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What we know today, Monday July 12


NSW has recorded 112 new local COVID-19 cases, the worst day of the state’s outbreak to date, as Premier Gladys Berejiklian admits it is “almost impossible” for Greater Sydney and surrounds to exit lockdown anytime soon.

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NSW records 112 new cases

NSW has recorded 112 new local COVID-19 cases, the worst day of the state’s outbreak to date, as Premier Gladys Berejiklian admits it is “almost impossible” for Greater Sydney and surrounds to exit lockdown anytime soon.

Of the 112 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, at least 34 were out in the community for part or all of their infectious period.

“Family or close friends, unfortunately, bear the brunt of those 112 (cases) we have seen overnight,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Monday.

“If you put yourself at risk, you’re putting your entire family – and that means extended family, as well as your closest friends and associates – at risk.”

NSW has now recorded almost 680 COVID-19 cases in the community since June 16, when the Bondi cluster first emerged.

There are 18 COVID-19 patients in NSW in intensive care, with four ventilated.

Australia on Sunday reported its first COVID-19 death of 2021 – a 90-year-old southwest Sydney woman believed to be unvaccinated. The woman was a close contact of another locally acquired case.

Her death is the first since the Bondi cluster emerged on June 16, and the first connected to COVID-19 in NSW since a man died in December.

A new mass vaccination hub will also be established at Fairfield in southwest Sydney, where local COVID-19 transmission is a significant concern.

NSW Health late on Sunday advised of multiple new exposure sites in Fairfield and Fairfield Heights, including a number of medical centres and pharmacies.

Berejiklian on Monday said it was “almost impossible” for lockdown orders in Greater Sydney and surrounds to be lifted as scheduled on Friday.

“Where the numbers are, it is not likely – in fact, almost impossible – for us to get out of lockdown on Friday,” the premier said.

“The length of the lockdown will depend on our ability to come together and to follow the health advice.”

NDIS minister back to drawing board on independent assessments

The minister responsible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme has been forced to start from scratch after dumping a proposal to introduce independent assessments.

Linda Reynolds was desperate to introduce the reforms to rein in the spiralling cost of the scheme.

But she was rolled by state and territory ministers following a concerted campaign from the disability community, who feared the changes would leave them worse off.

Senator Reynolds has since promised to co-design a new assessment process in consultation with disabled people.

“We are starting afresh,” she told ABC radio on Monday.

“With the sector, we will work through how we best achieve a fairer outcome for people.”

A trial of independent assessments for NDIS participants and new applicants exposed a litany of major problems.

Government advisers identified problems with those conducting assessments in the pilot program and the experience of participants in the lead-up.

They also raised concerns about how the assessments were carried out and the amount of choice participants were given in who conducted them, along with the problematic use of pre-existing information.

Queenslanders in regional NSW urged to come home

Queenslanders in regional NSW have been told to return home now to avoid being locked out if the coronavirus spreads beyond greater Sydney.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has opted to keep the border open to regional NSW but has also warned that could change very quickly if the virus escapes from greater Sydney’s lockdown zone.

“My message to Queenslanders is if you are in those areas, come home. I can’t be any clearer,” she said on Monday.

“We are monitoring this incredibly closely.”

Queensland had no new locally acquired cases on Monday. The last time a case was infectious in the community was a week ago, on July 5.

Restrictions that have been in place since late June will ease at 6am on Friday amid increasing confidence Queensland authorities have contained multiple, simultaneous clusters.

COVID positive man travelled through SA

A man infected with coronavirus travelled through Victoria and South Australia before testing positive in NSW.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley on Monday revealed NSW Health alerted their Victorian counterparts late on Sunday night to the man, a removalist, who was infectious during his work travels.

Foley said his department is in contact with NSW’s department to get the full list of local exposure sites.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall is due to hold a press conference at 1pm.

It comes after Victoria recorded its 12th day of no locally acquired cases and the state shut the border to NSW and the ACT overnight, declaring them red zones under the travel permit system from 11.59pm on Sunday.

Victoria’s acting chief health officer cited concerns about the risk of coronavirus transmission beyond Sydney and surrounding areas for the decision as NSW reported 77 new local cases on Sunday.

The border closure announcement was made just after 4pm on Sunday, giving little time for people to return on their existing orange zone permits.

But Victorian authorities had been foreshadowing a blanket NSW red zone declaration for days, encouraging residents to return home urgently.

Victorian residents who missed Sunday’s deadline will still be allowed to enter the state but must isolate at home for 14 days.

In addition, the Victoria-NSW “border bubble” arrangement will remain intact for local residents, though they must continue to travel with proof of address.

Victorian authorities are also asking cross-border residents in both states not to travel outside the bubble at any time.

Mount Gambier murder charges

A man has been charged with murder following the death of a woman in Mount Gambier yesterday.

Patrols and detectives from Limestone Coast CIB were called to a house on Chestnut Close in the South East town about 7.30am after the body of a 44-year-old woman was found inside.

Major Crimes detectives attended and a 34-year-old man from Mount Gambier was arrested and charged with murder.

He was refused police bail and will appear in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court today.

Three returned travellers test positive for COVID-19

Three new cases of COVID-19 were reported among returned travellers to South Australia across the weekend as the State Government pats itself on the back for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Yesterday’s case is a boy who acquired his infection overseas and has been in a medi-hotel since his arrival.

On Saturday, a woman in her 20s and a baby girl who both acquired their infections overseas returned positive COVID-19 results. The mother and daughter have also been in a medi-hotel since their arrival.

