NSW man dies from coronavirus, death toll 41



  • Italy, Spain record falls in coronavirus deaths as US braces.
  • NSW COVID-19 cases hit 2637, 18 deaths recorded.
  • Australian JobKeeper wage subsidy to be passed Wednesday.


A 90-year-old man has become the 41st person to die in Australia from the coronavirus pandemic, taking the national toll to 41.

He was a resident of the Dorothy Henderson Lodge aged care home in Macquarie Park, in the north-west of Sydney.

That makes him the sixth person from the facility to die from COVID-19, and the 19th in NSW.

It is nothing short of heartbreaking to have another resident lose their life to the virus, said Ross Low, the CEO of Baptist Care, the lodge\s owners.

Meanwhile, People who stay in hotels, Airbnb's, Stayz or other short-term accommodation could find themselves in jail or fined $11,000 if it is found to be without an essential reason.

NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said there was no blanket ban on any kind of accommodation, but exceptions are few.

"The NSW Government advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been very clear," he said.

"As per the public health orders, people must stay home with the exception of a number of circumstances including work and to provide care.

"The NSW Government acknowledges that in these circumstances the provision of short-term accommodation is often critical, particularly for our frontline health workers."

People can book and pay for short-term accommodation but travelling to them would be a breach of essential travel if they didn't have a prescribed reason


Today's headlines

Georgia Clark

Good morning,

Here's what is making news this Monday April 6

* A criminal investigation has been launched into the Ruby Princess cruise ship fiasco which saw thousands of passengers - some infected with COVID-19 - disembark in Sydney Harbour. Hundreds of cases and eleven of the nation's 35 deaths have since been linked to the cruise.

* New limits are being imposed on the number of people allowed into supermarkets at any time to encourage social distancing.

* Prime Minister Scott Morrison's approval rating has soared to the highest levels in more than a decade amid widespread public support for his billion-dollar stimulus measures.

* The Queen has delivered a rare televised address to the Commonwealth, speaking of better times ahead and calling for strength and discipline .

* Australians forced to defer loan repayments as a result of the economic impacts of the coronavirus will not have a negative mark on their credit rating.

* There are hopes a blood thinning drug already in use for heart attack patients could help prevent deaths among COVID-19 patients. Blood clots are a key contributor to respiratory failure in patients with the virus.

Infections slow in Italy, Spain as US braces

Georgia Clark

The death toll in Italy and Spain is slowing as America braces for its worst week yet.

Italy has recorded its lowest day-to-day increase in deaths in more than two weeks - 525.

Infections in Spain are also beginning to drop, with the number of deaths falling for the third day in a row.

It comes as Americans braced for what the nation's top doctor warned would be "the hardest and saddest week" of their lives.

"This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment," US Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Fox News Sunday.

NSW students could face extra year of school

Clare Armstrong

Coronavirus disruptions to education would mean an extra year of school for every Australian student under a worst-case scenario the federal government is desperately trying to avoid.

Senior government officials are urging unions and education staff to be flexible with solutions to avoid any delays.

If the sector is unable to rise to the challenge, Australia could be forced to create a one-off "Year 13" for the first time.

Education Minister Dan Tehan last week flagged assisting current Year 12 students to graduate was now "at the top of the priority list" for every state and territory.

RFS chief to head disaster agency

Georgia Clark

Celebrated RFS chief Shane Fitzsimmons has stepped down from the fire service to lead a new resilience agency.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons will take the helm of Resilience NSW, a new government agency to help NSW respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoign bushfire recovery efforts.

Picture: Jonathan Ng

The new body has been established to help the state with disaster preparedness and recovery, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

"We don't know the challenges of the future but what I do know is that New South Wales through Resilience New South Wales will be able to focus on preparing and recovering from anything that comes our way now and into the future."

Commissioner Fitzsimmons has been lauded for his courage and resilience in the wake of the nation's worst-ever bushfire crisis.

Ruby Princess docks in Port Kembla

Georgia Clark

The Ruby Princess has arrived in Port Kembla with hundreds of sick crew thought to be infected with the deadly virus.

The cruise line has been the subject of controversy in recent weeks after authorities allowed thousands of passengers to roam free in Sydney streets despite some being tested for COVID-19.

The ship has now docked in Port Kembla on the NSW south coast as part of a desperate plan to repatriate passengers who have been caught on the ship for weeks following the debacle.

The cruise will dock in the port for the next 10 days, where passengers will be forced to self-isolate on board the ship. Police will then work to repatriate the individuals, police commissioner Mick Fuller said.

