Australia

Australian Gov announces $130 billion 3rd Rescue Package

Canberra; 30 March 2020 (UMM): Eight days since the second stimulus package was announced, Australian PM Scott Morrison announced a third stimulus package to the tune of $130 billion to save “hibernating” businesses forced to close their doors during lockdown, and their employees.

Package includes a $1,500 per fortnight payment to employers, so that they can maintain their employees during this hibernation period.

Australia asks people to isolate more even as coronavirus spread slows

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australians were asked on Sunday to further isolate themselves from the public to keep the coronavirus from spreading even as authorities said the rate of daily infections has halved in recent days.

Government officials said that public gatherings must be restricted to two people and Australians should stay inside unless shopping for essentials, exercising, going to work or medical care. Those over 70 should self-isolate themselves.

Aussie local election goes ahead despite virus threat

28 March 2020; AFP: People in the Australian state of Queensland were urged to vote in local elections on Saturday or face a fine of Aus$133 ($80), as polls went ahead despite most citizens being encouraged to stay home to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The state's top health official said it was safe to vote in person as long as people followed social distancing guidelines.

"There's no risk here, we've got to remember the risk of people going to the shops is far, far higher," Jeannette Young told reporters.

Australian Army Reservists Called On For COVID-19 Support

CANBERRA, Mar 26 (NNN-AGENCIES) – The Australian Army is preparing to deploy reservists to assist with the Australian Defence Force’s response to COVID-19.

The Guardian Australia, today published an email sent by Carmen Sieger, the acting director of the directorate of contingent workforce management army, earlier in Mar, in which Sieger called on reservists for help, if they had the willingness and capacity for work “likely to result from our current environment.”

It would be the second time in 2020. reservists will be deployed in response to the crisis.

Cruise Ships Told To Leave Australian Waters

SYDNEY, Mar 26 (NNN-BNA) – Two cruise ships, off the coast of Western Australia, have been told to “immediately” leave Australian waters, after the country’s worst outbreak of the COVID-19 was traced to a cruise liner that docked at Sydney Harbour last week. Cruise ships have become a flash point for the epidemic in Australia after 147 of 2,700 passengers, who disembarked from the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney, later tested positive for COVID-19.

Australian cruise becomes nation's worst coronavirus cluster

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Greg Butler was rushed to hospital with COVID-19 within days of getting home to self-isolate after being allowed off the Ruby Princess cruise liner in Sydney, one of more than 130 passengers who tested positive in Australia’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

One of them, a woman, died earlier this week.

The 56-year-old Butler had been holidaying with his partner, Robin Russ, who remains in isolation.

“I tested negative and he tested positive,” Russ said over the telephone from the apartment they moved to for quarantine.

Non-urgent surgery suspended in Australia to facilitate COVID-19 fight

CANBERRA, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government announced Wednesday that non-urgent elective surgery will be suspended to allow more capacity in hospitals while the country is combating COVID-19.

According to the Australian government, from 11:59 p.m. local time Wednesday, only category one and some exceptional category two surgery will continue in public and private hospitals until further notice.

Australian PM announces travel ban on all non-residents

SYDNEY, March 20 (NNN-XINHUA) — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced a travel ban on all non-residents coming into the country beginning from Friday night.

Anyone who is not a citizen, resident, or close family member of an Australian citizen or resident will be denied entry into the country, Xinhua reported him saying.

Aussie National Carrier Halts All International Flights, Slashes Jobs

SYDNEY, Mar 19 (NNN-AGENCIES) – Australia’s national carrier, Qantas, halted all international flights, and temporarily stood down two-thirds of its workforce, in an effort to endure mass travel disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The airline made the announcement today, after already issuing a 90 percent reduction in international services earlier in the week, along with a 60-percent drop in domestic services, which remained in place.

Australia warns citizens not to travel abroad; Corona cases surge to 454

Melbourne, Mar 18 (PTI) Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday warned its citizens not to travel abroad and banned "non-essential" gatherings of 100 people or more as the government declared the deadly coronavirus, that has infected over 450 people in the country, a "human biosecurity emergency".

Prime Minister Morrison on Wednesday said Australians should abandon all overseas travel because of the coronavirus epidemic. There have been 40 new cases since Tuesday.

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