A man in his 20s and a man in his 60s remain in the Royal Adelaide Hospital in a stable condition after being admitted last week.

There are 19 active COVID-19 cases in SA, 13 of which were overseas acquired.

The returned Tanami miner, who contracted COVID-19 while working in the Northern Territory before returning to SA, is still considered an active case as are his wife and four children who he infected on his return.

There have been a total of 819 cases notified in South Australia.

Meanwhile, the South Australian Government says a special analysis of Roy Morgan’s latest unemployment estimates shows the state’s management of COVID-19 has been “top of the class”.

“We’ve had fewer outbreaks than other mainland states and not one day of lockdown so far this year – but we remain vigilant to ensure we maintain this enviable lifestyle, which has seen us named Australia’s most liveable city, and third most liveable in the world,” Premier Steven Marshall said.

“Roy Morgan’s analysis further demonstrates that South Australia is creating jobs, building what matters and delivering better services to further secure our growing global reputation as one of the safest and most attractive places in the world to live, work and raise a family.”

SA in May recorded the nation’s highest unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent, and the lowest participation rate. Thousands more jobs were created between April and May, but most were casual while the number of full-time jobs fell.

New cases tipped to hit 100 in NSW today

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has issued a grim prediction that daily COVID-19 cases will hit 100 as NSW recorded its first COVID-19 death of 2021.

A 90-year-old southwest Sydney woman died on Saturday, hours after being diagnosed as COVID-positive.

She was a close contact of a locally acquired case and was believed to be unvaccinated.

Her death is the first since the Bondi cluster emerged on June 16, and the first connected to COVID-19 in NSW since a man died in December.

It came as NSW recorded its highest daily total of infections of the current outbreak, with 77 new local COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.

Of the 77 new cases, only 32 were in isolation for all of their infectious period.

The premier expects the daily record will not last long, anticipating more than 100 new local cases will be announced on Monday.

“I’ll be shocked if it’s less than 100,” Berejiklian told reporters on Sunday.

In light of that, she said it was “highly unlikely” lockdown provisions in Greater Sydney and surrounds will be lifted as scheduled on Friday.

There are 15 COVID-19 patients in NSW in intensive care, with five on ventilators.

Italy wins Euro final in shootout

Italy has won the European championship final, defeating England in a dramatic penalty shootout at Wembley Stadium.

With the score level at 1-1 after 90 minutes and still deadlocked after extra time, Italy won the shootout 3-2.

England had led the shootout 2-1 after both teams had taken two of five penalty shots but England then missed its last three attempts to hand Italy victory.

Earlier, England struck the fastest goal in a Euro final when, after breaking out from an Italy corner, Harry Kane fed Kieran Trippier on the right and his glorious cross was drilled home first time by left back Luke Shaw after one minute 57 seconds.

But Italy drew level in the 67th when England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford pushed Marco Verratti’s header against the post and Leonardo Bonucci pounced to slot in the loose ball.

Italy is now unbeaten in 34 matches while England made a brave attempt in seeking its first major football trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

Djokovic equals slam record with Wimbledon win

Novak Djokovic has declared he’s simply the best player in tennis – and the Serbian champion took another step towards demonstrating just why as he earned a milestone-equalling 20th grand slam at Wimbledon.

Djokovic made his assertion on Sunday after dousing Matteo Berrettini’s fire in typically indomitable and emphatic fashion to beat the “Italian Hammer” 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 and equal the historic 20-slam tally of his great rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Making it clear on Centre Court as he held the gentlemen’s singles trophy aloft for the sixth time that he’s not content to keep this as a shared accolade for very long, Djokovic asserted that “an incredible journey is not stopping here”.

Asked if he considered himself the best male player of the Open era, Djokovic said: “I consider myself best and I believe that I am the best – otherwise I wouldn’t be talking confidently about winning slams and making history.

“But whether I’m the greatest of all-time or not, I leave that debate to other people.

“But I am extremely honoured to definitely be part of the conversation.”

He paid tribute to Federer and Nadal but sounded like a man ready to eclipse them by going on to complete the calendar grand slam only ever achieved by the great Australian Rod Laver in the Open era.

Beyond that, there’s also the Olympics in Japan and the possibility that he could match Steffi Graf’s 1988 achievement when she won all four grand slam singles titles and Games gold – the so-called ‘golden slam’.

Barty vows to ‘give it a crack’ for gold in Tokyo

Australia’s new Wimbledon champion Ash Barty is promising to “give it a crack” at the Tokyo Olympics as she eyes one of the most elusive feats in tennis.

Legends Suzanne Lenglen (1920), Steffi Graf (1988), Venus Williams (2000), Serena Williams (2012), Rafael Nadal (2008) and Andy Murray (2016) are the only players to ever complete the Wimbledon-Olympic double in the same season.

Barty’s life-changing 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 Wimbledon final triumph over Czech Karolina Pliskova has left the 25-year-old halfway towards the career slam following her 2019 French Open success.

Next up is the Tokyo Games starting on July 23 with the tennis getting underway from day two.

“I’m so excited to be a part of my first Olympic team and the Aussie team,” Barty said.

“We’re 480-strong and to be a part of that for the first time in what will be the most unique Olympic Games ever will be awesome.”

Asked if she could win gold, the World No.1 said: “I’ll give it a crack, like everyone else will be, but I’ll certainly be giving it my all.”

– with AAP and Reuters

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