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Some good news: More than 120,000 people have recovered from COVID-19

<p>New figures released by Johns Hopkins University on Friday morning have revealed more than 120,000 people have seemingly recovered from the deadly COVID-19 disease.</p> <p>COVID-19 had its first detection in the Chinese province of Wuhan and has spread all throughout the globe to more than 520,000 people across 175 countries.</p> <p>At least 23,900 lives have been claimed so far and it is the United States who has now overtaken China as the country with the highest confirmed cases of the disease.</p> <p>Thankfully, nations have begun reporting an upward trend in health as thousands of patients who were overcome with COVID-19 are now recovered.</p> <p>Italy is reported to have 9,300 recovered patients and 7,500 deaths.</p> <p>Despite the death toll continuing to climb, the World Health Organisation is optimistic after receiving “encouraging signs in the country as they are beginning to report lower infection rates every day.</p> <p>“While the situation remains very serious, we are starting to see some encouraging signs,” WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, explained during a press conference on Thursday.</p> <p>He went on to say: “Italy, which has the highest number of cases in the region, has just seen a slightly lower rate of increase, though it is still too early to say that the pandemic is peaking in that country.”</p> <p>China lifted their outbound travel restrictions in Hubei while Wuhan is expected to lift their own ban in April. The city has been under strict lockdown restrictions since late January.</p> <p>Iran currently has the highest number of recovered patients outside of China, with almost 10,457 people who have recovered.</p> <p>The virus took 2,230 lives in the country and has plagued over 24,900 people as of Thursday afternoon.</p> <p>Between 4,000 and 7,000 people have reportedly recovered from the infection throughout Spain, France, Germany and South Korea.</p> <p>These countries are also among the top 10 countries with the highest amount of confirmed cases outside China.</p> <p>In a press conference outside Parliament House in Canberra today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed the media alongside Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy after a National Cabinet meeting.</p> <p>Despite worries about travellers transmitting the virus after returning from overseas, Professor Murphy says the government is “confident” with their testing procedures.</p> <p>“We think that we are pretty confident with our testing regime, which is one of the highest rates of testing per population in the world, with one of the lowest positivity rates.”</p> <p>While Australia continues to deal with the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the PM has announced businesses must go into “hibernation” in a bid to ensure they come back out better on the other side of coronavirus.</p> <p>“We want these businesses to effectively go into a hibernation, which means on the other side, the employees come back, the opportunities come back, the economy comes back,” he said.</p> <p>“This will underpin our strategy as we go to the third tranche of our economic plan, and that will include support by states and territories on managing the very difficult issue of commercial tenancies and also dealing ultimately with residential tenancies as well.”</p> <p> </p>

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Kate Langbroek delivers eerie message amid coronavirus lockdown in Italy

<p>The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to escalate around the globe, and Italy remains as a country who has been hit the hardest.</p> <p>However despite the horrifying circumstances currently plaguing<span> </span>Bel Paese, Australian former radio star Kate Langbroek has spoken up and says the situation in Australia is “more terrifying”.</p> <p>Appearing via video link from her home Bologna, Langbroek said watching Australia where “you can see the wave coming,” while she is in lockdown with her husband and four kids is still more scary.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9-IGRkgWS1/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9-IGRkgWS1/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Kate Langbroek (@katelangbroek)</a> on Mar 20, 2020 at 2:34pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The eerie observation came after she was asked what advice she could give to Australians who are may face stricter lockdown measures as the government’s stage 3 lockdown plan continues to loom.</p> <p>“It's more terrifying to be where you are, where you can see the wave coming,” she said.</p> <p>“We were just thrust into it. We didn't have time to even register much.</p> <p>“It's eminently doable. It's not ideal. It really makes you appreciate the freedoms and the beauty of a normal life.”</p> <p>Italy’s tough shutdown has some very strict limitations regarding what the public can do.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9RzokJA3lx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9RzokJA3lx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Since I moved to bologna last January, I have never seen the main piazza so empty. On a Tuesday at 1.30... there is no panic here; the shelves are stocked, but the restaurants are empty and the streets are quiet...(this is actually a perfect time to see Florence...) #sixtakeitaly ❤️🇮🇹💚 #coronavirus #piazzamaggiore #bologna #beautiful</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/katelangbroek/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kate Langbroek</a> (@katelangbroek) on Mar 3, 2020 at 8:29am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“The lockdown is interesting because it keeps coming in stages and it feels like every few days there's another decree from the Government which removes another freedom,” Langbroek explained.</p> <p>“So already you have to have a form on your phone from the police that basically only authorises four reasons to be out of the house. Medical, food, emergency – I can't remember the other one, probably going to the tobacconist in Italy.</p> <p>“Now, dog walkers can't walk dogs outside their houses. This happened Sunday night. You could go out to exercise, but now you can't do that either.</p> <p>Langbroek explained there are “police everywhere” who stop the public to make them explain their presence on the street.</p> <p>“Literally, the only way I can leave the house is if I'm going to get groceries. Even that's a bit of a nerve-wracking proposition,” she said.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9vxIQKgWhn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9vxIQKgWhn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">On patrol. ❤️🇮🇹💚 #sixtakeitaly #bologna #sundaymorning #covid #coronavorus #lockdown</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/katelangbroek/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kate Langbroek</a> (@katelangbroek) on Mar 15, 2020 at 12:44am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>As of Friday, Italy has reported 8,215 deaths as a result of COVID-19.</p> <p>Schools, universities, restaurants, cafes and churches have now been closed throughout the entire country.</p> <p>Skeleton staff continue to operate supermarkets, pharmacies, doctors’ surgeries, banks, factories making necessary goods and public transport as they are the only critical services allowed to remain open.</p> <p>Italians are being asked to wait it out in the confines of their home as they await a vaccine.</p>

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States prepare to defy Scott Morrison’s judgement and shut down this weekend

