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Australia Fewer virus cases keep Melbourne on track

00:06  20 september  2020
00:06  20 september  2020 Source:   aap.com.au

'Circuit break': PM considering national restrictions on social lives to curb infections

  'Circuit break': PM considering national restrictions on social lives to curb infections Boris Johnson is considering the introduction of new national restrictions - possibly as soon as next week - as the prime minister races to try and get a handle on the spread of coronavirus. With COVID-19 cases now doubling every seven to eight days, the government is looking at introducing nationwide restrictions for a short period to try to "short-circuit" the virus and slow the spread of the disease. Government figures stressed the plans being drawn up stopped short of a full national lockdown, as seen in the spring, when the country was told to "stay at home".

Victoria is on track for the easing of restrictions by the end of the month with the premier saying residents should be optimistic and hopeful. The state recorded 21 new cases in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, its lowest figure since June 24.

A total of 71 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed nationwide today: 64 in Victoria, five in New South Wales and two in Western Australia. More than a dozen schools and five childcare centres in Melbourne have been closed for cleaning following positive coronavirus tests.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks at a press conference on September 16, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. © Getty Images Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks at a press conference on September 16, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.

Victoria is on track for the easing of restrictions by the end of the month with the premier saying residents should be optimistic and hopeful.

The state recorded 21 new cases in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, its lowest figure since June 24.

A further seven deaths were reported, taking the Victorian toll to 757 and the national count to 844.

Life's a beach for Melbourne during lockdown as people flock to sand

  Life's a beach for Melbourne during lockdown as people flock to sand Melburnians took advantage of the easing of lockdown restrictions with many heading to the beach to soak up the sun - while anti-lockdown protesters were arrested just ten minutes away.Dozens of residents were seen at Elwood Beach, in Brighton, on Saturday as the mercury jumped to a warm 26C - with most wearing face masks as they soaked up the sun.

Virus Being Akin to Spanish Flu Is Worst Case Scenario, Dr. Celine Gounder Says. Along with people who test positive for the flu, the networks track patients who show up with “influenza-like illness,” defined as a fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit plus a cough, sore throat, or both.

Cases of dengue fever plummeted by more than 75% in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta after We're tracking the curve of coronavirus cases and coronavirus-related deaths that have occurred in How Melbourne 's and regional Victoria's 14-day averages for new coronavirus cases have tracked

The rolling 14-day average, which needs to be no higher than 50 for Melbourne to progress to the next easing of restrictions, is at 39.3.

"The 14-day average ... at that level, under 40, is something that every Victorian should be positive about, proud about, and very hopeful and optimistic about for the weeks ahead," Mr Andrews said.

Pictures: Coronavirus in Australia

The next step on Melbourne's roadmap out of lockdown is from September 28 when some on-site work will return, child care will reopen and some school students will be allowed back into the classroom.

People will be able to meet outdoors for up to two hours with members of one other household, though the five-kilometre travel limit will remain.

The state's health chief Brett Sutton said on Saturday the five-household cluster of 34 cases in the city's southeast was "under control", with no new cases linked to the cluster on Saturday.

Contact tracers have acted quickly to contain the outbreak, with government officials speaking with community leaders and members.

On Saturday, about 100 protesters gathered in the beachside suburb of Elwood before being chased and scattered by police.

Police made 16 arrests and handed out 21 fines for breaching health directions.

Footage on Nine News showed protesters telling police they had no right to touch them and they weren't doing anything wrong.

AAP photographers on scene said the demonstration was "chaotic" and involved "a lot of running and not much protesting".

Despite police efforts to persuade anti-lockdown campaigners not to protest in person, the rallies are becoming a weekly occurrence, with more expected on Sunday.

A Victoria Police statement on Saturday showed patience was wearing thin, saying "the behaviour of these selfish few who choose to blatantly ignore the directions will not be tolerated."

Meanwhile, the premier has said retired police officers could be recalled to help conduct household checks.

The Department of Health and Human Services is recruiting more authorised officers to conduct patrols and compliance inspections, and will look to former police to fill the ranks.

The state's inquiry into the hotel quarantine scheme that led to its second wave will be in the spotlight this week as the premier and three of his ministers are due to appear on Wednesday.

Tory MPs threaten restrictions rebellion as Johnson promises post-COVID jobs revolution .
Boris Johnson is launching a skills revolution to tackle coronavirus job losses, while battling against a Tory backlash over further COVID-19 restrictions. In a move aimed at creating a jobs recovery, the prime minister plans to expand post-18 education and training to help people made redundant retrain for a new job.Mr Johnson is promising a £2.5 billion Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which he says will give adults without an A-level or equivalent qualification the chance to take a free vocational college course.

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