Australia endured its darkest day in the coronavirus pandemic with a record 743 new cases and 13 deaths on Thursday.
The tally has pushed the national death toll to 189 as the horror second wave of COVID-19 continues to tear through Melbourne.
Ten of the latest casualties have been linked to nursing homes, with the chair of the aged care royal commission calling for an inquiry into outbreaks in nursing homes.
Victoria alone recorded 723 of the national cases on Thursday, with Premier Daniel Andrews warning Melbourne’s crippling lockdown will likely be extended if cases continue to rise.
Here is the latest on the virus crisis in Australia.
Two staff members dressed in personal protective equipment move clinical waste bins at the Epping Gardens aged care home on Thursday
* Australia has recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic with the loss of 13 more lives and a high of 723 new case in Victoria on Thursday, pushing the national death toll to 189. Of the latest casualties 10 were linked to nursing homes.
* The remaining cases were 18 in NSW, one in South Australia and a Queensland nurse helping out in Melbourne.
* Three Brisbane women will face court on fraud and other charges after dodging quarantine when returning to Queensland from Melbourne while infected with COVID-19.
* The Chair of the aged care royal commission has called for a separate inquiry into the outbreak among nursing homes, saying the current probe does not have the resources or time to do the issue justice.
* The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee will meet Thursday night to provide advice on further measures to stop the outbreak.
* Three in four Victorian businesses receiving JobKeeper wage subsidies are expected to need continuing support for another six months due to the state’s second lockdown.
* More than two in five Australian businesses are using support measures, according to the ABS.
* Home building approvals have fallen to an eight-year low in June, down 4.9 per cent.
* The Western Australian government has allocated $111 million of its $5.5 billion recovery program to the Kimberley region.
Four elderly patients queue up outside the pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic in Rushcutters Bay
* World No.1 Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn from the US Open citing COVID-19 concerns.
* All eight Super Netball teams will play at least the first six rounds of their season in Queensland due to outbreaks in Victoria and NSW.
* July 31 – Residents of six Melbourne local government areas are banned from receiving visitors at home.
* August 1 – Queensland will shut its borders to Sydney travellers from 1am while NSW will tighten gym restrictions, with an on-site marshal required to enforce hygiene measures.
* August 3 – Face masks will be mandatory for all Victorians.
* August 7 – Tasmania will allow travellers from South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. A decision will also be made on including NSW, Queensland and ACT.
* August 15 – Tentative date for WA to lift all remaining restrictions, except border closures and access to remote Aboriginal communities.
* August 19 – The date flagged for Victoria’s six-week lockdown to end at 11.59pm.
A nurse administers a nasal swab on a patient at the Bondi Beach coronavirus drive-through testing facility
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* Australia’s total number of cases is now 16,303 with 6492 active and 9758 recovered.
* The national death toll as of Thursday is 189: NSW 49, Victoria 105, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 6, SA 4, ACT 3. (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states).
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* Cases: at least 17,195,721
* Deaths: at least 670,322
* Recovered: at least 10,706,687
Data current as of 1730 AEST July 30, taking in federal government and state/territory government updates, Worldometer and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.
Health care workers dress themselves in personal protective equipment at the Rushcutters Bay COVID-19 testing facility