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Coronavirus: What we know today, June 9

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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 authorities won’t approve second anti-racism protest

South Australian authorities will not grant permission for a second Black Lives Matter rally in Adelaide.

Organisers have called for a second protest on Saturday after up to 7000 people gathered at the weekend in an event praised by police.

Earlier today SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said: “I’ll have look at the circumstances and … determine what the community sentiment is going to be, what the issues are around safety and find a position that meets all needs”.

However, after a meeting of the state’s transition committee – overseeing the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions – Stevens said an exemption would not be given to subsequent protests.

He said additional protests would make it difficult to control any outbreak that might occur from Saturday’s event.

People who attended new rallies would face the possibility of being issued with expiation notices for breaking SA’s pandemic restrictions.

At the first rally, the city’s Victoria Square was packed with people calling for justice over the death of African-American man George Floyd during his arrest in the US and ongoing concerns over indigenous deaths in custody.

Many people at last weekend’s rally wore masks and some tried to socially-distance but most remained in close quarters.

Calling it a “unique and extraordinary” event, Stevens had given permission for the rally to take place, granting those participating an exemption from COVID-19 restrictions.

His decision sparked calls for fans to be allowed to attend this weekend’s AFL game between Port Adelaide and the Adelaide Crows at Adelaide Oval – and the transition committee today decided that a limited crowd could attend.

Up to 2000 people will be allowed in general areas of the Oval while up to 240 people would be allowed in private rooms.

South Australia on Tuesday marked 14 consecutive days of no virus cases, and a sixth successive day of zero active cases.

There have been four reported deaths in SA from COVID-19. SA Pathology has now undertaken more than 113,000 tests.

JobKeeper review could see further changes

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has signalled further changes to the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme will likely be made in late July after a review.

Speculation is mounting the Morrison government will cut out individual sectors from JobKeeper after announcing childcare workers would be removed on July 20.

Frydenberg will announce the findings of Treasury’s review of wage subsidies on July 23 alongside a financial update.

“It is in place, legislated to September. We will be looking to see how to strengthen and improve that program,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Frydenberg pointed to Treasury’s forecast that 850,000 people could return to work when stage three of eased coronavirus restrictions are rolled out in July.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week guaranteed the program would continue for the full legislated period, days before it was announced one sector would be cut off early.

Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles took aim at the government for removing childcare staff.

“That’s a complete breach of faith,” he told Sky News.

Childcare workers will receive transitional payments, which the government argues are only slightly less than wage subsidies.

Treasury and the tax office’s bungled JobKeeper prediction will be in sharp focus at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Treasury boss Steven Kennedy and Australian Taxation Office commissioner Chris Jordan will face the coronavirus response committee.

The federal government originally predicted the $1500 fortnightly payments would cost $130 billion and cover more than six million workers.

But it was later revealed three million fewer employees were part of the scheme, forcing the projection to be revised down to $70 billion.

BP to axe 10,000 jobs

Energy company BP says its global workforce will be trimmed by 10,000 jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic slams the oil and gas industry.

Chief executive Bernard Looney says the roles will be office-based and come mostly this year. The company’s current global workforce is 70,000.

The changes are expected to significantly impact senior levels, cutting the number of group leaders by a third. The company says it will make the senior structure flatter.

The job cuts come amid a time of tremendous change for BP. The energy producer has said it wants to eliminate or offset all carbon emissions from its operations and the oil and gas it sells to customers by 2050, an ambitious target born out of pressure to help combat climate change and keep making money.

The global energy industry has meanwhile been hit hard by the pandemic as the widespread limits on business, travel and public life reduced the need for oil, gas and other fuels.

Supply was also particularly high when the outbreak began, creating a perfect storm for the industry. With storage facilities filling up, the US price of oil went below zero in April for the first time.

New York begins reopening

Exactly 100 days after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in New York City, some workers have begun returning to jobs.

People who had been staying home for months boarded subways and buses as the most populous US city began Phase One of its hopeful journey toward economic recovery.

Nearly 22,000 residents died after contracting the coronavirus.

“This is clearly the hardest place in America to get to this moment because we’re the epicentre,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

New York, by far the hardest-hit US city, on Monday reported the rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus fell to a new low of three per cent, well below its threshold for reopening of 15 per cent, de Blasio said.

Some 400,000 workers head back to 32,000 construction sites, wholesale and manufacturing centres and some retail sites across the city.

De Blasio urged them to wear face masks and use social distancing to keep COVID-19 cases on a downward trend – particularly those who use mass transit to get to work.

Subway rider Jim Duke said normally packed trains had few enough riders to accommodate social distancing from other commuters.

“There’s not a lot of people on there, so it’s fairly easy. So far,” Duke said, wearing a face mask.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo noted that the rest of the state had already entered the same reopening phase without a jump in infections.

He said this was largely due to restrictions that limit restaurants to serving guests only outdoors and retailers to making only footpath sales.

“If we follow those guidelines in New York City, there should not be a spike, just like there hasn’t been a spike across the rest of the state,” Cuomo said.

India lifts restrictions despite record jump in infections

People have trickled into temples and mosques in India as the federal government lifted most restrictions on public places, even as the country added a record number of infections in a single day.

After imposing a severe lockdown in March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is under pressure to fully open the economy and get people back to work to prevent mass distress.

It ordered shopping centres, places of worship and restaurants to open under a set of guidelines meant to prevent a further surge of infections in the world’s second-most-populous country.

Worshippers wore masks, stood two metres apart and went through thermal scanners at Hindu temples in Delhi and elsewhere in the country that are usually filled to capacity.

Disinfection tunnels were installed at the entrance to Delhi’s shopping centres, due to open later on Monday.

But the capital, one of the country’s hotspots, will not allow hotels to reopen because it said it might need to convert them into temporary hospitals if there were a big jump in cases.

“Our cases are rising each day. We could run out of beds,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.

India’s total number of coronavirus cases reached 256,611, the health ministry said, just behind Spain after a record one-day jump of 9983 infections.

Only the United States, Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom have more cases, and health experts say India’s peak could still be weeks away, if not months.

Deaths from COVID-19 stood at 7135, still low compared with other countries that have suffered tens of thousands of fatalities.

In Mumbai a few offices opened and in the suburbs there were long queues at bus stops as the commuter trains that are its lifeline have not yet opened.

Sajjan Jindal, chairman of the conglomerate JSW Group, said India needed to reopen fully to save livelihoods.

“The slower we are to restart, the more we lose against countries out of lockdown. We can’t lose any more time,” 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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