As Australia begins closing its borders today, the UK has gone into lockdown with all non-essential businesses now closed. Citizens will only be allowed to leave their house once a day to purchase groceries or medication and partake in essential exercise.
The UN has called for a ceasefire in an effort for all nations to take a united front in the battle against coronavirus. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said there are now more than 300,000 cases recorded of Covid-19 worldwide with infections reported in nearly every nation on earth. The virus is spreading at an accelerated rate with the WHO director saying it took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 it took only 11 days to double this figure and in just four days the tally has surpassed 300,00.
In Australia, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has risen by a third in the past 48 hours. New NSW diagnoses reached 149 overnight (down from the previous day’s tally of 171), however, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has expressed her concerns at the rate the virus is spreading.
The premier again urged those in self-isolation to stay inside. Advising again there are severe penalties for those that didn’t comply.
“We need to make sure everybody who’s in self-isolation stays in self-isolation. We are ramping up our compliance. We’re making sure that people are followed up.
“If they’re supposed to be in self-isolation and they’re not, there are harsh penalties and we’ll enforce that. We have to take this seriously.
Berejiklian said NSW is at a critical stage in the control of the virus. If people don’t heed warnings now and abide by the rules, she said the state we will see escalated diagnoses and an increased death toll
“If you look around the world, if you see how the virus is getting out of control around the world, if you see the huge escalation in deaths, many countries did not control the spread at this stage of the virus.
We can tell from our numbers – and they’re going up quite significantly every day – but many countries did not take some of the actions this early on in the process in order to control the spread.
The premier said she did not want to be an example of a jurisdiction that did not do the right thing by its people at the right time.
“I’ve got an outstanding chief medical officer, and her advice means everything to me. But so does my ability to make decisions for my citizens. And, again, I don’t care what criticism I get, I will do what’s right for our people.”
Dr Kerry Chant confirmed there are now 818 cases of COVID-19 in NSW. 174 were locally acquired and 475 that are overseas acquired. the remainder of cases are under investigation.
“It is essential that anyone who has returned from overseas self-isolate. We need to protect the broader community and those that you love from the virus. There have been six deaths and currently 11 in ICU,” Chant said.
The Premier also confirmed thousands of people have taken children out of school. She said with holidays approaching now is the time to get the systems to support home learning for children in place.
Meanwhile, the mygov site is up and running today following a massive crash on March 23 when demand for service exceeded the server capacity.
Social Services Minister Anne Ruston says advised measures were put in place to ensure the site can withstand demand today, although she cautions access could be slow and if people don’t need immediate support she suggests they wait a few days to lodge a claim.
The more people that are on the system at any one time, the slower it will go. So that’s why we’re seeking for people’s patience and also asking people, if you don’t need to go on there, perhaps if you could avoid it for the next few days.”
In Victoria, cases have spiked overnight with 56 more people testing positive with the virus. Premier Andrews warned it’s time Australians took the pandemic seriously or face dire consequences.
“People have got to step up and take this seriously otherwise we’re going to finish up in a really difficult situation and frankly, if people don’t want to take my word for it, turn your TV on – have a look at Italy, have a look at Spain, have a look at France,” Andrews told Triple M Melbourne on Tuesday.
“Have a look at what happens when this gets away from you because people didn’t take it seriously.
“I can make all the rules in the world but if people don’t follow them, they simply won’t work.”
Meanwhile, NSW Police Minister David Elliott told Sunrise they may consider using people’s mobile phones to track whether they are abiding by self-isolation rules.
Elliott said social distancing should be implemented everywhere and people should err on the side of caution.
“We have to take extreme measures – if you are not going to take responsibilities for your own action you will cause this pandemic to continue.”
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