Daily News Roundup

September 10, 2020

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

Victoria is projected to lose up to 325,000 jobs this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, a report released by the City of Melbourne says.

The modelling, which the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government commissioned from PricewaterhouseCoopers, forecasts the economic impact of COVID-19 on the state over a five-year period.

It outlines a scenario based on stage 4 restrictions and assuming a “slow economic recovery” with public health measures in place into 2021.

The report forecasts an annual average of up to 398,000 jobs could be lost in Victoria over the next five years, with 79,000 of those in the City of Melbourne.

In 2020 alone the City of Melbourne is projected to lose up to 75,000 jobs, with 250,000 job losses forecast in the rest of Victoria, the report said.

The job-loss figures take into account positions that were expected to be created if the city’s economy had grown in line with projections made before the pandemic hit.

Victoria has recorded 51 new coronavirus infections and a further seven deaths overnight, as the state’s police chief says his organisation “didn’t have any input” into the decision to introduce a curfew during Melbourne’s lockdown.

The latest COVID-19 fatalities have taken the state’s death toll to 701.

They were four men in their 70s, two women in their 80s and one man in his 80s. Four of the seven deaths were linked to aged care outbreaks.

The debate around who recommended Melbourne be placed under curfew has continued this morning, with Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton telling ABC Radio Melbourne: “It’s not a matter that Victoria Police was involved in.”

Melbourne has been under a strict curfew for more than a month, with residents unable to leave their homes between the hours of 8:00pm and 5:00am.

Chief Commissioner Patton said police were enforcing a direction that was signed by the Deputy Chief Health Officer.

NSW health authorities have recorded seven new coronavirus infections overnight, including two associated with a growing cluster linked to emergency departments at two Sydney hospitals.

Of the seven cases detected in the 24 hours to 8:00pm last night, two were returned travellers in hotel quarantine and the remaining were linked to known cases or clusters.

One of the new infections is a student who attends St Paul’s Catholic College Greystanes, in Western Sydney, and was identified as a close contact already in self-isolation.

Another two cases are linked to Concord Hospital, in Sydney’s inner west and are a staff member and a close contact of a previous case.

Queensland has recorded zero new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, with more than 1 million coronavirus tests conducted since the start of the pandemic.

The testing landmark was reached after more than 10,000 people were checked for the virus in the past day.

There are now 27 active cases in the state after eight people were diagnosed yesterday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said 1 million tests marked a significant milestone.

“That is a further testament to the extraordinary response by Queenslanders to battling this virus,” she said.

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One of the Queensland Government’s most high profile ministers, Kate Jones, is expected to announce her retirement from politics, reports the ABC.

The Tourism and State Development Minister is set to reveal her decision to quit political life on the last sitting day of Parliament before the October 31 state election.

Ms Jones is considered one of the Government’s strongest performers, regularly relied upon for her negotiation skills.

She will become the third Minister in less than a week to reveal an intention not to recontest in the October poll.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has announced he will not be recontesting his seat at the state election in October.

The Member for Stafford, who is a senior member of the Labor cabinet, announced the shock resignation on the last day of parliamentary sittings before the October 31 election.

Disabilities Minister Coralee O’Rourke has also announced an end to her political career at the coming election..

Dr Lynham was elected as the Member for Stafford in 2014.

He is also a maxillofacial surgeon and has juggled political commitments around maintaining his active registration in the medical field.

“It has become very clear to me that I cannot maintain my medical registration as a doctor and give 100 per cent to this job,” he said.

“And the people of Stafford and Queensland deserve 100 per cent.”

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US President Donald Trump seemed to understand the severity of the coronavirus threat in the earliest stages of the pandemic, despite later telling the nation that the virus was no worse than the seasonal flu, according to a new book by renowned journalist Bob Woodward.

In a February 7 call documented in Woodward’s new book, Rage, Mr Trump spoke about how contagious and dangerous COVID-19 was.

“You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” he is quoted as saying.

“And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

“This is deadly stuff,” the President repeated for emphasis.

Later that month, Mr Trump insisted “the risk to the American people remains very low” and said the country was having “tremendous success” in stemming the outbreak, but he told Woodward on March 19 he deliberately minimised the danger.

“I wanted to always play it down,” he said in excerpts of the book published in CNN and The Washington Post, where Woodward serves as associate editor.

So far the United States has recorded more than 6.3 million cases and 190,000 deaths.

“Trump never did seem willing to fully mobilise the Federal Government and continually seemed to push problems off on the states,” Woodward writes.

“There was no real management theory of the case or how to organise a massive enterprise to deal with one of the most complex emergencies the United States had ever faced.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the President’s words to the public were designed to express confidence and calm at a time of insurmountable challenges.