It has been another frantic day of coronavirus developments in Australia. Here’s everything you need to know about how it will affect you.
It has been another frantic day of coronavirus developments in Australia. Here’s everything you need to know about how it will affect you.

All the virus news from the past 24 hours

Australia's death toll has climbed to 51 after South Australia recorded its third coronavirus fatality.

"Sadly, a 76-year-old man from regional South Australia passed away last night from COVID-19 in the Royal Adelaide Hospital," SA Health said in a statement.

The total number of cases across the country stands at 6104, with 2773 in New South Wales, 1228 in Victoria, 953 in Queensland, 420 in South Australia, 495 in Western Australia, 107 in Tasmania, 100 in the Australian Capital Territory and 28 in the Northern Territory.

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt speaks to the media during a press conference. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt speaks to the media during a press conference. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP

 

WHAT WE KNOW

Australians have been urged to stay home this Easter and not travel unless it is absolutely necessary, with Health Minister Greg Hunt warning that the decisions people make this weekend could have a major impact.

"This Easter is the time when any Australian can help save a life with their decisions, or inadvertently risk a life," Mr Hunt told reporters.

"This in many ways is the most important weekend we may face in the whole course of the virus."

In a video address, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Easter would be very different this year and told Australians they wouldn't be able to celebrate like they normally would.

"It's still true that we'll be able to gather together in our immediate family, but there won't be the opportunity for that extended family gathering, special times I know, as well as going off to church and our religious services where we can remember the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ," he said.

"The coronavirus means this Easter will be different and we will be staying at home.

"And it's important because we cannot undo the tremendous progress we have made together in recent times."

Police will be out in droves to fine anyone caught "deliberately and blatantly" breaching social distancing, mass gathering or self-isolation rules.

Even MPs aren't exempt from the rules, with NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin fined $1000 after he was found staying at his holiday home on the Central Coast despite authorities telling people to cancel all non-essential travel.

NSW Minister Don Harwin at his house in Pearl Beach on April 8. Picture: Christian Gilles
NSW Minister Don Harwin at his house in Pearl Beach on April 8. Picture: Christian Gilles

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said people should be in lockdown wherever their "primary home" is to prevent regional hospitals becoming overwhelmed.

NSW has also imposed an on-the-spot fine of $5000 for anyone who spits or coughs on health care workers or police.

State Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the fine was put in place to keep frontline workers safe.

"These frontline workers are caring for us and the simple fact is, we need to care for them, so this on the spot $5000 fine will send a clear message," he said.

WHAT WE DON'T KNOW

There has been increasing speculation that states like NSW may soon be able to start easing tough restrictions brought in to slow the spread o the virus.

However, it is still unclear when and if these changes will occur.

Mr Hunt was asked about the possibility of relaxing restrictions and said the government's first goal is "saving lives and protecting lives".

"We are in this period of consolidation, of suppressing the virus, and we are seeing those results, and the national cabinet is very unified on that. They are meeting this afternoon, and obviously the Prime Minister will have something to say."

Mr Hunt said "the more successful we are" the better chance "to take steps out earlier" but "we've been upfront that we see this as a six-month process".

"What we have at the moment is a national cabinet helping to chart these restrictions, but at the same time we are planning the path way out," he said.

Mr Hunt stressed that "we haven't changed our guidance" regarding the six-month period "but where we can take early steps that are safe, then we will obviously look to do that".

"Right now the number-one task is to ensure we retain the process of suppressing the virus and to continue the planning for the slow, careful steps out," he said.

Originally published as All the virus news from the past 24 hours



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