Australia

Australia borders to stay shut as Covid-19 daily deaths reach record

There was, however, some evidence that drastic lockdown measures in the city of Melbourne were having an effect, with daily new infections in the state of Victoria slowing to a near two week low.

"I am more hopeful of that today than I was in the course of the past week," Morrison told reporters in Canberra, as he called on state leaders to cooperate to allow stranded residents to return home.

Australia's federal political system has led to its eight states and territories taking different measures in response to the crisis, resulting in several internal border closures.

Victoria Covid-19 situation: 429 new cases, 13 deaths

This is the state's equal-deadliest day since the pandemic began.

The 13 deaths include a man in his 60s, two men and a woman in their 70s, two men in their 80s and five women and two men in their 90s.

Eight of the deaths are linked to aged care outbreaks.

The deaths take the state's coronavirus toll to 136.

Of the new cases, 36 are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 393 are under investigation.

Melbourne to go into lockdown with another 671 cases announced

Premier Daniel Andrews said 671 new coronavirus cases had been detected since yesterday and seven more people had died.

Six of the deaths have a connection to aged care.

Andrews said there was an "unacceptably high" number of community transmission cases, and the state had 760 active "mystery" Covid-19 infections where the source of the transmission was not known.

"Those mysteries, that community transmission, is in many respects our biggest challenge and the reason why we need to move to a different set of rules," he said.

Australia warns coronavirus outbreak will take weeks to tame

Authorities in the state of Victoria, whose capital Melbourne is in partial lockdown amid a new outbreak, reported 275 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, down from a daily record of 438 three days earlier.

Australia's acting chief medical officer Paul Kelly said it would take "weeks" to slow the outbreak to levels seen as recently as June, when Victoria and the rest of Australia reported single or double-digit daily infections.

Australia reviewing kava import restrictions

Since 2007 only kava for medicinal purposes has been allowed.

Travellers had been allowed to bring in up to 4 kilogrammes in their luggage, but this has ceased with Covid-19 restrictions.

However restrictions are having a significant impact on Australia's Pacific community who say the case for allowing kava importation by mail is strong.

A Tongan-Maori student at the University of Canberra, Faonetapu Takiari, said there were no legal restrictions on kava in the Capital Territory as it's classed as a food and beverage.

Victoria announces more than 200 new cases and one death

Only 30 of the new infections were connected to contained outbreaks and 186 were under investigation.

There are now at least 1249 active cases in Victoria.

About 5 million Victorians in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are under strict stay-at-home orders after weeks of worrying transmission of the deadly virus.

"This is not an ordinary weekend," Premier Daniel Andrews said. "You've got to be in your home if you are in the metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire areas."

The tenants enduring Australia's toughest lockdown

But for 3,000 people living in public housing tower blocks, an even stricter lockdown was imposed on Saturday.

Unlike other Melburnians, residents of the nine towers cannot leave for any reason - they are subject to a police guard.

It's the toughest lockdown seen in Australia so far.

The "detention directions" in suburbs of Flemington and North Melbourne are designed to contain a cluster of infections found in some of the buildings.

Melbourne begins new shutdown

Melbourne's five million residents will be barred from leaving home for six weeks, except for essential reasons.

Police say they are setting up a "ring of steel" around the city, with "checkpoints anytime and anywhere" to enforce the measures.

Borders between Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, and neighbouring states closed on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to Melburnians' resilience on Wednesday.

Australia to consider limiting returning residents

It comes after New Zealand also said it would be looking at limiting the number of arrivals in the country via a booking system.

The prime minister said there were no plans to reimpose restrictions across the country, after Victoria enforced stay-at-home rules in metropolitan Melbourne and one regional area due to a spike in infections.

Morrison was asked about the issue of travel bubbles being set up with other countries and taxing travellers.

"We haven't even concluded in the arrangements with any other countries at the moment.

Australia provides COVID-19 rapid test kits to Nauru

The medical supplies were donated by the Australian Government.

Nauru’s Deputy Minister for Health, Pyon Deiye received the rapid test kits from Australia’s High Commissioner, Angela Tierney.

Nauru Media News reports the medical supplies will be used by RON Hospital and Public Health COVID-19 frontliners to detect coronavirus, COVID-19 at the borders by sea and air.

Nauru remains coronavirus-free.

 

   

Photo Nauru Media News