Coronavirus news snapshot, Thursday 26 March

Police border operations at Wallangarra on the Queensland/NSW border began at midnight last night. Photo - SEQ News.

Border control operations began at Wallangarra at midnight last night with the border closed except for Queensland residents and others with exemptions.

Exemptions as outlined by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk earlier this week include –

• Freight

• Emergency vehicles

• Emergency workers

• Those travelling to and from work

• Court orders including family court

• Compassionate grounds

• Medical treatment

If you require a border pass for essential travel you can apply online here -https://www.qld.gov.au/border-pass

More information on border restrictions and essential services here -https://www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/queensland-border-restrictions

Locally as of today there is one confirmed coronavirus case in the Southern Downs Regional Council area (Warwick) with two cases in a northern NSW community near the KIllarney border, with NSW authorities not yet identifying the specific location.

The following is a news summary of the latest coronavirus info nationally as of today, Thursday 26 March –

• Total Aust Cases – 2623

• Deaths – 11

• Recovered – 149

• NSW – 1219

• VIC – 466

• QLD – 443

• SA – 197

• WA – 205

• ACT – 44

• TAS – 42

• NT – 7

• PM Scott Morrison announced the creation of a new National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) that will coordinate advice to the Australian Government on actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

• NSW, Victoria and the ACT are on the verge of breaking ranks with the other states and moving into almost a total lockdown within days; The VIC state government is willing to go it alone on tougher measures, with Premier Daniel Andrews warning Victoria could not “wait for everyone else to catch up”.

• Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has called the dramatic rise in Australia’s COVID-19 cases “good news”, for one particular reason. While the increasing number of cases is “obviously worrying and we are concerned”, Professor Kelly said that “on one side, that is good news” because it means “we are finding the cases and they are still mostly coming from overseas”.

• Kelly also said out of all of those 2252 cases, only 197 of them, less than 10%, have been hospitalised because they are sick

• Westpac forecasted the federal government is staring down the barrel of a $160 billion budget deficit by June 2021 and will need at least $250 billion in new bonds to pay for it

• Rental property owners could be given tax relief by the federal government in return for waiving or reducing rents, under one option being considered by the Morrison government

• Western Australia has appealed for Defence Force help as the state becomes the flashpoint for a crisis in how to manage thousands of people stuck on cruise ships seen as incubators for COVID-19. Holiday makers have been cleared from Rottnest Island to make way for quarantine

• New Zealand moving to ‘stage four’ restrictions tonight; That refers mostly to “food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support,” but the “essential” designation also extends to some building and accommodation operators, border agents, and courts

• UK – Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus; The UK government is planning to shut down Parliament for four weeks from Wednesday night

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