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Coronavirus: What we know today, July 14

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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 delays NSW-ACT border opening

South Australia will delay opening its border to NSW and the ACT beyond the originally-scheduled July 20 date amid concerns a coronavirus “super-spreader” cluster linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, in Sydney’s west, could make its way across the border.

The decision means travellers arriving into SA from NSW and the ACT will still be required to quarantine for 14-days.

Premier Steven Marshall said after this morning’s transition committee meeting that authorities would wait until more testing results linked to the cluster were made available before deciding to lift restrictions.

“We know this is going to be very inconvenient for people who have perhaps already made plans – business plans, family reunification plans – but our primary responsibility in South Australia is to the health, safety and welfare of all South Australians,” he said.

“At this stage, there’s too much uncertainty.”

But Marshall said SA was “a long way off” enforcing a hard border closure with NSW and the ACT, adding the mandatory 14-days of isolation already provided “enormous protection” against the spread of COVID-19.

The popular truckies’ stop on the Hume Highway has now been linked to 28 COVID-19 cases, with “thousands” of people who had recent contact with the venue now in mandatory quarantine.

SA has previously lifted the quarantine restrictions for people coming from Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, but has imposed a hard border lockdown on Victoria.

Another 270 Victorian cases

Victoria has recorded 270 new coronavirus cases, with 28 linked to known outbreaks while 242 remain under investigation.

The state now has a total of 4224 cases, of which 1803 remain active.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the jump in numbers from Monday’s 177 cases proved there was some way to go before the peak.

“It’s not as high as our biggest single day, but we haven’t turned the corner yet,” Professor Sutton said.

“I hope to see that this week, but there are no guarantees.”

Victoria now has a total of 4224 cases, of which 1803 remain active.

“That’s a really significant number of people with coronavirus and it does mean that in the next fortnight, we’re going to see a number of people who will require hospital,” Prof Sutton said, noting about 10 per cent to 20 per cent of people with the virus require hospitalisation.

“A couple of hundred individuals at least will require hospitalisation in the next couple of weeks.”

Currently 85 infected people are in hospital in Victoria, with 26 in intensive care, an increase of nine from Monday.

Twenty-one people are on ventilators.

Shops to return to normal weekend hours

All suburban shops and supermarkets will revert back to their pre-coronavirus trading hours from Sunday after the SA Government decided against granting a further 30-day exemption.

The decision to extend trading hours was made four months ago to help promote physical distancing in stores, but Treasurer Rob Lucas said public health advice showed the measure was no longer required.

Under the 30-day exemptions – which came into effect from March 21 – supermarkets and shops of all sizes could open from 9am instead of 11am on Sunday and four hours later until 9pm on Saturday and Sundays.

SA to give hotel bill to returning overseas travellers

South Australia will start charging returning overseas travellers $3000 to cover some of the costs of their 14-day mandatory quarantine in SA hotels.

Premier Steven Marshall said this afternoon the charge would be introduced from Saturday morning, with the “first individual” charged $3000, their partner $1000 and children $500.

He said the state was still keen to help with the national repatriation program, but SA taxpayers “will not be footing the bill going forward”.

“The reality is that people have had plenty of time to get back to Australia,” he said.

No new SA cases

SA Health reported no new cases on Tuesday.

More than 176,000 tests have now been undertaken in South Australia, with no active cases across the state.

Pubs and clubs put on notice

South Australian Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Dini Soulio has warned there has been a “concerning rise” in the number of pubs and clubs that are ignoring physical distancing measures.

It comes after several licensed venues received warnings or hefty fines over the weekend, including a Waymouth Street hostel and a Currie Street nightclub, which were both fined $5060.

Soulio said repeated breaches could result in “serious consequences”, including forcing venues to increase security, reducing trading hours or shutting venues down completely.

He said most places had already successfully implemented a COVID-safe plan and were maintaining physical distancing and hygiene practices.

“But now is not a time for complacency, and we all need to remain vigilant,” he said.

“The experience interstate has shown that clusters can be linked back to licensed venues, and we do not want to see that scenario repeated here.

“Places that offer alcohol and dancing are at a high risk of spreading COVID-19, which is why it is so important that these venues adhere to strict physical distancing measures.”

New rules for NSW pubs

The NSW government will introduce stricter operating rules for pubs after more than 20 COVID-19 cases were linked to an outbreak at a Sydney pub.

The new COVID-19 rules for pubs will be announced on Tuesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday.

The measures are tipped to include stricter requirements for venues to take contact details of patrons in case there is an outbreak and tougher regulations on the cleaning of pubs.

In addition the report said no more than 300 people will be allowed in a pub, no matter its size.

Currently, one customer per four square metres is allowed.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant earlier on Monday said 10 coronavirus cases were now directly linked to the Crossroads Hotel at Casula in southwest Sydney while 11 cases were indirectly connected.

India cases surge

The number of coronavirus infections in India is nearing 900,000 with a record 28,701 cases reported in the past 24 hours.

The total of 878,254 is behind only the United States and Brazil. The Health Ministry on Monday also reported another 500 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking India’s total fatalities from COVID-19 up to 23,174.

Several Indian states imposed weekend curfews and locked down high-risk areas as its cases surged.

The ministry said the recovery rate was continuing to improve at 63 per cent.

New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune are among the Indian cities witnessing a surge in infections. Several states introduced weekend curfews and announced stringent lockdowns in high-risk areas to slow infections.

India imposed a national lockdown on March 24 which lasted more than two months, but it had mostly reopened.

No quick return to “old normal”: WHO

The coronavirus pandemic raging around the globe will worsen if countries fail to adhere to strict healthcare precautions, the World Health Organization warns.

“Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has told a virtual briefing from the UN agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

“If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go – it is going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way.”

Global infections stand at 13 million, according to a Reuters tally, with more than half a million deaths.

Tedros, whose leadership has been heavily criticised by US President Donald Trump, said that of 230,000 new cases on Sunday, 80 per cent were from 10 nations, and 50 per cent from just two countries.

The United States and Brazil are the countries worst hit.

“There will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future … There is a lot to be concerned about,” Tedros added on Monday, in some of his strongest comments of recent weeks.

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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