Australia in ‘good place’, says CMO | The Canberra Times

Australia in 'good place', says CMO | The Canberra Times

news, national

Australia has put itself in a “position of strength” in the fight against the coronavirus but must keep up the pressure to beat the disease, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says. “There is no place in the world I would rather be than Australia at the moment,” he told reporters in Canberra on Sunday. But he said Australians cannot become complacent, with people in the community still transmitting the virus. “That is why we have to keep our pressure on and make sure that we don’t end up like countries in the world that you have all seen on the news.” “We are in a good place … but we have to maintain that good place”. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg warned it would be “very dangerous and unrealistic” to remove social distancing restrictions too soon. Prof Murphy said there were now 6289 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia. Fatalities increased by three to 59 people with the death of a 74-year-old man in hospital in South Australia after contracting the virus on the Ruby Princess cruise ship, the death of a woman in her 70s in Tasmania and the death of an 82-year-old man in Sydney. Mr Frydenberg said restrictions will stay in place “for as long as it takes”. “We have got to take the medical advice,” he told ABC television. “I think it is very dangerous and unrealistic to move ahead of medical advice that has served Australia well.” The federal government has also announced that higher education institutions will be offering cut price courses starting in May to fill skill shortages to assist the economic rebound once the the coronavirus pandemic has run its course, “The cost of these courses has been reduced by over 50 per cent, and in some instances up to 74 per cent,” Education Minister Dan Tehan said. The online courses will run for six months in what are deemed to be “areas of national priority”, such as in nursing, teaching, counselling, IT and science. Meanwhile, the government has launched emergency contingency measures to ensure aged care recipients continue to get the care they need during the pandemic. The measures include new emergency response teams on standby if there’s a significant outbreak in a residential aged care facility. There will also be remote locums to support aged care providers in remote Australia if they are unable to source staff. Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said COVID-19 Age Care Support Program funding will help approved aged care providers with the costs of hiring additional staff and covering workers who are required to self-isolate. “We are ready to help the Aged Care sector as we navigate through this difficult time together,” Minister Colbeck said in at statement. “It’s absolutely critical we continue to have a strong workforce so there are no gaps in care, particularly in regional and remote areas. It will be funded via the $101.2 million available for Age Care measures – part of the government’s $2.4 billion support package announced on March 11. On Sunday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the state of emergency imposed in his state was being extended by four weeks to midnight on May 11. A flight from Uruguay landed at Melbourne Airport early on Sunday, carrying about 112 Australian and New Zealand passengers from the Greg Mortimer cruise ship after an Antarctic tour. About 70 per cent of the passengers have been diagnosed with coronavirus, though only one was taken to hospital for treatment, with the other Australians going into quarantine and the New Zealanders to fly on home. Australian Associated Press

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Australia has put itself in a “position of strength” in the fight against the coronavirus but must keep up the pressure to beat the disease, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says.

“There is no place in the world I would rather be than Australia at the moment,” he told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.

But he said Australians cannot become complacent, with people in the community still transmitting the virus.

“That is why we have to keep our pressure on and make sure that we don’t end up like countries in the world that you have all seen on the news.”

“We are in a good place … but we have to maintain that good place”.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg warned it would be “very dangerous and unrealistic” to remove social distancing restrictions too soon.

Prof Murphy said there were now 6289 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia.

Fatalities increased by three to 59 people with the death of a 74-year-old man in hospital in South Australia after contracting the virus on the Ruby Princess cruise ship, the death of a woman in her 70s in Tasmania and the death of an 82-year-old man in Sydney.

Mr Frydenberg said restrictions will stay in place “for as long as it takes”.

“We have got to take the medical advice,” he told ABC television.

“I think it is very dangerous and unrealistic to move ahead of medical advice that has served Australia well.”

The federal government has also announced that higher education institutions will be offering cut price courses starting in May to fill skill shortages to assist the economic rebound once the the coronavirus pandemic has run its course,

“The cost of these courses has been reduced by over 50 per cent, and in some instances up to 74 per cent,” Education Minister Dan Tehan said.

The online courses will run for six months in what are deemed to be “areas of national priority”, such as in nursing, teaching, counselling, IT and science.

Meanwhile, the government has launched emergency contingency measures to ensure aged care recipients continue to get the care they need during the pandemic.

The measures include new emergency response teams on standby if there’s a significant outbreak in a residential aged care facility.

There will also be remote locums to support aged care providers in remote Australia if they are unable to source staff.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said COVID-19 Age Care Support Program funding will help approved aged care providers with the costs of hiring additional staff and covering workers who are required to self-isolate.

“We are ready to help the Aged Care sector as we navigate through this difficult time together,” Minister Colbeck said in at statement.

“It’s absolutely critical we continue to have a strong workforce so there are no gaps in care, particularly in regional and remote areas.

It will be funded via the $101.2 million available for Age Care measures – part of the government’s $2.4 billion support package announced on March 11.

On Sunday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the state of emergency imposed in his state was being extended by four weeks to midnight on May 11.

A flight from Uruguay landed at Melbourne Airport early on Sunday, carrying about 112 Australian and New Zealand passengers from the Greg Mortimer cruise ship after an Antarctic tour.

About 70 per cent of the passengers have been diagnosed with coronavirus, though only one was taken to hospital for treatment, with the other Australians going into quarantine and the New Zealanders to fly on home.

Australian Associated Press

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