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Victoria and NSW could go into lockdown as early as this weekend if the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen and Scott Morrison’s restrictions do not flatten the curve.</p> <p>With the two states having the highest infection rates in the country, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said that she was looking “very closely” at the impact of the Federal Government’s closure of businesses.</p> <p>The NSW premier is prepared to declare a state-wide lockdown by the weekend if infections don’t tail off.</p> <p>“If we don't see things shifting in the numbers because of [the Federal Government's] actions, NSW will have to go ­further,” she said on Thursday. </p> <p>“I'm saying to the community that if we're not convinced we've had a sufficient amount of success, NSW will have to take further action and that's a position I've been clear on from day one.”</p> <p>The state-implemented restrictions could see people confined to their homes and only leaving to get basic necessities.</p> <p>“There's no need to panic,” Ms Berejiklian said. “Supermarkets and essential things will still be available.”</p> <p>Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos indicated that the state was looking to implement its own measures to stop the virus from spreading.</p> <p>“Everybody must understand that it is time to make some sacrifices if we are to save lives,” Ms ­Mikakos said. </p> <p>Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has refused to confirm or deny whether he’d advise Premier Daniel Andrews to put Victoria into lockdown.</p> <p>“The Premier will take that case to National Cabinet and they'll make a call. I think if any of us ­failed the elderly, youth in one suburb or another, in regional Victoria or metro Melbourne, then we all fail ourselves,” he said. </p> <p>As the coronavirus death toll has rose to 13, with three people dying in Victoria overnight, the state is desperate for something to be done. Australia now has more than 2,800 coronavirus cases, with 1,219 in NSW and 520 in Victoria.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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COVID-19 blame game: Who’s really at fault for the Ruby Princess fiasco

<p>The Australian Border Force has laid blame on New South Wales Health for the mishandling of the Ruby Princess arrival in Sydney. </p> <p>Michael Outram, the ABF’s commissioner stated it was not the border control’s responsibility to extend health checks.</p> <p>The NSW government however has insisted it is the federal authorities who are to blame after they categorised the cruise ship carrying 2,700 people as “low risk”.</p> <p>The release of the passengers resulted in a major wave of 133 infections into Australian communities.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1UQ4wnhmxB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1UQ4wnhmxB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Cruisedaily (@cruisedaily)</a> on Aug 18, 2019 at 12:12pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The catastrophic mistake has resulted in politicians expressing outrage over the systematic failure to isolate the Ruby Princess passengers and its crew.</p> <p>The ship docked in Sydney on March 19 and it had three passengers and one crew member who displayed flu-like symptoms and had been swabbed.</p> <p>One passenger had been taken to hospital by via ambulance and passed away due to COVID-19.</p> <p>However, passengers were allowed to disembark and make their way home, which included overseas flights. Each passenger was urged to self-isolate for 14 days.</p> <p>At a press conference on Wednesday, Berejiklian said ABF officials and state colleagues had incorrectly advised NSW Health that the Ruby Princess was low risk.</p> <p>The politician went on to say stopping transmission was a joint responsibility.</p> <p>“Every single agency needs to take responsibility for our borders,” she said. “Whether it’s a ship at a port, whether it’s a planeload of people coming in from overseas. We’re still having thousands of people coming in on planes every single day.</p> <p>“All authorities have to step up, including NSW <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/health" target="_blank">Health</a>, including all the other authorities involved.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-GoIRTBLuQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-GoIRTBLuQ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Gladys Berejiklian (@gladysb)</a> on Mar 23, 2020 at 9:50pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“What is really imperative at this time, we realised, is strong communication between authorities and everybody stepping up.”</p> <p>Dr Kerry Chant who is NSW’s chief health officer said in a statement that the ship had originally checked in at a Wellington dock in New Zealand and found no cases of COVID-19.</p> <p>She went on to say NSW authorities had checked in on all the passengers of the Ruby Princess once they recognised coronavirus had been on the vessel.</p> <p>Dr Chant assured reporters there was “no action that NSW Health could have taken to prevent those people acquiring the disease”, as they had acquired it on the ship. She said NSW Health were working hard to limit onward transmission, and that if there had been any “we would have deployed health teams.”</p> <p>“Of course, with hindsight, we would have acted differently, had we known we had a Covid-positive cruise ship.”</p> <p>Chant fiercely defended NSW Health letting passengers fly home overseas, as it was part of an agreed protocol to send them into self-isolation at home.</p> <p>She said authorities are tracing of people sitting in rows around infected passengers was being conducted.</p> <p>Kristina Keneally who is the Labor’s spokeswoman on immigration said the Ruby Princess would be able to be traced back to many COVID-19 cases in Australia.</p> <p>“We have now 133 passengers and counting from the Ruby Princess cruise ship that have tested positive for coronavirus,” she said.</p> <p>“The Ruby Princess cruise ship coronavirus cases account for 10% of the cases in NSW. And, quite tragically, there has already been one death.</p> <p>“They went into taxis and public transport, they interacted with friends and neighbours, they went to shops, they were allowed to travel across the country,” she said.</p> <p>“It is gobsmacking that we are in this circumstance today. We need to ask, we need to demand to know how this happened and we need to ensure it does not happen again. The Australian government needs to get on top of this situation very quickly.” Topics</p> <p>Outram’s timelines of interactions between the ship and NSW Health are as follows:</p> <p>He said that ABF’s responsibilities went as far to checking passports and ensuring that customs regulations were complied with.</p> <p>He said the federal Department of Agriculture was responsible for biosecurity checks.</p> <p>“On the 17 March, 2020, NSW Health requested the following information from the Ruby Princess’s senior doctor: estimates of arrival into Sydney, a log of details of passengers and crew presenting with fever or acute respiratory symptoms or both, travel histories, and whether tests were conducted and the results,” Outram said.</p> <p>“On March 18, at 9.39 am the senior doctor on the Ruby Princess notified the health department with the following: they had collected viral swabs for a few cases of febrile influenza, negative test, and that those people had been isolated. They also requested a transfer for other passengers who had unrelated illnesses.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-DY6Gehyz_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-DY6Gehyz_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Gladys Berejiklian (@gladysb)</a> on Mar 22, 2020 at 3:38pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“On March 18 2020, at 5.17pm, they stated: ‘The NSW Health panel assessed the Ruby Princess as not requiring onboard health assessment in Sydney.’”</p> <p>Outram said NSW Health had asked for Ruby Princess to send the 15 samples to a NSW Health lab for Covid-19 testing and to attach lab forms as required.</p> <p>“NSW Health stated to the Ruby Princess, ‘You are free to disembark tomorrow. However, in accordance with the Australian government guidance, all passengers must go into self-isolation for 14 days,’” Outram said.</p> <p>The ABF commissioner continued by saying that on the 18th of March, the Department of Agriculture was informed through Ruby Princess that a risk assessment had been conducted.</p> <p>He also went on to say that the ship had been considered “low risk” – an assessment that is consistent with NSW Health’s version of events.</p> <p> “NSW Health decided not to board the vessel and attend, and that they had also given clearance for all passengers to disembark the vessel,” Outram said.</p> <p>“That red light has just gone green. So, the vessel came into port on March 19.</p> <p>“They felt the vessel was low risk and there was no need to attend the vessel, but our six officers wore masks and gloves nonetheless.”</p>

