Coronavirus death toll climbs to 26

 

Seven of the eight cruise ships off the NSW coast will depart in the next few days, with just the fate of the Ruby Princess left in limbo.

It comes as the state recorded its 11 death after a woman, 74, died in Albury after contracting the virus.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said two Carnival ships were leaving today, with five Royal Caribbean ships expected to depart on Sunday.

But Mr Fuller said he was still awaiting an update on the numbers of infected crew aboard the Ruby Princess.

Nearly 2700 passengers disembarked the Carnival ship in Sydney on March 19. Shortly after, NSW Health revealed four people had tested positive to the deadly COVID-19 after they had been free to leave the ship, with many ending up interstate and overseas.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian commissioned Mr Fuller to undertake an investigation into the mishap.

Mr Fuller would not confirm reports there were 250 crew members with coronavirus on the boat off Sydney's coast.

Staff from Aspen Medical and NSW Health boarded the Ruby Princess cruise ship on yesterday to test and treat sick crew members.

Mr Fuller says police are now waiting to hear how many of the 1100 crew on-board need to be evacuated into NSW hospitals.

"If there is a couple of hundred people infected and they can't handle anymore then we will have to deal with that," he told reporters on Friday.

Authorities are concerned infected crew could overwhelm NSW hospitals if even a small proportion contract the virus.

Cruise ships have become a major source of infection in NSW, with more than 450 cases, 377 from the Ruby Princess.

 

 

Disability care focus of new advisory body

Gillian Mcnally

Health authorities have established a special advisory group to develop a care plan for people with disability during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new group will involve federal health department officials, disability experts and state and territory representatives, it was announced on Friday. People with Disability Australia called on Friday's national cabinet meeting to guarantee services would continue during the pandemic.
It also wants testing expanded for people with disability and their carers.

The new advisory body is meeting today to develop the management plan, which it expects to hand to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee on Thursday.
Its plan will aim to help people with disability, their families and carers get the care they need as the country faces strict social distancing measures.
Priority will be given to the people whose health needs mean they are at greater risk if they catch coronavirus.
Last month, the disability royal commission said people with disability felt left behind by the federal government's response to COVID-19.

It also warned locking down some facilities from outsiders could lead to reduced oversight of care facilities.
- Finbar O'Mallon

43m agoApril 3, 2020HIGHLIGHT

 

NSW records 11th death to COVID-19

Gillian Mcnally

NSW Health authorities have confirmed a 74-year-old woman with Covid-19 died overnight in Albury.

It takes the death toll to 26 in Australia.

A spokesperson for the Murrumbidgee local health district said the woman acquired the virus overseas.

The Murrumbidgee Local Health District has recorded a total of 41 positive COVID-19 results, 38 which were acquired overseas.

1h agoApril 3, 2020HIGHLIGHT

 

Virus impact: Australia's cases hit 5262

Gillian Mcnally

 

 

* Confirmed cases in Australia: 5262.

* Australian deaths: 25 (10 in NSW, 7 in Vic, 3 in Qld, 2 in WA, 2 in Tas, 1 ACT).
* NSW worst hit with 2389 confirmed cases.

* Average daily increase in cases has been at 7% for the past three days, down from 25-30% a week ago.
* Australia is the world leader in testing, at 1000 for every 100,000 people or about one per cent of the population, with a 1.9 per cent positive rate.

* The number of global coronavirus cases has passed one million.
 

1h agoApril 3, 2020

Border queues bank up near Tweed Heads

Gillian Mcnally

Long queues of traffic have formed on the southern Gold Coast after tough new border closures came into force overnight.

Vehicles are banked back about two kilometres across the border after police established a checkpoint on Griffith St between Coolangatta and Tweed Heads.

More than a dozen Coolangatta backstreets leading into Tweed Heads have been completely closed.

All vehicles with NSW plates are being stopped at the Griffith St checkpoint.

 

 

 

The 'hard' border closure came into force at midnight as Queensland moved to stop any would-be NSW tourists from entering the state in the lead-up to Easter.

Before the tougher restrictions, NSW visitors could come into Queensland provided they self-isolated for 14 days, but they are now banned.

Only NSW residents with essential treasons for coming into Queensland - such as for work or medical appointments - are allowed to cross the border, with others being turned back.

Read the full story here

 

2h agoApril 3, 2020

Westmead radiation therapists contract COVID-19

Two radiation therapists at Westmead Hospital have tested positive to COVID-19, forcing two cancer patients and several staff to be placed into quarantine.

The workers from the Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre have been sent into self isolation as management ascertains how the therapists caught coronavirus.

