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Coronavirus: What we know today, July 7

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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 hardens Victorian border

Non-South Australian residents will be banned from crossing into the state from Victoria as the Marshall Government branded soaring COVID-19 cases “a clear threat to public health in SA”.

It comes as authorities retreat from last week’s move to allow nightclubs to reopen, with Police Commissioner Grant Stevens declaring CBD nightspots would be forced to close their doors again until they had an authorised COVID-19 management plan.

SA plans to open its borders to New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory from July 20, but Stevens warned after a meeting of the state’s Transition Committee today that the situation would be monitored to ensure there was no spike in those jurisdictions as a result of people travelling from Victoria, which today recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus as it prepared for the closure of its own border with NSW.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said Victoria “is now a clear threat to public health in South Australia” and had prompted renewed border restrictions.

“As of midnight tomorrow night, only South Australian residents travelling from Victoria will be allowed to quarantine in SA for 14 days,” Stevens said.

“People not residing in SA will not have that option available to them.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

Victorian cases surge ahead of midnight border lockdown

Victoria has recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus, as the state prepares for the closure of its border with NSW.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton confirmed the result on Tuesday, with the state now having recorded a total of 2824 cases.

There are currently 772 active cases in Victoria.

ADF to patrol border

Australian Defence Force personnel will patrol the NSW-Victoria border after it closes at midnight to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne.

The ADF is finalising plans to deploy between 350-500 personnel to support NSW Police Force border checkpoints.

“The first of these are expected to deploy to the border to achieve the NSW government directed border closure timings, pending finalising the agreement with NSW authorities,” an ADF spokeswoman said.

Defence Force personnel won’t be directly involved with law enforcement but will support police operations.

“Defence is ready to provide support for a range of contingencies in both states and will continue to work to support states and territories when requested,” the spokeswoman said.

No new cases in SA

No new cases were recorded in South Australia on Tuesday, 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 163,000 tests undertaken across the state.

SA to consider NSW-ACT border opening

South Australia may soon lift remaining border restrictions with NSW and the ACT despite the concerning rise in coronavirus cases in Victoria.

The state’s transition committee meets on Tuesday to consider the issue after previously lifting border quarantine measures for Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

It had planned to lift remaining measures on July 20 but ditched that timetable after COVID-19 cases spiked in Melbourne.

However, Premier Steven Marshall says the committee may move separately on NSW and the ACT as those jurisdictions continue to do well in suppressing the virus.

“I think those decisions can be made independently,” Marshall said on Monday.

Business group slams NSW-Victoria “Berlin Wall”

A major employer group has warned a “Berlin Wall” between Victoria and NSW will severely hamper Australia’s economic recovery.

The Victoria-NSW border will close at midnight on Tuesday as states desperately try to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said the closure would pull the rug out from under the economic recovery and spark chaos.

“The border closure puts up a Berlin Wall between our two biggest states which represent more than half our national economy, and cuts in two our country’s main economic artery,” he said.

“It is a sledgehammer approach when what is required is focused strategy that is community and hot-spot based and not based on arbitrary borders that split communities.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision was necessary, but couldn’t say how long the border would remain closed.

“I hope it’s not for too long because it obviously has an economic impact and people’s jobs are at risk,” he told 2GB radio on Monday.

“But they’re equally at risk if the outbreak goes further than it is now.”

Lockdown tower residents claim not enough food

A father of five young children living in a locked down Melbourne public housing tower says his family hasn’t been given enough food to survive.

Abdiraham Ibrahim, who lives in a Flemington tower after fleeing his war-torn homeland of Somalia, said the state government hadn’t yet dished up enough food for the 3000 residents of the towers.

His friends have delivered him necessities such as milk and formula.

“We are doing the right thing, we are staying at home,” he told AAP.

“If the government are not providing what we need they shouldn’t be stopping people from bringing it.”

Volunteers and residents have reported issues with the logistics and process of getting food to those who need it, which are being fixed.

His family has been tested for the virus, his wife testing negative while he awaits his result.

Mr Ibrahim is among thousands of residents living in nine towers in Flemington and North Melbourne that were put into hard lockdown on Saturday in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The 3000 residents are unable to leave their apartments for any reason for at least five days, and could be scaled up to 14 days.

There were 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 inside the living quarters on Monday, as police patrol entrances and corridors.

The state government said it had given out 3000 meals, 1000 food hampers and 250 personal care packs to residents, while charities and community groups help with meals and supplies.

Residents have shared images on social media of out-of-date meals, food left on the floor and Muslim families given pork.

US deaths pass 130,000

US coronavirus deaths have exceeded 130,000 and cases are approaching 3 million – the highest tally in the world and double the infections reported in the second most-affected country Brazil.

Case numbers are rising in 39 US states, according to a Reuters analysis, with sixteen states posting new record daily case counts this month.

Florida confirmed a record high 11,000 in a single day, more than any European country reported in a single day at the height of the crisis there.

At least five states have already bucked the downward trend in the national death rate, a Reuters analysis showed.

Arizona had 449 deaths in the last two weeks of June, up from 259 deaths in the first two weeks of the month.

The state posted a 300 per cent rise in cases over the full month, the most in the country.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has forecast between 140,000 to 160,000 coronavirus deaths by July 25 in projections that are based on 24 independent forecasts.

Qatar, Kuwait cases climb

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Qatar exceeds 100,000 and Kuwait has surpassed 50,000, their health ministries say.

Qatar, which has seen its daily case numbers fall from a peak of 2355 in late May, added 546 new cases and five deaths in the past 24 hours to give a total of 133 deaths on Monday and 100,345 cases in total.

Only about 12 per cent of Qatar’s population are Qatari nationals and, as in other Gulf states, Qatar saw COVID-19 spread among low-income migrant workers living in crowded quarters.

With a population of about 2.8 million people, the energy-rich Gulf state has one of the world’s highest per capita numbers of confirmed cases.

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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