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Drawings For Oldies: Why you need to do this with your grandchildren

<p>In a bid to protect our most vulnerable Australians from the deadly COVID-19, many aged care homes across Australia have restricted their visiting hours and completely cut off elderly people from seeing their loved ones.</p> <p>While this new move in the wake of the coronavirus may protect older Australians from contracting the virus, it does not help them feel connected and joyful during these difficult times.</p> <p><img style="width: 332.10332103321036px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835300/oldies01.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/11645cefae6144a19a4785d4255917c7" /></p> <p>Thankfully, the Facebook group Drawings For Oldies has gone out of their way to ensure those being impacted by the aged care shutdowns can find happiness and feel connected to the outside world.</p> <p>The founder of the helpful organisation, Claire Rigden, says she created Drawings For Oldies to help connect “old folks with little people” in an interactive way.</p> <p><img style="width: 320.5699020480855px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835299/oldies02.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c25c2927cfa24cbca6f41272fe6d019f" /></p> <p>Care homes can receive drawings created by children along with a few kind words to pass on to seniors living in elderly homes in a bid to connect the old with the young and brighten up their day.</p> <p>“In these times of social isolation and aged care home lockdowns, I think it’s a great way to make older people feel as though they’ve not been forgotten about, and that they are still loved – albeit from afar,” Ms Rigden told OverSixty.</p> <p><img style="width: 320.6106870229007px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835298/oldies03.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4799edf6e444402c86e44a83f9aa5712" /></p> <p>Already, the response has been “wonderful” not only for the parents, but the “oldies” who appreciate what they have been sent by children.</p> <p>"We’ve already had feedback from Homes saying how much the ‘oldies’ are enjoying the drawings,” Ms Rigden said.</p> <p><img style="width: 353.1633616619452px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835297/oldies04.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9dc82bb6f6dc49c78c1185708bd10a74" /></p> <p>“I emailed out a bunch of drawings to a Secure Dementia ward in Rockingham, WA, and Catherine, from the home, took a photo of the drawings she’d put up in the ward, and said how much they were being appreciated by the residents – and the staff as well! It was so lovely to see</p> <p>"We’re trying to raise a smile – one crayon drawing at a time."</p> <p>Follow <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/2837117106357599/about/" target="_blank">Drawings For Oldies</a> on Facebook.</p>

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Incredibly generous gesture from megastar Ed Sheeran

<p>Singer Ed Sheeran is reportedly set to close his London-based restaurant amidst the coronavirus pandemic - but not without taking care of his employees.<br /><br />The star’s Notting Hill restaurant Bertie Blossoms has been forced to shut down temporarily due to the UK’s strict government measures that states no eateries are allowed to stay open as the country battles COVID-19.<br /><br />It’s claimed the pub, which was only open for four months before being forced to close, will still be paying its employees in full.<br /><br />The chart-topping British singer is worth an estimated $160 million and is said to have encouraged all of his staff to take on extra work elsewhere if they wanted extra cash on top of their salaries during the temporary shutdown.<br /><br />It is reported Sheeran also suggested some of his employees would be able to use their time to volunteer if they chose to do so before they're able to return to work at his restaurant.<br /><br />“Ed's told everyone not to worry and that he's picking up the tab and he'll see them all again for a massive p***-up once the world gets back to normal,” an insider told The Sun.<br /><br />“Ed even told staff they could go out and seek other employment if they wanted or go help the nation by doing voluntary work.”<br /><br />The UK government has not clarified how long restaurants, pubs and gyms will have to remain closed.<br /><br />Ed Sheeran has appeared to be happily settling into married life with his wife Cherry Seaborn, whom he married in 2018.<br /><br />The star is currently on a hiatus from releasing any new music as he said he wants to explore reading, writing and travelling.</p>

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Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus and may be a super spreader

