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Two people die in Victoria from coronavirus taking national death toll to 11

Two people have died in Victoria from coronavirus, taking the national death toll to 11, as Australian doctors call for a full nationwide shutdown.

Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton confirmed the two victims, the state’s first deaths, were both men in their 70s. 

It comes as Australia recorded a huge spike in cases overnight, with 190 more cases in New South Wales alone. 

Victoria now has 520 diagnosed cases of the deadly respiratory infection, an increase of 54 overnight.

It comes after a 68-year-old Queensland man died on Wednesday afternoon after catching the virus on board a cruise ship that docked in Sydney last week. 

As of Thursday morning, 11 people have died from coronavirus as the number of cases nationwide surged to 2,675

Two young women are seen wearing masks in Sydney's Circular Quay (pictured) on Wednesday, as Australians are encouraged to stay at home

Two young women are seen wearing masks in Sydney’s Circular Quay (pictured) on Wednesday, as Australians are encouraged to stay at home

Sydney’s eastern suburbs has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state after a surge overnight, bringing the New South Wales total to 1,219.   

South east Sydney has between 161-320 cases of COVID-19, while the north closely follows with between 81 and 160.

The city’s west and south west, and the Hunter New England region, both have between 41 to 80 confirmed cases each.

Of the state’s cases, seven people have died and 16 are currently in intensive care. 

It comes after several backpackers based in Bondi, in Sydney’s east, tested positive to COVID-19 between Friday and Sunday.

Travellers are seen at Sydney airport on Wednesday (pictured) after Mr Morrison announced a complete shutdown of the border from Thursday to all but essential travel

Travellers are seen at Sydney airport on Wednesday (pictured) after Mr Morrison announced a complete shutdown of the border from Thursday to all but essential travel

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian praised people for ‘stepping up and following the various decision we have had to take in the last few days regarding shutdowns’.

‘But I do also want to say to the community that if we don’t see things shifting in the numbers because of those actions, NSW will have to go further,’ she said. 

‘NSW is different to the other states. If I feel the curve is not going the way we want it to, I will go further in NSW, there will be further shutdowns.’ 

The state’s chief medical officer Dr Kerry Chant said she was expecting the state’s number of infections to continue rising due to Australians returning from overseas. 

‘We’ll be particularly looking at those cases where we don’t find any links to either overseas travel or known clusters or other confirmed cases,’ she said.

Sydney's south east has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, with between 161-320 people, while northern Sydney has between 81 and 160 confirmed cases

Sydney’s south east has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, with between 161-320 people, while northern Sydney has between 81 and 160 confirmed cases

‘And that will give us an indication of the success of the strategies.’

On Wednesday, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews warned he may implement further measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The state’s tally includes four health workers at Werribee Mercy Hospital in Melbourne’s outer west.

The hospital confirmed one emergency department worker tested positive to COVID-19 on Sunday.

Fellow staff members considered at risk of infection were isolated and tested, with three confirmed as also having the virus.

Travellers walk past the departures gate at Sydney airport on Wednesday (pictured) ahead of the international travel ban

Travellers walk past the departures gate at Sydney airport on Wednesday (pictured) ahead of the international travel ban

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 2,675

New South Wales: 1,219

Victoria: 520

Queensland: 443

Western Australia: 205

South Australia: 197

Australian Capital Territory: 44

Tasmania: 42 

Northern Territory: 5

TOTAL CASES:  2,675

DEAD: 11

The Police Association has called for a state of disaster to be declared, which would give its members greater powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

About 500 police officers are tasked with enforcing the closure of non-essential services in Victoria and the mandatory 14-day self-isolation for travellers.

Individuals face fines of up to $25,000 and businesses could be forced to pay $100,000 for breaching restrictions.

Despite strengthening shutdown measures first announced on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been criticised for not putting Australia in lockdown.

On Tuesday night, he announced a ban on all international travel and placed strict limits on weddings and funerals but stayed firm on keeping schools open.

Evidion, which carried out the modelling of the potential coronavirus impact, said New South Wales was forecast to have 16,600 deaths from the disease.

A man is seen wearing a face mask as a preventative measure against the coronavirus in Melbourne on Wednesday (pictured)

A man is seen wearing a face mask as a preventative measure against the coronavirus in Melbourne on Wednesday (pictured)

Victoria would be second with 13,100 lives lost, but Tasmania could be hardest-hit when taking into account population size – with a forecast 231 deaths per 100,000 people.

