of those restrictions and measures we’ve put in place,” he said.

“If you’ve got symptoms, cold or flu-like symptoms, there’s every chance you’ve got this virus.”

Announcing her latest COVID-19 update, Ms Palaszczuk said it was more good news but warned against complacency.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said until clusters of community transmission were brought under control in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, Queensland’s borders would remain shut.

“We have to be even more careful with anyone coming into Queensland from a hot spot,” she said.

The Premier said: “Let me make it very clear, we will always put Queenslanders first, we do not have any intentions of opening any borders whilst there is community transmission active in Victoria and in New South Wales.” 

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said over the long weekend more than 600 people were denied entry into the Sunshine State.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said despite dwindling numbers, she remained concerned about the number of “mystery cases” which could not be traced back to a source.

“Whilst the case numbers have, pleasingly, been declining, my anxiety remains the same, if not slightly higher, because every week there’s been an accumulation of unsourced cases,” Ms Berejiklian said.

NSW’s chief health officer Kerry Chant urged people to act on flu-like symptoms, as the state recorded 10,806 tests yesterday.

“We have very low rates of influenza circulating,” she said.

“So, if you have symptoms, respiratory symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, headache, aches and pains, it is most likely that you have COVID, not flu.”

In New Zealand, Ms Ardern’s poll announcement came as the country battles a coronavirus outbreak.

Ms Ardern said she did not want to have to move the election date again.

“I have absolutely no intention at all to change at this point,” she said referencing the new October 17 date.

“I want to ensure we have a well-run election that gives all voters the best chance to receive all the information they need about parties and candidates and delivers certainty for the future,” Ms Ardern said.


Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana in the popular Netflix series, The Crown.

Debicki, 29, who was born in Paris but grew up in Melbourne, will play the Princess of Wales in seasons five and six, the series announced on Sunday.

Debicki will join a new cast for the series that includes Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip.

Staunton succeeds Olivia Colman and Claire Foy in the role.

Emma Corrin is playing Diana on the drama’s upcoming fourth season, but Debicki will take on the part for what’s sure to be the character’s most dramatic chapters.

Seasons five and six are expected to be the show’s final seasons. No premiere date of season four has yet been announced.

“Princess Diana’s spirit, her words and her actions live in the hearts of so many,” Debicki said on Twitter.

“It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.”

The 29-year-old is a rising star but has already worked alongside the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Viola Davis and Mick Jagger.

She completed a degree in drama at the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts.

Her father is Polish and her mother is Australian of Irish decent.

She made her debut film appearance in 2011, in a supporting role in A Few Best Men. The Australian comedy also starred Rebel Wilson and Olivia Newton-John.

Debicki was interested in ballet at an early age and trained as a dancer until deciding to switch to theatre.

In 2013, she starred alongside Isabelle Huppert and Cate Blanchett in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Maids.


Delta Goodrem has opened up about the terrifying secret health battle that left her unable to speak following complications from surgery.

The 35-year-old singer shared the story on Instagram on Sunday, explaining that issues had arisen when she had her salivary gland removed at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney two years ago.

Goodrem explained that she woke up from surgery to discover a paralysis of a nerve in her tongue had left her unable to speak.

In a confronting video uploaded on social media, and dated October 2018, the Voice star can be seen struggling to communicate while hooked up to tubes in a hospital bed.

Goodrem shared videos taken during the tough period.Source:Instagram

She was in tears as she explained the situation.Source:Instagram

In another clip from 2018, a tearful Goodrem tells the camera: “I don’t want to go out, I’m super embarrassed. I’m just over it. I’m just trying to stay positive.”

She added: “My livelihood is my sound … I’m trying to decide whether this is getting any better or not. It doesn’t feel like it.”

After months of rehabilitation with daily speech therapy, Goodrem was finally able to get her voice back.

She explained to fans that she’d kept her health battle private for so long as hadn’t been “ready” to share it.

However, it’s now all been laid bare in her newly released song Paralyzed, which was inspired by the difficult period.

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