Coronavirus cases in Australia are increasing at the lowest level according to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.
The national death toll has risen to 69 with 53 new cases of COVID-19 recorded overnight.
“That’s some of lowest figures we’ve seen in many weeks,” Mr Hunt said this morning.
“The rates of increase are less than one per cent a day for seven consecutive days and that’s an important national achievement. It is a sustained and genuine flattening of the curve.
“These social isolation measures continue to be our strongest weapon against coronavirus,” he added urging people to keep fighting against coronavirus in spite of difficulties and challenges.
There are now 184 people in hospital with coronavirus, 51 in ICUs, and 33 on ventilators with the total number of Australian cases sitting at 6586, with 69 deaths.
MORE MASKS AND FLU VACCINES SECURED
Meanwhile, three million flu vaccines will soon be available to protect Australians this season, following national shortages which means that 16 million people will be able to get vaccinated against the flu.
“This will help with additional supplies, additional resources, for GPs and our pharmacies,” Mr Hunt explained.
“All of this is about keeping Australians safe and helping them not just with coronavirus but in the case of flu, with their other health (needs). While flu vaccinations are not a defence against coronavirus, they are not a vaccination against coronavirus, they are an important mechanism for reducing the rate of flu in our community, for protecting individuals, protecting health workers.”
“It means that people will not have to contend with two different respiratory ailments at the same time, potentially, which is very important for their general resilience. Extra masks mean elective surgery and IVF could start ‘earlier than anticipated'”, he said.
Indeed, about 60 million masks have been secured by the government, and 22 million masks have been distributed to frontline staff.
“What this means is that we are able to protect our healthcare workers in what has been an intensely competitive global environment, and it also opens up the possibility of elective surgery and in particular, IVF recommencing at an earlier date than had previously thought possible.”
IVF AND ELECTIVE SURGERY TO RESUME
On this positive note, Mr Hunt announced that the National cabinet is meeting on Tuesday and Thursday to further discuss elective surgery and IVF seruming in the coming days if the numbers continue at this rate.
“The elective surgery decision was made on two grounds, one was PPE, of which masks were critical [and] the second was the concern that if the coronavirus had grown dramatically, our hospitals would have been under intense pressure.
“At this point, Australians have done magnificently and we are not facing a threat to our hospitals, now it is about securing the master and PPE and today is an important part of that and laying the foundation for this week on the road out.”
BEACHES IN NSW TO OPEN FOR EXERCISE
In addition, a number of beaches in Sydney’s eastern suburbs will reopen on Monday, but only for exercise.
Randwick Council announced that from tomorrow Coogee, Maroubra and Clovelly Beaches will be made available for “exercise purposes only”. That means jogging on the sand, walking, swimming, surfing and other exercise activities will now be permitted.
Sydney’s eastern suburbs beaches were closed on 28 March after large crowds were filmed gathering at neighbouring Bondi Beach.
While numbers stay low, several issues with testing arise even though it was announced testing will become widely available for people with Covid-19 symptoms.
A woman in her twenties who was forcibly quarantined at a Sydney hotel after returning from overseas tested positive for coronavirus immediately after being cleared for release, News.com.au reported.
The woman said she had no contact with healthcare workers until she was contacted by a nurse in the second week of her quarantine. She told the nurse she was experiencing mild symptoms but was told she didn’t need to be inspected further.
After she left quarantine she arranged to be tested and received a positive result.
In Western Australia an investigation was launched after a man ended up in an induced coma in intensive care despite his wife allegedly calling for a doctor nearly nine hours before he was admitted to hospital.