<p>Prince Charles is believed to have met the Queen just a day before he became infectious with coronavirus.</p> <p>Medical experts believe the earliest Charles would have been contagious was March 13, however, new research has found symptoms can take up to 11 days to appear, meaning he could have been infectious when he met the Queen “briefly” a day earlier.</p> <p>But that is the worst case scenario given the average incubation period is 5.1 days.</p> <p>The 71-year-old is said to have met with other members of the royal family on March 9, before he became infectious.</p> <p>On Wednesday, Clarence House revealed Prince Charles had tested positive for the coronavirus.</p> <p>They said the heir to the throne was displaying mild symptoms but is otherwise in “good health”.</p> <p>The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus.</p> <p>"In accordance with government and medical advice, the Prince and the Duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland,” a statement said, referring to the royal family’s Balmoral estate.</p> <p>"The tests were carried out by the NHS (National Health Service) in Aberdeenshire, where they met the criteria required for testing.</p> <p>"It is not possible to ascertain from whom the Prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks."</p> <p>The Prince’s last public engagement was on March 12, when he attended a dinner in aid of the Australian bushfire relief efforts at Mansion House hosted by the Lord Mayor of London and the High Commissioner for Australia, George Brandis.</p> <p>Buckingham Palace said the Queen last saw Charles two weeks ago.</p> <p>“Her Majesty the Queen remains in good health,” it said.</p> <p>“The Queen last saw the Prince of Wales briefly on 12 March and is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare. We will not be commenting further.”</p> <p>An insider said the Duke and Duchess were in good spirits and Charles was active rather than bedridden.</p> <p>Sky News contributor Caleb Bond said if there’s “anyone who can get good treatment” it’s the Prince, which is why it’s unlikely he’ll “drop off the perch because of coronavirus”.</p> <p>Speaking to Sky News host Peter Gleeson, Bond said people like Prince Charles, Tom Hanks and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton – who have all contracted the virus – are “by necessity going to be far more likely to contract coronavirus” because their job requires them to constantly meet people.</p> <p>“They can become super spreaders,” he said.</p>

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Stage 2 lockdown imminent as Australia records 8th COVID-19 death

<p>Health authorities in NSW have provided their latest update on a woman in her 70s who has become the country’s eighth COVID-19 fatality and the state’s seventh.</p> <p>A woman who had travelled on the<span> </span><em>Ruby Princess</em><span> </span>cruise ship and was taken to the hospital and monitored under emergency supervision on March 19, has died due to the virus on Tuesday morning.</p> <p>NSW Health said in a statement that the woman was among one of the first passengers who were confirmed to test positive with the virus.</p> <p>The ship, which docked in Sydney last week, has been confirmed to have 133 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus since arriving in Sydney. <span>Of these cases, 107 are from NSW, and 26 are from interstate.</span></p> <p>In the 24 hours to 8:00 pm Monday, a total of 149 coronavirus infections were confirmed in NSW, taking the state's total to 818.</p> <p>NSW health said no cases of the virus had been identified by doctors before passengers docked.</p> <p>“Five people who had displayed influenza-like illness were tested in Wellington, New Zealand, on 14 March, and all were negative for COVID-19,” a spokesperson said in a statement.</p> <p>It comes after passengers spent days in their communities before being asked to self-isolate following coronavirus detections on board.</p> <p>On March 18, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt issued an emergency biosecurity order which prevents any cruise vessels from docking in Australia for the next month.</p> <p>13 passenger cruise ships were still at sea at the time the order came into force, including the<span> </span><em>Ruby Princess</em>.</p> <p>On the other side of the world, 300 Australians are stranded throughout Peru after its country closed its border and enforced a nationwide curfew.</p> <p>Those trying to scramble their way back home onto Australian soil are booking seats on potential commercial charter flights out of the country, although these are yet to be confirmed as all internal movements in many regional areas are prohibited.</p> <p>Australia’s ambassador to Ecuador and Bolivia Diana Nelson took to social media to share a video message from Lima.</p> <p>Ms Nelson assured citizens the government is trying to find ways to get Australia’s people home.</p> <p>“We understand that this is an incredibly stressful and difficult time as we deal with these unprecedented circumstances.</p> <p>"In Canberra, the government is working around the clock to find solutions to bring you home to Australia.</p> <p>"And here in Peru our dedicated embassy team are liaising closely with Peruvian authorities, other embassies, airlines and travel companies.”</p>

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Everything banned under stage two restrictions

<p>House parties, barbecues, birthdays and a number of leisure activities will be banned starting from midnight tonight as Australia moves to the next stage of the fight against coronavirus.</p> <p>Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours are just some of the latest things banned by the Federal Government to help prevent the spread of the disease in Australia.</p> <p>Making the announcement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said food courts will also be shut down except for takeaway.</p> <p>Cafes will continue to be allowed to provide takeaway only. Food markets will continue to operate in all states and territories.</p> <p>Hairdressers are barber shops will remain open with up to 30-minute appointments and the one person per four square metre rule applies in the premises. Spas and massage parlours will have to shut, as will strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues.</p> <p>Auctions and open house inspections will also be banned along with amusement parks and arcades. Play centres are also now included in the shutdown.</p> <p>Community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas and wellness centres will shut.</p> <p>Boot camps and personal training sessions can have a maximum of 10 people with strict social distancing rules observed.</p> <p>Social sporting-based activities and swimming pools will be ordered to close.</p> <p>Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres, non-essential facilities, community facilities such as halls will be closed.</p> <p>Caravan and camping parks will be a decision for each state and territory.</p> <p>Weddings will also become extremely restricted, with no more than five people allowed. Funerals are capped at 10.</p> <p>“Large gatherings for weddings, sadly, won’t be possible under these new arrangements. Sadly, also, and I know this will be very difficult, funerals to no more than 10 persons observing the rules around the 4-square metre rule and the social distancing practices,” the Prime Minister said.</p> <p>People will be urged to stay home unless it is “absolutely necessary you go out. Going out for the basics, going out for an exercise, perhaps with your partner or family members, provided it’s a small group, that’s fine.</p> <p>“But going outside and going out and participating more broadly in the community unless you’re shopping for basics or there are medical needs or you’re providing care and support to an individual at another place,” Morrison said.</p> <p>Australians are also banned from international travel.</p> <p>“As soon as that direction is signed off by the health minister, it will come into force then and that will happen (Wednesday),” he said.</p> <p>Schools will remain open as the Prime Minister believes “it is safe to send your children to school.”</p> <p>“It’s going to be a tough year in 2020 and one of the things I don’t want to have yielded up is a year of a child’s education, which is so important. We need to work so hard together to try and ensure that those kids get that education and that is not lost to this virus,” he said.</p> <p>Australia has recorded over 2000 cases of coronavirus with eight deaths.</p>

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Coronavirus Supplement: What is it and are you eligible?

