Coronavirus updates LIVE: Victoria aims for less COVID-19 cases; NSW hopes clusters reduce as Australian death toll jumps to 584

Summary

  • Victoria will aim for a lower number of new cases after recording 113 new coronavirus cases and 12 deaths on Friday.
  • NSW recorded 13 new cases on Friday and Premier Gladys Berejiklian has asked people to keep up social distancing this weekend with warm weather expected.
  • Queensland reported three new cases on Friday with all connected to the Queensland Corrective Services Academy.
  • Victoria’s hotel quarantine program cost the $130 million and infected the state.

Victorian CHO says a 'shared bubble' for those living alone is under consideration

Health authorities are considering measures to allow single people living alone to visit other households.

Almost 18,000 people have signed a petition calling for Victoria's lockdown measures to be amended and allow people living alone to have a nominated friend be able visit them.

While those with 'intimate partners' are able to travel and see their significant other during stage four lockdown, there is no allowance for those living alone without a romantic partner to have any visitors.

In response to a Twitter user asking about a ‘household bubble’, Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said singles were in a “really hard” situation during the pandemic.

“(The shared bubble is) being talked through and under active consideration,” he said on Friday night.

During New Zealand’s lockdown, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern allowed singles to ‘buddy up’ with another person living alone and visit them for support and companionship.

Fears NSW cases will continue to rise as people delay self-isolation

NSW Health has strongly advised all people who live or work in greater Sydney or the Central Coast to refrain from visiting aged care facilities for 14 days as cases continue to rise.

The state is set to record double-figure increases in COVID-19 cases in coming days amid growing fears about a cluster in one of Sydney's oldest clubs and new data revealing half of those who have tested positive took three days to self-isolate.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Credit:AP

The state's death toll climbed to 496, with 12 more deaths, all linked to aged care outbreaks.

Almost two weeks after the young's man death was reported on August 14, it is yet to be included in the national coronavirus fatalities tally.

At the time of the man's death, Premier Daniel Andrews would not speculate on whether the man died of or with coronavirus, but he floated the prospect that the Victorian coroner may investigate it.

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India's COVID-19 outbreak is now the world's fastest-growing

New Delhi: India now has the fastest-growing coronavirus caseload of any country in the world, reporting more than 75,000 new infections per day.

Crowded cities, lockdown fatigue and a lack of contact tracing have spread COVID-19 to every corner of the country of 1.3 billion people. This week, authorities said that one-sixth of a tiny tribe on a remote, coral-fringed island had come down with the virus.

A health care worker takes a nasal swab sample to test for COVID-19 in Hyderabad, India.Credit:AP

Health experts say the virus reproduction rate is ticking up as more state governments, desperate to stimulate an ailing economy, are loosening lockdown restrictions, which is spreading the virus further.

"Everything right now is indicating toward a massive surge in the caseload in coming days," said Dr Anant Bhan, a health researcher at Melaka Manipal Medical College in southern India. "What is more worrying is we are inching toward the No.1 spot globally."

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COVID conspiracy theorists declare 'digital warfare' on media

COVID-19 conspiracy theorists have launched an orchestrated online attack, dubbed “digital warfare”, aimed at shutting down aspects of the mainstream media's reporting of the coronavirus crisis.

A co-ordinated spam attack on The Age’s Facebook page on Thursday forced the removal of an article, about suicide rates during the pandemic, after the page was flooded with thousands of comments including threats, abuse, defamation and conspiracy theory material.

Rydges on Swanston hotel, a major source of Victoria’s second-wave COVID-19 cases.Credit:Penny Stephens

“Both Queensland and NSW have enlisted the help of the ADF, which would have significantly decreased expenditure on security,” a Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions official wrote in an email to colleagues. The official’s name has been redacted.

The emails show Victoria’s spending on quarantine was forecast to reach $130 million by the end of June compared to NSW's $50 million and Queensland’s $19 million. However, the DJPR's own breakdown of spending said it did not know what was included in the Queensland and NSW figures, and whether they took into account that the Commonwealth was splitting costs approximately 50-50 with the states.

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Good morning all!

G'day everyone! It's Roy Ward here and I'll be running the live blog for this lovely Saturday.

I hope you are all well today. We expect to have plenty of COVID-19 developments to come.

As always you can leave a comment on the blog or shoot me a tweet at @rpjward on Twitter.

Let's get started.

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