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Coronavirus: What we know today, May 2

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Follow this post for rolling updates on the impact of the coronavirus in South Australia, the nation and the world, as well as the latest health information and links to official advice.

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Refresh this page for updates – scroll down for links to official health information.

KEY POINTS

No new cases 10 days running

South Australia has recorded its tenth day of no new coronavirus infections, with the state’s total cases sitting at 438.

SA Health confirmed today that 427 people or 98 per cent have recovered from COVID-19 in South Australia.

Only seven active cases remain in the state, with three people undergoing treatment in hospital.

SA deputy chief public health officer Dr Michael Cusack warned a “second spike” of infections could occur if South Australians didn’t adhere to social distancing regulations.

“Although we’ve had ten straight days of no cases, this is not a time for complacency,” he said.

“We have seen when we’ve had outbreaks in the Barossa and the airport that things can accelerate very quickly.

“It only needs one or two cases in the community for things to run away a bit which is why we need to be very vigilant.”

Source: SA Health

Source: Department of Health, States and Territories Report

Telehealth services surge in SA

Telehealth services have surged in South Australia, with the number of sessions increasing by nearly 150 per cent as people remain socially distant during the coronavirus outbreak.

There were more than 17,000 sessions held from February to April with all calls longer than 10 minutes.

Only 7000 sessions were recorded across the same period last year.

A second service provider was introduced by SA Health to cope with the increase in demand.

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital Network has been expanding its telehealth use to connect patients and doctors during the pandemic.

The Network’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Service clinical lead Peter Muller said telehealth fast-tracked remote screening appointments for women with complicated pregnancies

New COVID outbreak at Vic meat facility

A coronavirus cluster has been uncovered at a Melbourne meat processing facility, amid warnings Victoria’s progress in fighting the pandemic remains “incredibly fragile”.

Seven new cases have been confirmed across the state, bringing the total to 1371.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Saturday revealed eight staff members at a meat processing facility in Melbourne had tested positive to COVID-19, including three overnight.

She declined to name the business or provide further details about its location, saying the facility was closed for cleaning and all staff were being tested.

The minister stressed there were no concerns about food safety or risk to the broader community.

Australia pressing on with virus inquiry

Prime Minister Scott Morrison insists Australia can back an inquiry into the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak and still have good relations with China.

Morrison confirmed on Friday his government would speak in favour of a European Union resolution to set up an investigation into the outbreak, which is understood to have started in a wildlife wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The resolution will be put to the World Health Assembly which meets in Geneva later this month.

Asked what he thought of a suggestion the virus could have emerged from a Chinese laboratory, he said there was no evidence he had seen to suggest a lab was the likely source.

“We know it started in China, in Wuhan, and the most likely scenario that has been canvassed relates to wildlife wet markets,” he said.

“This is one of the reasons why it is important we have an objective, independent assessment of how this originated and learn the lessons of how this occured.”

UK hits testing target as death toll up 739

Britain has hit its target of carrying out 100,000 COVID-19 tests a day, health minister Matt Hancock says, stressing that the program was crucial to help ease the country’s lockdown.

Hancock set the target of 100,000 tests by the end of April after being criticised for moving too slowly compared to other countries like Germany.

Since then, the government has increased the number of drive-through testing sites and has sent out home tests to a wider number of eligible people.

At Friday’s news conference, Hancock said 122,347 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to Friday morning.

The United Kingdom’s death toll from COVID-19 rose on Friday to 27,510, an increase of 739, according to figures that include deaths in hospital and in other settings like nursing homes.

The figure leaves the United Kingdom as the second-worst hit country in Europe behind Italy.

OFFICIAL SOURCES OF ADVICE AND INFORMATION

Local updates and resources

State Government central information

SA Health

Mental health support line (8am to 8pm): 1800 632 753.

National advice and information

Australian Government Coronavirus information hotline: 1800 020 080

Government information via WhatsApp: click here

Travel

Australian Government travel advice: smartraveller.gov.au

Check your symptoms

Free, government-funded, health advice: healthdirect.gov.au

– Reporting by InDaily staff, AAP and Reuters

This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.

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