<p>COVID-19 is impacting the economy and its people significantly. But the Australian government has announced they will be giving more money to welfare recipients in an effort to soften the disastrous blow.</p> <p>Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also said he is also helping more people access welfare payments by waiving some asset tests and waiting periods.</p> <p>"We will be supercharging our safety net," Mr Morrison said on Sunday.</p> <p>"This is focusing on those who are going to feel the first blows."</p> <p>The Coronavirus Supplement has caused great interest since it was first revealed to the public in Sunday’s press conference.</p> <p>In short, it is an additional payment that is added on top of the income people on welfare already receive.</p> <p>The supplement is $40 a fornight ($275 a week), meaning the JobSeeker Payment will almost double.</p> <p>Those that are eligible for the Supplement include:</p> <ul> <li>JobSeeker Payment (formerly known as the Newstart Allowance)</li> <li>Sickness Allowance</li> <li>Youth Allowance for jobseekers</li> <li>Parenting Payment Partnered</li> <li>Parenting Payment Single</li> <li>Partner Allowance</li> <li>Farm Household Allowance</li> </ul> <p>Those already receiving one of the welfare payments listed above don't actually have to do anything.</p> <p>Services Australia will automatically pay the Coronavirus Supplement to eligible recipients each fortnight.</p> <p>Those who are not currently receiving welfare will need to apply.</p> <p>Payments for the Coronavirus supplement will begin on April 27 and will be available for at least six months.</p> <p>It has been announced small business owners and casual workers will also be eligible for the payment if they find themselves earning less than $1,075 a fortnight.</p> <p>Are small business owners and casual workers eligible?</p> <p>Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Government will go to lengths to ensure the Australian people who have found their business is closed, or that their customers have disappeared, or who have had causal shifts cut may be able to have access to the Coronavirus Supplement.  </p> <p>“We have waived the assets tests and waived the waiting period but there is still the income test so if you earn $1,075 a fortnight you will get that full $550 Coronavirus Supplement,” Mr Frydenberg said.</p> <p>“This is good news for a sole trader who is still in work but has seen the income reduce.</p> <p>“If you are a casual and you still have some hours but your income has fallen below that $1,075 a fortnight you will get the supplement.”</p> <p>It is important to remember the Australian Government has temporarily expanded eligibility for the JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments, meaning you may be eligible if you're:</p> <ul> <li>A permanent employee who has been stood down or lost your job</li> <li>A sole trader, self-employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced</li> <li>Caring for someone who's affected by coronavirus</li> </ul> <p>Income testing will still apply but if you're earning less than $1,075 a fortnight, Centrelink should approve your claim, meaning you would get the supplement.</p> <p>How do I apply for JobSeeker or Youth Allowance?</p> <p>Those wanting to apply for a Jobseeker or Youth Allowance must do so<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://my.gov.au/LoginServices/main/login?execution=e2s1" target="_blank">online through myGov using a Centrelink account</a>, or <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/contact-us/phone-us" target="_blank">contact Services Australia by phone for more details</a>.</p> <p>But the <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-23/mygov-website-down-centrelink-massive-queues-coronavirus/12080558" target="_blank">myGov system is experiencing overwhelming demand, causing the website to crash</a> and creating long queues on both the phone hotline and in-person at service centres.</p> <p>Centrelink issued a statement warning people “it will take a little longer than usual” to get help due to the MyGov website currently crashing as it is experiencing overwhelming demand.</p> <p>“Please consider the health and safety of our customers and staff and do not visit our service centres unless there's a critical need for you to be there,” the statement read.</p> <p>The Government plans to hire an additional 5,000 staff for Services Australia — the agency responsible for Centrelink payments — to help deliver the new measures</p> <p>Centrelink and the Government has also announced the ordinary waiting period has been waived.</p> <p>They also said they will are waiving the liquid asset test waiting period, newly arrived residents waiting period, and seasonal work preclusion period if you are eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement.</p> <p>Income maintenance and compensation preclusion periods will continue to apply.</p> <p>Worth noting for those wanting to know if they can access employer entitlements including annual leave or sick leave - the answer is no. The government is not currently allowing people to receive these entitlements while on Job Seeker or Youth Allowances.</p> <p>You also can't receive the payments if you're accessing income protection insurance.</p> <p>The Prime Minister said in his Sunday press conference that the economic stimulus measures implemented so far were “unprecedented”.</p> <p>They are worth $189 billion and account for around 9.7 per cent of the nation’s GDP in total.</p> <p>However, he went on to say: “This will not be the Treasurer and my last visit to these podiums to make announcements on these measures,” Mr Morrison said.</p> <p>“This is focusing on those who are going to feel the first blows. There will be more packages and more support.”</p>

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"Most significant support since the war": Round 2 of government relief

