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Coronavirus: What we know today, May 26

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Follow this post for rolling updates on the impact of the coronavirus in South Australia, the nation and the world.

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

KEY POINTS

SA records new COVID-19 case

South Australia has recorded its first new coronavirus case in 19 days – and only its second since April 22.

Chief medical officer Professor Nicola Spurrier today fronted media to confirm the shock case – which comes after Premier Steven Marshall declared a major loosening of COVID-19-enforced restrictions, citing SA’s good results in maintaining a record of no active coronavirus cases since May 15.

The new case is a woman in her 50s who arrived in SA from Victoria on the weekend – which will prompt a “review of processes” after she was granted an exemption to travel into the state.

Spurrier said the patient had arrived in the state after international travel but was not an SA resident.

She confirmed authorities have known about the positive test since “late yesterday afternoon”, since when SA Health “have been working through all the aspects of this case”.

Premier Steven Marshall earlier today spoke of the risk in reopening the SA economy too quickly, but did not announce the new case when he fronted media this morning.

Read the full story here.

Feds put religious freedom and anti-corruption laws on ice

Religious freedom laws and a federal anti-corruption body have been pushed aside as the Morrison government responds to coronavirus.

The prime minister has also pumped the brakes on holding an indigenous recognition referendum next year.

“The timetable for that will depend on when and if that sort of consensus is able to be achieved for it to be successful,” Scott Morrison told the National Press Club on Tuesday.

Teacher and student test positive

A teacher and a student in Australia’s biggest cities have tested positive to coronavirus as classrooms reopen under eased COVID-19 restrictions.

Private school Waverley College in Sydney’s eastern suburbs sent students home on Tuesday after a boy was diagnosed with the virus.

The school was evacuated within 90 minutes of the positive result, which prompted a deep clean of the campus.

Close contacts of the student are being notified.

A teacher in Melbourne was confirmed to have coronavirus on Friday ahead of 400,000 public school students returning on Tuesday.

The teacher, who is one of 17,500 staff tested ahead of Victoria’s staggered reopening of primary and secondary education, had not been at school.

In Queensland, a Ruby Princess passenger has tested positive more than two months after leaving the notorious cruise ship.

WHO warns of ‘second peak’ in some countries

Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organisation says.

The world is still in the middle of the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan told an online briefing, noting that while cases are declining in many countries they are still increasing in Central and South America, South Asia and Africa.

Ryan said epidemics often come in waves, which means that outbreaks could come back later this year in places where the first wave has subsided. There was also a chance that infection rates could rise again more quickly if measures to halt the first wave were lifted too soon.

“When we speak about a second wave classically what we often mean is there will be a first wave of the disease by itself, and then it recurs months later. And that may be a reality for many countries in a number of months’ time,” Ryan said.

“But we need also to be cognisant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time. We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now it is going to keep going down and we get a number of months to get ready for a second wave. We may get a second peak in this wave.”

He said countries in Europe and North America should “continue to put in place the public health and social measures, the surveillance measures, the testing measures and a comprehensive strategy to ensure that we continue on a downwards trajectory and we don’t have an immediate second peak”.

Many European countries and US states have taken steps in recent weeks to lift lockdown measures that curbed the spread of the disease but caused severe harm to economies.

Under-fire UK adviser refuses to quit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s closest aide has refused to resign, saying he had done nothing wrong by driving 400km from London to access childcare when Britons were being told to stay at home to fight COVID-19.

Dominic Cummings has faced calls to quit from MPs, Church of England bishops, police officers and scientists over his trip to County Durham, northern England, which they said had damaged citizens’ trust in public health messaging.

But he plays a vital role for Johnson, and the prime minister’s own judgment has been called into question for defending him and keeping him in his job, leaving many Britons thinking the rules did not apply to the people in charge.

“I did what I thought was the right thing to do,” Cummings said in response to reporters’ questions after reading a statement defending his decision to travel to Durham with his wife, who was ill at the time, and his four-year-old son.

“I think… I behaved reasonably,” he said.

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

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