Aussie cases hit highest level in six weeks

 

The spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria has pushed Australia's number of new cases per day to its highest level in more than six weeks.

Nationally, the number of new confirmed cases has reached 20 a day, based on the seven-day average. In Victoria, the figure has shot up five-fold over 12 days, from three new cases a day on June 10 to 17 a day on June 22.

In the last three days alone, community transmission in Victoria has soared by 30 cases, the biggest jump recorded since the peak of the pandemic in April.

The six hard-hit areas of Melbourne could be put into localised lockdowns if cases aren't contained by 19 July.

Health minister Greg Hunt said the option to lock down Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Hume and Moreland is being very carefully examined.

Yesterday Australia recorded 18 new cases, 16 of which were from Victoria. The state currently has 127 active cases, including two which are in intensive care.

 Aussie cases hit highest level in six weeks

Benjamin Graham

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says there were 17 new cases recorded in the state overnight.

He said 11 of them are under investigation.

"There is one from hotel quarantine. Two that are associated with known outbreaks. Three that are the subject of routine testing, and 11 that are still under investigation," he said.

 

17 new cases in Victoria

Benjamin Graham

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says there were 17 new cases recorded in the state overnight.

One new case in NSW

Benjamin Graham

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there was one new case recorded in NSW overnight, a traveller who was in hotel quarantine.

She reiterated her advice that nobody from NSW should not be going to Melbourne for any reason, as cases in Victoria rise.

She advised avoiding the city altogether.

Two-hour lines for testing in Melbourne

Benjamin Graham

A coronavirus testing site in one of Victoria's hotspots was turning cars away with people in the queue facing a two hour wait before the site even opened.

Authorities are trying to test as many people as possible in the six local government areas named as hotspots as two more primary schools in those areas were closed overnight.

One of the testers at Highpoint Shopping Centre which borders Brimbank local government area said there was a two hour wait at 8.30am before the testing began at 9am.

"We already have cars that are outside the car park so we can't actually line up cars at the moment because they're on the street," Samantha told 3AW.

"At that point we have to close temporarily to clear traffic for safety reasons."

She said it's possible to be tested without waiting in a queue for hours, and urged Victorians try that option if they need to be tested.

"My advice would be for people that can't afford to wait two or three hours in a car, to call their GP," she said.

Aussie cases hit highest level in six weeks

Benjamin Graham

The spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria has pushed Australia's number of new cases per day to its highest level in more than six weeks.

Nationally, the number of new confirmed cases has reached 20 a day, based on the seven-day average.

In Victoria, the figure has shot up five-fold over 12 days, from three new cases a day on June 10 to 17 a day on June 22.

Over the same period, the NSW figure has risen from two to three new cases a day.

The national number of new cases last reached an average of 20 a day on May 10. That was the day NSW and WA joined Tasmania, SA and Queensland in announcing the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions.

Picture from the Department of Health

Two more Trump staffers test positive

Benjamin Graham

Two more members of US President Donald Trump's advance team for his rally in Tulsa have tested positive for COVID-19, the Trump campaign said Monday.

The number of total positive tests among Mr Trump's advance staff now stands at eight, and is expected to rise, NBC reports.

On Saturday, before the rally, Mr Trump's campaign team revealed six members of the advance team on the ground in Oklahoma had tested positive, including Secret Service personnel.

Quick look ahead

Benjamin Graham

In the next hour or so we are expecting to hear from the Victorian and NSW Premiers.

The Prime Minister is understood to be addressing the media at some point today too.

Two Melbourne primary schools closed

Benjamin Graham

Two Melbourne schools have closed this morning after students at both schools tested positive for the coronavirus.

Keilor Views and Brunswick East primaries in Melbourne's north and north-west will undergo a deep clean, and health authorities are now tracing.

Melbourne hotspots could be locked down

Benjamin Graham

The six hard-hit areas of Melbourne could be put into localised lockdowns if cases aren't contained by 19 July, The Age reports this morning.