The therapists are responsible for delivering doses of radiation to patients for their cancer treatment.

-Joanne Vella

Read the full story here

2h agoApril 3, 2020

 

CWA goes virtual after cancellation of Easter Show

Gillian Mcnally

COVID-19 may have shut down this year's Royal Easter Show but the CWA of NSW, which has run the Tea Room there for more than 70 years, isn't giving up.

The organisation raised an average of $150,000 from the sale of scones, tea, coffee and products each year, so this week, it went virtual to keep funds ticking over.

"While you may not be able to physically sit in our wonderful Tea Room and enjoy a scone and a cuppa, you can still have the satisfaction of making a donation to the CWA of NSW and even have the opportunity to whip up a Devonshire tea of your own at home," CWA of NSW President Stephanie Stanhope said.
Head to the CWA of NSW's online shop and buy a plate of 'virtual scones' for $5, a 'Devonshire Tea' for $10, a dozen plain 'virtual scones' for $20 and a whole batch of cyber delicacies for $50.
The money will be used to help communities and individuals still feeling the impact of drought, the bushfires and now COVID-19.

To purchase a 'virtual' sweet treat and scone recipe, go to https://shop.cwaofnsw.org.au/

2h agoApril 3, 2020HIGHLIGHT

 

Seven cruise liners off NSW set to leave

Gillian Mcnally

Seven of the eight cruise ships off the NSW coast will depart in the next few days, with just the fate of the Ruby Princess left in limbo.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said two Carnival ships were currently heading home and on .Sunday, Royal Caribbean's five ships were expected to be refuelled and restocked to depart to their port of origin.
Mr Fuller said he was still awaiting an update on the numbers of infected crew aboard the Ruby Princess. Nearly 2700 passengers disembarked the Carnival ship in Sydney on March 19.

Shortly after, NSW Health revealed four people had tested positive to the deadly COVID-19 after they had been free to leave the ship, with many ending up interstate and overseas.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian commissioned Mr Fuller to undertake an investigation into the mishap.

Mr Fuller would not confirm reports there were 250 crew members with coronavirus on the boat off Sydney's coast, as he was awaiting exact numbers from independent team, Aspen Medical, that had been sent to test the crew.

He said he had received inconsistent information from Carnival.

"I can't give an answer to the reason for that but we are getting mixed messages," he said.

Mr Fuller said authorities would have to determine how to balance the shortage of intensive care beds in NSW if there were, in fact, hundreds of sick crew members.
He said a sick 55-year-old man onboard was taken to a Sydney hospital on Thursday (pictured).

"We will continue to take anyone off of those ships who requires New South Wales health assistance," he said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it did not help to "play the blame game" of who was at fault for the deadly error.

"I've said from day one every single authority needed to step up, whether it's health authorities, border force, state authorities. In hindsight everyone could have done better in that matter," Mr Berejiklian said.

She said NSW staff followed the right protocols, but she would await the report from the Commissioner.
- Carla HIldebrandt

2h agoApril 3, 2020

 

Alleged MDMA drop to quarantined traveller intercepted

Gillian Mcnally

A man has been charged after allegedly attempting to deliver prohibited drugs to a quarantined traveller in Sydney's CBD.

About 1.15pm on Thursday, a 37-year-old man attended a hotel on Elizabeth Street to deliver a fruit box to a man in quarantine.

Police searched the box and allegedly found a white envelope containing an MDMA capsule.

The man was arrested and when officers searched him, they allegedly found a bag of white powder, believed to be cocaine.

The Lane Cove man is due to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Friday 19 June 2020. Inquiries are continuing.

3h agoApril 3, 2020

 

'Bin isolation' takes off on social media

Gillian Mcnally

As life is reduced to wearing your 'good trackies' for work, and 'regular trackies' after 5pm, Australians are dressing up to mark the occasion of taking out their bins out to lighten up their isolation.

There is even a Facebook group established to share people's special outfits.

Whatever it takes to get through…

 

Agents, landlords warned not to advise tenants to draw super

Gillian Mcnally

ASIC has written to landlords and real estate agents warning they could face penalties of up to $1.3 million by advising renters under pressure to draw down on the superannuation if they are unable to pay rent.

The letter, made public today, stated: "ASIC is aware that some real estate agents are advising tenants who are unable to pay their rent, or who may find themselves in such a situation in future, to consider applying for early release of their superannuation". 

"Financial advice must only be provided by qualified and licensed financial advisers, or financial counsellors, not by real estate agents who neither hold the requisite licence, nor are an authorised representative of an Australian Financial Services Licensee," the letter said.

Read the full story here



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