Coronavirus fatalities rise in Australia after 81yo woman dies in Sydney
Coronavirus fatalities rise in Australia after 81yo woman dies in SydneyShe had close contact with another confirmed case of COVID-19 at Ryde Hospital.
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre could become a massive makeshift intensive care hospital, treating hundreds of seriously ill coronavirus patients under a plan being considered by the state government.
Government and industry sources with knowledge of the plans told The Age that preparations were also underway to use part of the riverside landmark as a temporary morgue to store what is feared could be a large number of bodies of victims of the pandemic.
Victoria's government is bracing for up to 2000 intensive care admissions at the peak of the pandemic here, expected in late May or early June. The state only had about 475 ICU beds before the crisis developed, compared with about 875 in NSW.
Ruby Princess passenger dies after coronavirus diagnosis
A female passenger aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship has died with COVID-19, bringing the national death toll to eight. The woman in her 70s was transported directly to hospital from the Ruby Princess which docked in Sydney on March 19. She passed away in RPA Hospital on Tuesday morning. "This patient was one of the initial three passengers who were confirmed to be COVID-19 positive following testing of retained specimens from on-board the Ruby Princess," NSW Health said.She is the seventh person in NSW and the eighth person nationally to die with coronavirus.
Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Australia
A beach with a closed sign on Manly Beach in Sydney on March 22, 2020.
Members of the congregation look on at a service held in the yard of St. Paul's Anglican Church in Burwood, with seating observant of social distancing in Sydney on March 22. Churches across Sydney have opted to suspend services or hold them outdoors after further measures were introduced on Friday limiting the number of people inside a venue to one every four square meters in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference at the Parliament House in Canberra on March 22. He announced the second federal stimulus package of $66 billion worth of measures for the coronavirus-hit economy.
Birth of baby tiger 'Covid' brings hope to Mexican zoo
Birth of baby tiger 'Covid' brings hope to Mexican zooMEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The rare birth of a baby tiger called "Covid" has brought a glimmer of hope to a private zoo in eastern Mexico even as normal life seizes up in the country to contain the deadly coronavirus that inspired his name.
An empty Bondi beach in Sydney after authorities banned people from gathering on it, on March 22.
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People are seen climbing through a fence after being asked to leave Bronte beach in Sydney on March 22.
Red tapes secure an empty Bondi beach after authorities banned people from gathering on it, on March 22.
An empty Bankwest Stadium, shuttered from fans due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, is pictured during the round 24 A-League football match between Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers in Sydney on March 21.
An aerial image of a quiet Darling Harbour in Sydney on March 21.
Empty seats are seen at Marvel Stadium due to the coronavirus outbreak during the 2020 AFL Round 1 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Fremantle Dockers in Melbourne on March 21.
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A general view of North Sydney Olympic Pool is seen in Sydney on March 20, 2020.
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A lone tourist poses for a photo in Circular Quay in Sydney on March 20, after Australia moved to seal off its borders the day before, announcing unprecedented bans on entry for non-residents in the hope of stemming the rise of COVID-19 coronavirus infections.
A man crosses an empty street in the central business district of Sydney on March 20, as people begin to stay at home due to fears over the COVID-19.
A member of the orchestra of Opera Australia performs in Sydney on March 19. Musicians performed with their instruments to call on the company to reconsider its decision to stand down musicians without pay, and for the federal government to provide emergency financial support to the performing arts sector devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
'Drunk driver' smashes into shopfront after allegedly breaching quarantine
An alleged drunk driver who smashed into a shopfront in Melbourne's east this morning should have been in mandatory COVID-19 quarantine. Victoria Police believe the 23-year-old Deepdene man returned from overseas about 13 days ago, before he drove into the Balwyn North store about 5am.Boroondara Police will investigate the crash after the man returned a positive preliminary breath test at the scene on Burke Road. © Nine Police at the scene of the Balwyn North crash. © Nine The man will be interviewed about allegedly breaching quaratine regulations.