<p>The Federal Parliament has rushed through $84 billion in financial support for workers, students and businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, before wrapping up for a five-month-long break.</p> <p>Very few MPs and Senators came to Canberra for a single day to vote on legislation for the Government’s two rounds of stimulus measures.</p> <p>The bills were passed late Monday night without objection in both the House of Representatives and the Senate after some amendments were made.</p> <p>“The measures that have been passed by the Parliament today represent the most significant support for the Australian economy and community since the war,” said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.</p> <p>“There is much to do for this country in the weeks and months ahead, but working together, we can support the Australian community at their moment of need.”</p> <p>Labor frontbencher Tony Burke said the Parliament’s co-operation “has been a good example today of the Parliament at its best, working at a time when the nation is facing some of its worst”.</p> <p>The Government says that 236,000 students will benefit, as the legislation supports both the first coronavirus economic stimulus package, worth $17.6 billion, and the $66 billion in direct financial support announced in the second package on the weekend.</p> <p>The Coalition now has the power to make changes to stimulus payments, including raters, means testing, eligibility and residency requirements.</p> <p>And they will use it to give the $550 coronavirus supplement to students receiving Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy payments.</p> <p>The first direct payments will be made on April 27, with Labor wanting it reach people’s wallets sooner.</p> <p>“There is a lack of urgency in this support,” said Labor’s Home Affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally.</p> <p>“We are concerned that payments to households, including pensioners, will arrive too late. And we are deeply concerned that cashflow assistance to businesses will arrive too late.”</p> <p>“For sole traders and the self-employed, this support is just not enough.”</p> <p>Parliament is now not due to sit again until August 11, with the May budget postponed and other parliamentary sitting days cancelled.</p>

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Everything that is now closed across Australia

<p><span>Australia is drastically different since the prime minister announced all restaurants, clubs, bars and entertainment venues are to shut up shop.</span></p> <p>Scott Morrison said the federal, state and territory governments will enforce tough new social distancing measures in a continued battle against the coronavirus following a special national cabinet meeting.</p> <p>“We need all Australians to be following the health advice when it comes to keeping a healthy distance and observing the limits that relate to gatherings,” said Morrison. “Whether they be outdoor or whether they be indoor. This is incredibly important.</p> <p>“The failure of our public to do that will put people at risk and make it extremely difficult for governments to be able to take actions that can control the flow and spread of the virus.”</p> <p>From midday March 23, registered and licensed clubs, licensed premises in hotels and pubs, entertainment venues, cinemas, casinos, nightclubs, indoor sporting venues, gyms and places of worship closed across the country.</p> <p>Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway only and shopping centres will remain open.</p> <p>Morrison confirmed that these are stage one restrictions and will be reviewed on a monthly basis.</p> <p>“As I have stressed and the Chief Medical Officer has stressed, and others have also, but once you start putting these sorts of arrangements in place we would have the expectation that they will remain in place for at least six months, if the health situation changes and enables us to reconsider those arrangements, then that can be reconsidered,” said Morrison.</p> <p><strong>The following facilities are closed as of midday local time on Monday March 23:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Pubs, registered and licensed clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)</li> <li>Gyms and indoor sporting venues</li> <li>Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs</li> <li>Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery</li> <li>Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).</li> </ul> <p>Isolated remote community hubs are not included in these restrictions.</p>

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Get your voice heard on ABC’s 7.30 program

<p><span>If you are going through trying times and would like to share your story, <em>the </em></span><em>7.30</em><span><em> Program</em> (ABC TV) has reached out to OverSixty with a very special invitation. </span></p> <p><span>The program is looking to connect with Australians over the age of sixty in order for you to represent your circumstances and experiences on the show. </span></p> <p><span class="c-mrkdwn__br" data-stringify-type="paragraph-break"></span><span>Grandparents in particular are of interest to the program producers, especially those who occasionally look after their grandchildren but will be looking after them in a larger capacity if the national directive goes out from Canberra to close schools across the board.</span></p> <p><span class="c-mrkdwn__br" data-stringify-type="paragraph-break"></span><em>The 7.30</em><span><em> Program</em> is reaching out to the community as much as possible to keep everyone informed. Currently they are producing a story about multi-generational households and looking to hear from people that fit the following criteria:</span></p> <ul> <li><span>Living in multi-generational households, where grandparents, children and grandchildren live together.</span></li> <li><span>Grandparents who occasionally look after their grandchildren but who may be looking after them increasingly if schools close.</span></li> </ul> <p><span class="c-mrkdwn__br" data-stringify-type="paragraph-break"></span><span>If you or someone you know are in either of these situations and would like to speak to </span><em>7.30</em><span> and potentially share your story on the program, please contact </span>7:30<span> producer Nikki Tugwell via </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="mailto:Tugwell.Nikki@abc.net.au" target="_blank" class="c-link" aria-describedby="slack-kit-tooltip"><em>Tugwell.Nikki@abc.net.au</em></a></p>

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Shane Warne's "wartime shift" to help hospitals during pandemic

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Former cricket legend Shane Warne has turned his gin distillery into a hand sanitiser factory to help supply Australians during the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>SevenZeroEight halted production of its gin this week to produce medical grade 70 per cent alcohol hand sanitiser for Western Australian hospitals.</p> <p>The decision was made by Warne himself as well as the company’s founders, which include two WA surgical specialists, the cricket legend said.</p> <p>An agreement has been reached between two nominated Western Australian hospitals and the company to provide a continuous supply of hand sanitiser at cost.</p> <p>The names of the hospitals are not made public.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B94FBf-DGrO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B94FBf-DGrO/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">@708gin switching to producing #handsanitizer for @westernaustralia hospitals. Still plenty of Gin in stock with free shipping www.708gin.com.au</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/708gin/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> SevenZeroEight Gin Collection</a> (@708gin) on Mar 18, 2020 at 6:12am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"This is a challenging time for Australians and we all need to do what we can to help our healthcare system combat this disease and save lives," Warne said in a media statement.</p> <p>"I am happy SevenZeroEight has the ability to make this shift and encourage others to do the same."</p> <p>Warne founded the gin distillery last year and was named after the 708 wickets he took during his test career.</p> <p>His urge to help came after coronavirus panic buying has left shelves empty in supermarkets and pharmacies across Australia.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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A prominent royal has tested positive for coronavirus