In the last three days alone, community transmission in Victoria has soared by 30 cases, the biggest jump recorded since the peak of the pandemic in April.

Speaking on ABC Breakfast this morning health minister Greg Hunt said the option to lock down Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Hume and Moreland is being very carefully examined.

"I think Victoria is approaching this in the right way. Nationally, we've established testing, tracing and local response," he said.

"That includes the potential for travel warnings in and out of the local Government area, or going further as we did in north-west Tasmania.

"So we effectively implemented this same approach where there was a significant outbreak around Burney.

"It was very difficult for the local population, but ultimately, it led to the control of what was a far greater outbreak in terms of cases to population number.

"And Tasmania has been doing extraordinarily well since. We brought in the Australian medical assistance teams, coupled with the military, to support the hospital, to support the population."

South Korea officially battling 'second wave'

South Korean authorities have said for the first time the country is in the midst of a "second wave" of novel coronavirus infections around Seoul, driven by small but persistent outbreaks stemming from a holiday in May.

The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) had previously said South Korea's first wave had never really ended.

But on Monday, KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said it had become clear that a holiday weekend in early May marked the beginning of a new wave of infections focused in the densely populated greater Seoul area, which had previously seen few cases.

As of midnight Sunday, South Korea reported 17 new coronavirus cases, the first time in nearly a month that daily new cases had dropped below 20. It was a drop from the 48 and 67 cases reported in the previous two days.

South Korea has reported a total of 12,438 cases, with 280 deaths.

Read more

One million infections in eight days

Benjamin Graham

It took more than three months for the world to get to one million virus cases, but the last one million cases have come in just eight days, the head of the WHO has warned as COVID-19 cases continue to rise exponentially.

Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday world leaders must not politicise the coronavirus pandemic but unite to fight it, reminding all that the pandemic is still accelerating and producing record daily increases in infections.

The comments by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has faced criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump, came as the number of reported infections soared in Brazil, Iraq, India and southern and western U.S. states, straining local hospitals.

Read More

Authorities door-knocking in hotspots

Benjamin Graham

Residents in Victoria's COVID-19 hotspots may receive a knock on the door as authorities visit the areas to ensure guidelines are being followed.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos confirmed public health officials will provide communities in Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Hume and Moreland with additional information about coronavirus.

The extra attention to the six councils comes after Victoria's active cases more than doubled in the past week, with 16 new infections recorded on Monday taking the state's total to 125.

Ms Mikakos said a team of 50 would start door knocking around the hotspots this week.

"We have been concerned that some people may be taking some risks, with their health and with the health of others by still going out into the community," she said.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said Victorians should think hard before leaving affected areas or travelling into them, but they were not in lockdown.

"For the purpose of protecting our interstate jurisdictions, we really need to say, look, reconsider travel or don't make plans to travel into these hotspot areas," he told reporters.

Ms Mikakos didn't rule out the possibility of tightening restrictions on specific locations.

AAP

'Outrageous' moment diners ignore lockdown restrictions

Hannah Paine

 

An Adelaide restaurant has released footage of the moment it says a group of diners barged past the venue's owner, despite being told it was at full capacity.

Sneaky Pickle posted footage of the Saturday night incident to Instagram in response to a "fake review".

The video shows a group of people having a verbal disagreement with owner Jeff Griffiths and walking into the dining area.

"After being told 3 times we are at capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions she still took upon herself to get a table," the video's caption read, adding that it needed customers' "help to support the restrictions put in place to keep us all safe".

People were quick to slam the incident, writing in the comments that it was "outrageous" and "gross".

Mr Griffiths told 10 News the woman had "literally forced her way into out restaurant with six other guests".

"A lot of the public think that we're back to normal. They might be, in their own minds, but we aren't," he said.

However a review left on Google which appears to reference the incident contradicts Mr Griffiths' claims, alleging instead that the group were made to wait in a queue despite having a booking.

The review claims they had been given a table by a female staff member when stopped by the owner, who the poster claims was "rude".