Virus number that will worry authorities

 

Australia has made it through the worst of the coronavirus outbreak but there is still one concerning figure looming over the country's recovery.

Figures released by the Department of Health show that 732, or about 10 .3 per cent, of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country have been locally acquired with no contact identified.

This means hundreds of people have caught the virus in Australia but the source of the infection could not be found.

Authorities in three states are on high alert today with coronavirus outbreaks at schools in Sydney, a nursing home in Melbourne and on board a live export ship that docked in Perth.

MORE: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

Australia has recorded a total 7133 cases of COVID-19, with 3092 in New South Wales, 1610 in Victoria, 1057 in Queensland, 440 in South Australia, 570 in Western Australia, 228 in Tasmania, 107 in the Australian Capital Territory and 29 in the Northern Territory.

Authorities scrambling in three states


Authorities in three states are on high alert today with coronavirus outbreaks at schools, a nursing home and on board a live export ship.

Officials in Perth are scrambling to contain the outbreak at the ship docked in Freemantle.

It was en route from the United Arab Emirates and the ship arrived in WA two days later.

Six of the 48 multinational crew have since tested positive to the virus.

The federal department says it had been told three of the crew were ill, but none of them had elevated temperatures or COVID-19 symptoms before their arrival.

It only learnt crew members had fevers when they landed and immediately notified the WA health department, it said.

In Sydney, two eastern suburbs schools are closed after pupils tested positive. Waverley College, where a year seven boy tested positive, was evacuated within 90 minutes of learning about the case, a spokeswoman told AAP.

The school, which reopened last Monday, is undertaking deep cleaning and will advise parents about its restart date after hearing from NSW Health.

Moriah College closed about midday after it received confirmation from NSW Health a pupil, who was on campus on May 21, had tested positive to COVID-19.

In Melbourne, two new coronavirus cases have been confirmed at the Camberwell Lynden Aged Care facility, bringing the total number of cases at the facility to three.

The pair of positive results were received by two staff members following extensive testing at the facility in the city's east.

15 new cases confirmed nationwide

There were 15 new coronavirus cases added to the national tally on Tuesday, bringing it to 7133.

Health officials are monitoring possible new clusters across the country after a clutch of cases were identified.

The virus was detected on a live-export ship docked in Western Australia, with six of the 48 crew testing positive on Tuesday.

The state's Health Minister Roger Cook says the Al Kuwait incident highlights the ongoing risks of the virus.

"We expect to see clusters of the virus continue to pop up. This is another reason why our hard border must stay for now," he said.

Two private schools in Sydney's eastern suburbs - a virus hotspot - were closed after a student at each tested positive.

The closures came just a day after thousands of students returned to full in- classroom learning.

There are 478 active cases across the country while the death toll stands at 102.

But governments are pushing ahead with easing restrictions, with the ACT and Northern Territory outlining plans for a further reopening.

Canberra's largest clubs will be allowed more than 150 people from Saturday, as long as there are no more than 20 patrons in each room.

Choirs, bands and orchestras will also be allowed to resume practice and national institutions can open their doors to 20 people at a time.

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said Australia had control over the virus.

"We're in a very cautious phase now of trying to move to a living-with-COVID economy," he told a Senate hearing.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a speech he anticipated all three of the agreed steps to reopening would be completed across the country in July.

AAP


PM 'floored' by emotional email from kids


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed almost 100,000 Australians have written to him to share their personal experiences during the pandemic.

Speaking at the National Press Club on Tuesday, Mr Morrison said he received a heartbreaking email from three children in Western Australia that "completely floored" him.

"Their father, terminally ill, and they told me they understood that dad's funeral would have to be small and they wanted me to know that they were OK with that, because, they said, it will help keep hospitals available for other patients with cancers and diseases," he said.

"That's incredible. Our people are amazing."

Thousands of other Australians have contacted the prime minister to share how they had been impacted over the last few months, with Mr Morrison saying many people have suffered during this time.

"So many have suffered and they continue to hurt, right here, and right now. Lost jobs, reduced hours, seeing their family businesses shut, having to close those doors, retirement incomes shrink, loved ones kept apart," he said.

"It has been a time of great uncertainty as Australians have had to come to terms with sudden and profound changes to their lives."

Virus number that will worry authorities

Having passed the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, Australia is slowly returning to a sense of normalcy.

But despite the country's achievements in overcoming the worst of the virus, there is still one concerning figure looming over its recovery.

Figures released by the Department of Health show that 732, or about 10 .3 per cent, of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country have been locally acquired with no contact identified.

This means hundreds of people have caught the virus in Australia but the source of the infection could not be found.

"Knowing the source of the infection is an integral part of stopping the spread of COVID-19," according to the Department of Health.

Though new daily cases of the virus have decreased dramatically in Australia, there are still cases emerging which proves people can't become complacent.

Six crew members from a live export ship have tested positive for coronavirus off Perth, with WA Premier Mark McGowan labelling the situation "extremely concerning".

"For the time being, the remaining 42 crew members, who I am advised are currently well, will remain onboard the ship and will be monitored and undergo health assessments as required," he told reporters.

"But I suspect it is probably more than likely that more crew members may become infected with the virus. This is an extremely concerning situation that we find ourselves in."

Mr McGowan said the situation was "serious news" that he hoped not to have to deliver.

"I thought these kinds of situations were behind us. It goes to show that strong border controls are important as we continue to handle this worldwide health crisis."

South Australia has also seen a re-emergence of the virus after a British woman in her 50s was diagnosed with the illness in Adelaide.

The new case brought the state's total to 440, with the number rising for the first time in 18 days.

Originally published as Virus number that will worry authorities



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