<p>The royal palace has confirmed on Friday morning that Prince Albert of Monaco has tested positive for coronavirus, after undergoing a test earlier this week for the worrying pathogen.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7831993/prince-albert-of-monaco.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b9b15ac7f8e84dd08b1434c5492b4fe2" /></p> <p>He is the first royal member and known head of state to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, however he is not the first member of the Mediterranean paradise to have been hit with the virus as it was announced on Thursday there had been nine new cases.</p> <p>The first case of coronavirus in Monaco was recorded on February 28.</p> <p>Prince Albert had only just sat opposite of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, at a WaterAid charity event in London just a mere nine days before he was ruled positive.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7830238/prince-charles-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1f96c31452db445a94ba31c58a9c237b" /></p> <p>The palace said Albert's health “does not inspire any concern”, adding he was continuing to work from his private apartments. </p> <p>However the palace confirmed the royal is being closely monitored by his person doctor and by more specialists at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre.</p> <p>Albert has also begged the 39,000 inhabitants of Monaco in a to listen to quarantine rules to stop the spread of the virus.  </p> <p>Schools and nurseries in Monaco have been told to close along with non-essential businesses including restaurants, casinos, cafes, concert halls, cinemas and nightclubs.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7832649/monaco-royals-5.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f02c96bdd3614ff5b02908a746b6aede" /></p> <p>Banks, supermarkets and pharmacies continue to stay open.</p> <p>Information remains unclear in regard to the condition of the royal’s wife, Princess Charlene and whether she has been tested or not.</p> <p>Other high-profile patients include Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, and Begona Gomez, the wife of Spanish leader Pedro Sanchez.  </p> <p>Highly televised events including the Monaco Grand Prix has been called off with several other events on the Formula One calendar because of virus fears. </p>

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The Queen delivers heartfelt message amid coronavirus pandemic

<p>Queen Elizabeth II has urged the UK to “work as one” in tackling the coronavirus pandemic as she left for Windsor Castle a week earlier than planned.</p> <p>In a message to the nation, the 93-year-old thanked scientists, medics and emergency staff for their work, but emphasised that everyone has an important role to play as individuals.</p> <p>“As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty,” she said.</p> <p>“We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.</p> <p>“We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals – today and in the coming days, weeks and months.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">A message from Her Majesty The Queen.<a href="https://t.co/xVJmB7aU40">https://t.co/xVJmB7aU40</a> <a href="https://t.co/HLHqRnZGIP">pic.twitter.com/HLHqRnZGIP</a></p> — The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) <a href="https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1240677957657677824?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 19, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The monarch said she and her family “stand ready to play our part”.</p> <p>The message came after the Queen was leaving Buckingham Palace with a dog on Thursday morning local time. She is now at Windsor Castle with Prince Philip, with the couple being expected to stay there beyond the Easter period.</p> <p>Royal schedules have also been adjusted in an effort to help limit the spread of the new coronavirus. The Queen’s annual Buckingham Palace garden parties will be postponed until next year and upcoming visits to Cheshire and Camden were deferred.</p> <p>The country’s coronavirus-related death toll reached 137 as of Wednesday afternoon. The UK government has advised the public to avoid unnecessary contact and travel.</p>

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Government places restrictions on prescription meds while cash rate is cut to record low

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Pharmacists are being told to dispense only one month’s worth of prescription medication and limit the purchase of some over-the-counter products starting from today.</p> <p>The deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly said that there are no medicine shortages in Australia, but unprecedented demand is putting a strain on supplies.</p> <p>"There have been reports of people buying large quantities of these medications over the last few days," Dr Kelly said to<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-19/government-restricts-prescriptions-amid-coronavirus-panic-buying/12070682" target="_blank"><em>The ABC</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>"I recognise again that people are fearful about issues, particularly those that might affect their own families.</p> <p>"But I say again, as the Prime Minister said yesterday about panic buying, please do not buy more than you need."</p> <p>Pharmacists are required to put some medicines, including children’s paracetamol, behind the counter in order to tackle panic-buying.</p> <p>Dr Kelly called for calm in pharmacies as Australians respond to coronavirus.</p> <p>"It is not OK to be abusing people who are teaching our kids. It is not OK to be abusing people and being angry at people at Woolworths and Coles," he said.</p> <p>"It is not OK to be angry at people trying to do their best in healthcare.</p> <p>"This is a time for us to be working together and to be the best people we can in Australia."</p> <p>Calm is needed now more than ever as the Reserve Bank has just cut interest rates to a new record low of 0.25 per cent and has announced a money-printing program for the first time in its history.</p> <p>This is being done to prevent a recession as panicked investors continue wiping billions of dollars in value off the local stock market.</p> <p>In a statement, RBA governor Philip Lowe said that coronavirus was having a “very major impact on the economy and the financial system”.</p> <p>“The coronavirus is first and foremost a public health issue, but it is also having a very major impact on the economy and the financial system. As the virus has spread, countries have restricted the movement of people across borders and have implemented social distancing measures, including restricting movements within countries and within cities. The result has been major disruptions to economic activity across the world. This is likely to remain the case for some time yet as efforts continue to contain the virus,” he said in a statement this afternoon.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">At a meeting yesterday, the Reserve Bank Board agreed to a comprehensive package to support the Australian economy through the current challenging period - <a href="https://t.co/YYzRnpZGyO">https://t.co/YYzRnpZGyO</a></p> — RBA (@RBAInfo) <a href="https://twitter.com/RBAInfo/status/1240480672759889920?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 19, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>"As the virus has spread, countries have restricted the movement of people across borders and have implemented social distancing measures, including restricting movements within countries and within cities.</p> <p>"The result has been major disruptions to economic activity across the world. This is likely to remain the case for some time yet as efforts continue to contain the virus."</p> <p>Mr Lowe said that the board would not lift the cash rates until progress was being made “towards full employment” and when the RBA was confident inflation would be “sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cen target band”.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Why the schools are staying open