"Between New South Wales Health, the New South Wales police and the emergency management Team a plan has been developed that will be around isolation on the ship and then from that, from that 10-day period of isolation we can then continue to work with Carnival in relation to repatriation of the individuals on the ship," he said.

The crew will not be able to disembark before April 16 unless in an emergency or approved by the Police Commissioner.

"The berthing will be conducted under strict health and biosecurity guidelines and will not pose a risk to employees at the port or the broader community," a NSW Police spokesperson said.

Yesterday, the state government announced a criminal investigation into how almost 2700 passengers from the vessel were allowed to disembark without waiting for coronavirus tests conducted on the ship to be returned.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet this morning told 2GB that "mistakes were made"

- with James O'Doherty

57 new COVID-19 cases, two new deaths

Georgia Clark

Two more people have died from COVID-19 in NSW as the number of new infections continues to grow.

An 86-year-old man and an 85-year-old man infected with the virus died overnight, bringing the state's total death toll to 18.

The two men contracted the disease locally, as part of contact with confirmed case, deputy health officer Dr Jeremy McAnulty said.

The news comes as NSW Health confirms 57 new cases of the virus since Sunday afternoon, bringing the total number of infections to 2,637.

The figures mark a decrease on previous days, however, they also reflect a drop in the number of tests.

- with James O'Doherty

TAFE courses now free

Georgia Clark

NSW residents will now be able to study selected TAFE courses for free as part of a new bid to help people upskill amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 21 short courses are available to complete from home for free.

"It means people can start preparing for when these difficult times are over and through TAFE New South Wales if you pop onto their website you can actually acquire how you can do one of these courses from home and get qualified over a short period of time," she said.

The 21 short courses include: 

- eMarketing for Small Business;

- Engaging Customers Using Social Media;   

- Writing and Presentation Skills;  

- Computing Skills;   

- Team Leader Skill Set; and     

- Administration Skills for Team Leaders.

Premier: NSW COVID-19 cases 'stable'

Georgia Clark

The NSW Premier says the number of COVID-19 cases in NSW is now stable.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the rate of new infections is on a downward trend.

Speaking of the tough new social distancing measures, "we know we're making a difference," she said. "We are seeing some early positive signs."

"It has been about a week now and we know we are making a difference and we want to keep this up because every four weeks, every day we are able to review how New South Wales is going and there is a chance down the track where we can lift the restrictions."

104 cases were diagnosed on Saturday, 87 on Sunday and 57 on Monday.

Factbox: COVID-19 in numbers

Georgia Clark

Here's the latest facts and figures on the COVID-19 pandemic

* Across Australia, there are 5,687 confirmed cases of the virus, with 139 new cases since Sunday afternoon.

* In NSW alone, 2,580 people are infected - the highest number across the nation.

* The death toll nationally sits at 34, 11 of who were infected as a result of the Ruby Princess.

* In good news, the number of new infections per day across Australia is on a downward curve, as illustrated by the graph below.

* Worldwide, there are 1,266,782 cases of the virus and have been 69,172 deaths but 261,132 people have recovered.

* The US continues to have the largest number of cases with 20 per cent of the world's infections. Spain, Italy, Germany and France foll

Pauline Hanson calls for Hazzard's resignation

Georgia Clark

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has called for NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard's resignation, saying "heads have got to roll" over the Ruby Princess cruise ship coronavirus crisis.

"The Australian people will want answers. Heads have got to roll," Senator Hanson said.

"People in Parliament, I see it all the time. They're absolutely useless. They shouldn't be in Parliament. They shouldn't be members of Parliament.

"They've only got there because they're "yes" people, they can't think for themselves. They have no knowledge, no experience, absolutely nothing and this is why you need tough leaders.

"Now, whoever was head, Brad Hazzard, head of the Health Department and I've heard from people that consider him weak and useless. I'm sorry, heads have to roll over this.

"And Gladys Berejiklian. She should actually have been directing. She is the leader of that state.

"Everyone knew there was coronavirus on that ship. Nothing was done about it. So someone has to take responsibility for this."

Boris Johnson hospitalised with virus

Georgia Clark

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital more than a week after testing positive for COVID-19.

The leader confirmed his positive diagnosis more than 10 days ago and has been in self-isolation at No.10 Downing Street since.

But his condition has not yet improved, with Mr Johnson now admitted to hospital for tests.

"This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus," a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

It comes as his pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, spent the past week in bed with symptoms of the virus.