Shoppers line the aisles at Costco Perth in Perth on March 19. The store, which is the first Costco in Western Australia, is limiting toilet paper purchases to one packet per customer, in response to panic buying across Australia as fears over the COVID-19 pandemic grow.
A few people stand at a traffic light in the middle of rush hour after thousands are sent to work from home, in Sydney on March 17.
Cancellation signs are seen at the Sydney Opera House as they announce the cancellation of all performances until the end of the month, in Sydney on March 17, 2020.
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A group of people wear face masks at Town Hall in Sydney on March 17, 2020.
A handful of people visit the Sydney Opera House in Sydney on March 17 as the Opera House announced the cancellation of all performances until the end of the month.
A staff member in protective medical clothing is seen at the Brisbane International Airport on March 16.
A woman waits at a pedestrian crossing wearing a face mask in the suburb of Chatswood in Sydney on March 6, 2020.
Aged evacuated in Melb nursing home fire
About 100 nursing home staff and residents have been evacuated during a fire at their premises, but social distancing for coronavirus was a problem.No one was injured, but residents and staff, as well as emergency personnel, were all placed outside together as fire crews managed the emergency at the Templestowe home, Seven reported.
The conversion of the Convention Centre, known to locals as Jeff's Shed after former premier Jeff Kennett, would follow the lead of other cities including New York and London, which have re-tooled similar structures to treat large numbers of coronavirus patients.
The vast ExCel centre in London's Docklands is expected to be ready to take the first of up to 500 patients within days.
During the Spanish flu epidemic in 1919, 35 temporary hospitals were set up around Victoria including the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings, which treated about 1500 patients at a time.
The escalating coronavirus pandemic is also expected to overwhelm the state's morgue capacity which could not cope with the numbers of bodies from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Temporary refrigerated storage had to be set up in the car park of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine during that crisis.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Health Minister Jenny Mikakos have been frank about the need for more capacity to treat the large numbers of critically ill people expected in the present pandemic and have re-opened wards at the old Peter McCallum hospital in East Melbourne and fast-tracked new beds at Casey Hospital.
As the crisis deepened on Thursday with the state's first three COVID-19 deaths confirmed, amid 520 cases of illness, Ms Mikakos confirmed that care capacity in "non-hospital settings" was in the planning stages but would not say which buildings were being considered.
Westmead Hospital radiation therapists positive for COVID-19
The positive tests have resulted in two cancer patients and roughly 20 radiation oncology staff going into quarantine. Two radiation therapists at Westmead Hospital have been diagnosed with COVID-19, sending two cancer patients and roughly 20 radiation oncology staff into quarantine. The two staff members at the Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre tested positive for coronavirus last week. The therapists operate the equipment that delivers doses of radiation to cancer patients.They are among 2182 confirmed coronavirus cases in NSW, and more than 5000 nationally.
"We are looking at both hospital settings and non-hospital settings for additional bed capacity we may require," Ms Mikakos said.
"I'm not in a position to make announcements about that today but we're definitely looking at other opportunities to expand that capacity further."
The management of the Convention Centre would not comment and referred questions back to the Department of Health Human Services.
The state government refused to confirm whether the convention centre would be used as a temporary hospital.
"The department is undertaking a range of contingency planning looking at health and possible non-health settings that could be used to create extra capacity if needed," a government spokeswoman said on Thursday.
The venue shut its doors to the public on March 16 in the wake of the Victorian government's state of emergency declarations which banned indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.
The 70,000 square metre centre, which dominates the South Bank of the Yarra at the western edge of Melbourne's CBD was built in 1995 and earned its nickname for the complex's distinctive appearance and for Mr Kennett's decision to abandon plans for a museum on the site and build a convention centre instead.
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SA woman arrested over face mask theft .
A South Australian woman will appear in court after allegedly stealing 100 face masks from a hospital. The woman went to the Port Pirie Hospital on Tuesday where police say she took the face masks which had been provided to the public on a one-for-one basis.The 46-year-old was arrested on Thursday and charged with aggravated theft.She has been bailed to appear in Port Pirie Magistrates Court at a later date.