<p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended his policy to keep schools in Australia open despite the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>He spoke to<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-australian-school-shutdown-pm-says-shutting-schools-now-could-lead-kids-to-miss-a-whole-year-of-education/news-story/fa0d82f74d0bde70caacc653b5bdcab9" target="_blank"><em>Sky News</em></a><span> </span>on Wednesday night, saying that Australians need to wake up to the fact that the social distancing measures will be in place for at least six months and could get even tougher.</p> <p>“There seems to be a view … that somehow you can just turn the tap off for two weeks and all of a sudden we’ve got through the coronavirus, that’s just not true,” he said.</p> <p>“People who are thinking about it in those terms are really not understanding the scale of what’s happening here.”</p> <p>“Six months is indicative and I certainly don’t think at this point that it will be any less than that,” he said.</p> <p>Morrison said that social distancing measures are designed to be sustainable and may be scaled up in the future.</p> <p>He also said that keeping schools open is a balance of weighing up health advice against the economic impact of the closure.</p> <p>“What you do, you’ve got to keep doing for the next six months. Shut them down, they won’t open again. And that means your children will miss what is effectively a whole year of their education.</p> <p>“Now if there’s not a good health reason to do that and risk the child’s education or cause them rather significant economic cost...you should keep the schools open. And that’s why I’ve formed such a strong view on this.”</p> <p>On Wednesday, governments in Scotland and Wales announced that they would close schools after staff losses due to isolation made continuing as normal unsustainable.</p> <p><span>The U.K. government said Wednesday it plans to shut schools in England as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.</span></p> <p>Speaking at the government’s daily press conference on the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Looking at where we are now, we think now that we must apply further downward pressure on that upward curve by closing the schools.”</p> <p>“So, I can announce today … that after schools shut their gates from Friday afternoon, they will remain closed for the vast majority of pupils until further notice.”</p>

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Aussie passengers jump ship for mad dash home

<p>Dozens of Australians onboard an international cruise ship have evacuated the vessel in lifeboats to join another cruise ship bound for Fremantle, Western Australia as the government urged those overseas to return home “<a rel="noopener" href="https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a200317psnuh/aussies-abroad-urged-to-come-home-as-soon-as-possible-20200317" target="_blank">as soon as possible</a>” amid coronavirus concerns.</p> <p>The Cruise and Maritime Voyages ship MV Columbus, which had hundreds of Australians onboard, was this week ordered to cease its world cruise and come back to its original port in Tilbury, England.</p> <p>Passengers were given the option to remain at sea for four weeks until the ship arrives in England or join a nearby Australian cruise ship bound for Fremantle.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">EXCLUSIVE: Dozens of Australians onboard an international cruise ship have abandoned the vessel in lifeboats to make the mad dash home amid the coronavirus pandemic <a href="https://twitter.com/newscomauHQ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@newscomauHQ</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/coronavirus?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#coronavirus</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CoronaVirusUpdate?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CoronaVirusUpdate</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CoronavirusOutbreak?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CoronavirusOutbreak</a> <a href="https://t.co/HFO2xLoYRa">pic.twitter.com/HFO2xLoYRa</a></p> — Megan Palin (@Megan_Palin) <a href="https://twitter.com/Megan_Palin/status/1240305816877641730?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 18, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The two ships exchanged passengers using lifeboats as 67 European and British passengers on the Australian vessel made the switch to the Columbus.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">1/3 Cruise &amp; Maritime Voyages has today (Friday 13 March 2020) announced all cruise operations will be suspended until Friday 24 April 2020.<br />Due to the escalating global pandemic outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, updated Government advisories</p> — Cruise &amp; Maritime (@CMVoyages) <a href="https://twitter.com/CMVoyages/status/1238531792195502080?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 13, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>“We chatted to some Australians last night who were leaving and they were very philosophical,” a passenger told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-australians-on-world-cruise-jump-ship/news-story/0f3aa237a424581068d4696024cd8d4c" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p>“No panic, no anger …. just a bit sad that they missed the Great Wall of China, the pyramids, the valley of the Kings, and so on.”</p>

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WHO sounds new warning against use of ibuprofen for coronavirus symptoms

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>The World Health Organisation has recommended that people suffering from COVID-19 symptoms to avoid taking ibuprofen after French officials warned that anti-inflammatory drugs could worsen the effects of the virus.</p> <p>The warning came after French Health Minister Olivier Veran followed a recent study in The Lancet medical journal that hypothesised that an enzyme boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen could worsen COVID-19 infections.</p> <p>When asked about the study, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva that the UN health agency’s experts were “looking into this to give further guidance”.</p> <p>"In the meantime, we recommend using rather paracetamol, and do not use ibuprofen as a self-medication. That's important," he said.</p> <p>He added that if ibuprofen had been "prescribed by the healthcare professionals, then, of course, that's up to them."</p> <p>Mr Lindmeier’s comments came after Veran made a tweet cautioning the use of ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs.</p> <p>"In the case of fever, take paracetamol," he wrote.</p> <p>A spokesperson for British pharmaceutical company Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Nurofen, said in an email statement that the company is aware of concerns about the use of steroids for the alleviation of COVID-19 symptoms.</p> <p>“Consumer safety is our number one priority," the spokesperson said, stressing that "Ibuprofen is a well-established medicine that has been used safely as a self-care fever and pain reducer, including in viral illnesses, for more than 30 years."</p> <p>"We do not currently believe there is any proven scientific evidence linking over-the-counter use of ibuprofen to the aggravation of COVID-19," the statement said.</p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has currently infected 190,000 people worldwide and killed more than 7,800. It causes mild symptoms in most people, but can result in pneumonia and in some cases, severe illness that can lead to multiple organ failure.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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