Refresh this page for updates – scroll down for links to official health information.
- Victoria shuts NSW border after record virus spike
- No new cases in SA
- WHO reports biggest daily global case increase
- Spain locks down regions after new outbreaks
Victoria shuts NSW border as virus outbreak escalates
The Department of Defence has been called in to help the “mammoth” task of enforcing the closure of the NSW-Victoria border, which will be sealed tonight after Victoria recorded anotner 127 coronavirus cases – its biggest daily total since the pandemic hit.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the border will close at 11:59pm on Tuesday following crisis talks with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“We have, all of us, agreed that the best thing to do is to close the border,” Andrews told reporters on Monday.
“That closure will be enforced on the NSW side so as not to be a drain on resources that are very much focused on fighting the virus right now across our state.”
A permit system for travel between the states will be outlined by Berejiklian later on Monday.
There will be specific arrangements put in place for people in border towns such as Albury-Wodonga to carry out daily activities or receive healthcare.
Victoria’s previous daily high for the number of new COVID-19 cases was 111 on March 28.
Andrews said the rising number of new cases is “challenging”.
“All of us have got a part to play in getting control of this virus, stabilising it, driving down case numbers, containing it and then getting back to a point where we can resume our program of opening up,” he said.
“This could not be more serious.”
No new cases in SA
No new cases were recorded in South Australia on Monday, according to SA Health.
There have been a total of 443 cases reported in SA, with the three currently active all from returned travellers in quarantine.
There have been more than 161,000 tests undertaken across the state.
Melbourne housing blocks lockdown under fire
The Victorian government’s “ham-fisted” decision to lock down residents in nine inner-Melbourne public housing blocks for five days has blindsided thousands of people.
Victorian Public Tenants Association executive officer Mark Feenane said the more than 3000 tenants were unprepared for the surprise decision and many had been left without grocery and other supplies.
“It was just done in a pretty ham-fisted manner,” he told Nine’s Today Show on Monday.
“There was really inadequate notice to people who aren’t really well-resourced … no time to buy whatever essential items they needed.”
Police are guarding every entrance of the housing estates and residents are not allowed to leave their homes for any reason.
The hard lockdown was imposed by the government on Saturday in a bid to contain a break out of coronavirus after 27 people in the North Melbourne and Flemington towers tested positive to COVID-19.
The government says it will deliver food and medical supplies to residents, give a $1500 hardship payment to those who can’t go to work and pay $750 each to those not in the workforce.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews defended the lockdown, warning the state’s outbreak made strict measures necessary.
“We are going to see some big days, big numbers in the days ahead,” he told reporters on Sunday.
WHO reports biggest single day case rate
The World Health Organisation said member states reported more than 212,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world on Saturday, the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic.
More than 60 per cent of the confirmed cases reports it received were in the Americas, while South Africa reported more than 10,000 cases in a day for the first time.
The United States has dipped under 50,000 new daily infections for the first time in four days, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, but experts fear celebrations for the country’s Independence Day weekend may exacerbate its surging coronavirus outbreak.
Johns Hopkins on Sunday counted 45,300 new coronavirus infections reported on Saturday in the US after three days in which the daily count reached as high as 54,500 new cases.
The lower figure does not mean the situation in the US is improving, it could be due to reduced reporting during a holiday.
The United States has the most infections and virus-related deaths in the world, with 2.8 million cases and nearly 130,000 dead, according to the university.
Worldwide, nearly 11.3 million people have been infected and more than 531,000 have died, with outbreaks surging in India, South Africa, Pakistan, Brazil and several other Latin American countries.
UK drinkers celebrate pubs reopening
In Britain, pubs and barbers reopened on Saturday for the first time in months.
It did not overwhelm emergency services as many had feared, but one senior police officer said on Sunday it was “crystal clear” that drunk people struggled, or ignored, social distancing rules.
Rafal Liszewski, a store manager in central London, voiced concerns about the swelling crowds on Saturday.
“Quickly everything got out of control and by 8-9pm it was a proper street party with people dancing and drinking,” he said.
“Barely anyone was wearing masks and nobody respected social distancing… to be honest, with that many people on one street, it was physically impossible.”
Spain locks down regions over outbreaks
Authorities in northwestern Spain have ordered the lockdown of a county with a population of 71,000 amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak.
Regional authorities in Galicia announced on Sunday that movement to and from A Marina county located on Spain’s northern Atlantic coast will be prohibited starting at midnight.
It will run through Friday, two days before the region holds elections.
The decision comes one day after regional authorities in northeast Catalonia locked down an area with more than 200,000 inhabitants.
Both lockdowns only allow people to leave the areas for work and other extenuating circumstances.
Spain ended a state of emergency that enabled the government to lockdown the entire country and prohibit travel between provinces or certain areas two weeks ago.
Spain has registered 205,545 coronavirus cases and 28,385 deaths according to health ministry data, making it one of Europe’s worst-affected countries.
OFFICIAL SOURCES OF ADVICE AND INFORMATION
Local updates and resources
State Government central information
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
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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