Coronavirus crisis hits NSW hard: All you need to know

 

THE brutal reality of shutdowns forced by the surging coronavirus pandemic has been reflected in 'Depression' like scenes of people queueing for help at Centrelink offices around Australia.

The Federal Government's online portal for unemployment benefits crashed under the increased strain.

Both the Centrelink app and the entire MyGov portal fell over shortly before 9am, with users unable to log into their accounts to update their information or register for allowances including Newstart.

Social media users also reported being unable to get through to Centrelink over the phone, instead met with messages to call back later.

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"There is unprecedented demand for the service right now, but Australians need to be patient. Try logging on later today or even tomorrow," Government Services Minister Stuart Robert told AAP on Monday.

Services Australia said it was experiencing "very high demand" but a lot of queries involved the same questions, so pleaded with those unsure about the payments to visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/COVID19.

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Across our regions, there's been some heartbreaking reactions to the government's decision to close businesses including pubs and clubs.

Across the Northern Rivers are reeling after news from the prime minister than non-essential services will be shut down from 12pm today.

Lismore has also been hard hit by fresh news of Rex flights being cancelled.

Across NSW, parents are now being urged to keep their children home, while In Grafton, schools are teaching students lifesaving lessons on how to deal with the virus.

School cleaners say they do not have the time or disinfectant to protect children and teachers.

Also on the health front, NSW fever clinics have seen a surge in number of patients.

In Byron Bay, the council has asked visitors and the community to start heeding social distance rules.