National News

Aust virus toll passes 200 amid Vic pain

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  • Australia's national death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 200 as fresh thinking is brought to the Victorian crisis.
  • CANBERRA, AAP - The national COVID-19 toll has risen to 201 with three deaths in Victoria and one in NSW, as health officials weigh up whether stay-at-home orders in place across Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are doing enough.The state's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Friday confirmed a New Zealand-style lockdown was being explored - restrictions which saw all businesses closed except for essential services.Victorian Premier Dan Andrews on Saturday admitted further lockdown rules could prove a "circuit breaker" for the continued COVID-19 cases, and that the state government is working through the details."It is not a tap you can just turn on or off. They (further restrictions) are not decisions that would be taken lightly because there are significant costs ... even minor changes have a significant cost."An 83-year-old man connected to the Crossroads Hotel outbreak in southwest Sydney on Saturday died, taking the NSW death toll to 52.The facility at Pinjarra Hills in Brisbane's west had already been put under lock down after the woman's husband tested positive on Friday.Adelaide is set to receive 170 people on Saturday on a repatriation flight from India, with all going into hotel quarantine. Officials are expecting at least some to have COVID-19.
  • Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said extra nurses had been provided to the facility, and all staff and the residents at the home were being tested.
  • Queensland's latest case of COVID-19 is a woman who may have been infectious while working at a Brisbane nursing home.
  • NSW on Saturday confirmed 17 new cases, sparking the closure of several Sydney venues for deep cleaning and contact tracing after being linked to coronavirus infections.
  • "What we have at the moment are numbers that are too high of community transmission and that is a concern to us," Mr Andrews told reporters.
  • Experts are working over the weekend to analyse infection data from the first half of Victoria's six-week lockdown.
  • Victoria recorded 397 new cases on Saturday, significantly less than Thursday's peak of 723, and the deaths of a man and woman in their 80s, and a woman in her 90s.