President of the Australian Medical Association in Western Australia Andrew Miller joined a team of doctors in an appeal, calling for people and the government ‘to jump on the breaks.’

Garry Kirstenfeldt (pictured left), a passenger on board the Voyager of the Seas, died from coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon

Garry Kirstenfeldt (pictured left), a passenger on board the Voyager of the Seas, died from coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon

‘This virus is out of control, and we really got it to stop it to avoid a lot of necessary deaths, not only of healthcare workers, but also of people out there in the community,’ he said. 

‘We really want people to and for the government to please to impose lockdown until we’ve got this under control. We know the people will understand.’

Dr Miller’s message was followed by an emotional 30-second clip showing members of the health community asking people to follow social distancing rules to prevent spread of infection. 

The NSW Police Minister David Elliot has announced that as of Thursday, people breaking social distancing guidelines will be given fines and possibly jail time.

He said individuals would be given fines of $1,000 and corporations would be hit with fines of $5,000 for breaches.

A woman (pictured) is seen wearing a face mask in Melbourne on Wednesday, as Victoria recorded a surge in coronavirus cases

A woman (pictured) is seen wearing a face mask in Melbourne on Wednesday, as Victoria recorded a surge in coronavirus cases

Travellers are seen wearing masks (pictured) as a precaution due to the coronavirus continuing to spread across Australia on March 20 in Melbourne

Travellers are seen wearing masks (pictured) as a precaution due to the coronavirus continuing to spread across Australia on March 20 in Melbourne

Included in a raft of measures designed to stop the virus spreading further is a ban on cruise ship passengers from disembarking in Sydney.

The move came after thousands of potentially infected people were allowed to leave the Ruby Princess and three other cruise liners.

Ms Berejiklian announced on Thursday passengers won’t be allowed off cruise ships in Sydney until new protocols are signed.

‘I don’t want a single person coming off a ship in Sydney until various signing of protocols between the federal and state governments,’ Ms Berejiklian said.

‘And that’s what we are negotiating with the federal government.’ 

The decision came after 2,647 passengers from the Ruby Princess were allowed to disembark in Sydney on March 19 despite reports of flu-like symptoms on board.

Since then, 133 passengers have been diagnosed with coronavirus and a 78-year-old female passenger became the eighth person to die from the virus in Australia.

The Princess Cruises-operated Ruby Princess ship returned to Sydney on Thursday with 2,647 passengers on board - all were allowed to disembark without health screenings

The Princess Cruises-operated Ruby Princess ship returned to Sydney on Thursday with 2,647 passengers on board – all were allowed to disembark without health screenings

Scores of employees could seen be after piling out of the Ovation of the Seas ship without being tested for coronavirus (pictured on Saturday)

Scores of employees could seen be after piling out of the Ovation of the Seas ship without being tested for coronavirus (pictured on Saturday)

‘STAGE TWO’ RESTRICTIONS

The government is looking to limit interactions between groups, particularly any event or gathering with 10 or more people.

The new restrictions, from 11.59pm on March 25, mean:   

BUSINESS

* Food courts in shopping centres will only be available for takeaway food. No sitting.

* Auction houses will shut. Auctions and open house inspections are banned.

* Outdoor and indoor markets are banned while rules around major food markets will be addressed by states and territories.

* Personal services such as beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours (but not physiotherapy) are banned.

* Hairdressers and barbers can continue but must strictly manage social distancing

* Amusement parks and arcades, and indoor and outdoor play centres must close.

* Boot camps and personal training must be limited to 10 people and enforce social distancing.

* Social sports such as large groups of people playing soccer in a park are banned.

* Galleries, museums, libraries, youth centres, community halls, clubs, RSLs and swimming pools must close.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

* Weddings can continue to be conducted where it is just the couple the celebrant and two witnesses, no more than five people.

* Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people.

SCHOOLS

* It is safe to send children to school up to the end of the term.

* But some pupil-free days will be needed to plan distance learning.

* Schools will reopen after the term break with a mix of distance learning and in-school learning for all “essential workers”.

* PM to meet with teachers and other sector representatives about keeping schools open and protecting staff.

ESSENTIAL WORKERS

* Everyone who still has a job is an essential worker.

TRAVEL

* The official “do no travel” warning is now an outright ban on overseas travel, with some exceptions such as aid workers and compassionate travel.

EXPORTS

* New offence of profiteering and seeking to export goods overseas, relating to such things as medical supplies and masks.

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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