NSW hospital worker COVID positive as Vic cases fall
NSW has recorded three new cases of coronavirus overnight.
Two of the cases are returned overseas travellers in quarantine, while one was locally acquired with no known source.
The mystery case worked at Concord Hospital while potentially infectious, Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Jeremy McAnulty said.
The case had cared for patients with COVID-19, and further investigation is under way to identify how the infection was acquired.
Three new cases of #COVID19 were diagnosed in the 24 hours to 8pm last night and one previously reported case has been excluded.— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 19, 2020
Of the three new cases:
- 2 are returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine
- 1 is locally acquired and under investigation pic.twitter.com/ptM0cPa9d0
More than 15,000 tests were conducted on Friday, though Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been pushing to get the number above 20,000 leading into the school holidays, when families in Sydney are expected to scatter into the regions for a getaway.
Dr McAnulty said while the number of locally acquired cases in the last 24 hours, and over the past few days, has been low, the virus is "likely circulating among people in the community with mild symptoms".
"As such, the risk of outbreaks and a resurgence of cases remains," he said.
"It's vital that everyone who does have the virus is tested and diagnosed, in order to stop further spread to others."
Anyone with even mild symptoms, like a runny nose or a scratchy throat, is urged to come forward for testing.
There are currently 83 active cases of coronavirus in NSW, with four of those in intensive care.
Two of the ICU patients are currently being ventilated.
Victoria records 21 new cases, seven deaths overnight
Victoria has recorded 21 new cases of coronavirus and a further seven deaths overnight.
The dramatic drop in new cases comes after 45 cases were recorded on Friday.
Despite the promising drop, experts say Victorians must remain vigilant in the coming weeks to ensure a spike in cases does not occur.
Meantime, another national lockdown could be on the way in the UK, as Britain faces a second wave of coronavirus.
Britain's daily cases hit 4,322 on Friday and 27 deaths - the highest number since May.
It comes as France and Spain have also seen a spike in cases, while Dublin has announced new restrictions, closing all pubs unless they serve food and have outdoor space.
Britain's testing program has been widely described as shambolic, with people forced to wait days for results and tests unavailable in many virus hot spots as demand outstripped supply of laboratory processing facilities.
A "circuit breaker" two-week lockdown has been considered to interrupt the latest outbreak.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned there was worse to come.
"I don't want to go into bigger lockdown measures at all, we want to keep schools open and it is fantastic the schools have gone back in the way they have. We want to keep the economy open as far as we possibly can, we want to keep businesses going. The only way we can do that is obviously if people follow the guidance," Mr Johnson said.
The UK currently bans people from gathering in groups of more than six, but pubs, cafes, restaurants, shops and schools remain open.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said a second lockdown is now "increasingly likely".
"It is increasingly likely that, in London, additional measures will soon be required to slow the spread of the virus. We will be considering some of the measures which have already been imposed in other parts of the UK.
"I am of the firm view that we should not wait, as happened six months ago, for this virus to again spiral out of control before taking action," Mr Khan said.
"The best thing for both public health and the economy is new restrictions imposed early, rather than a full lockdown when it's too late - but the government must urgently ensure there is a fully functioning testing system."
Globally, confirmed cases of the coronavirus have topped 30 million worldwide, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
France has reported more than 9000 daily cases, while Spain reported over 10,000 cases.
Queensland records no news coronavirus cases
No new cases of COVID-19 have emerged in Queensland overnight, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed in a tweet on Saturday.
The total number of cases stands at 1150 and there are 22 active cases in the state.
So far, only six people have died from the virus in Queensland, the last being an 83-year-old male cruise ship passenger on April 18.
The Queensland government announced on Friday it will accept travellers from Canberra from September 25.
BRITISH BILLIONAIRE JETS INTO SYDNEY
The federal government has come under fire after a British billionaire filming a reality television show was able to travel to Australia while tens of thousands of citizens are still stranded overseas.
On Friday, Lord Sugar tweeted about his flight from the UK to Australia, saying, "I've not travelled on a commercial airline for 25 years. Yesterday I travelled to Sydney with Emirates. I have never experienced service like it in all my life. It was fantastic."
The 73-year-old British peer, who usually travels via private jet, is in Sydney to film an upcoming series of The Celebrity Apprentice Australia and will enter 14 days of self-isolation.
With over 25,000 Australian citizens still stranded overseas and anxiously waiting to get home, many wondered how Lord Sugar had been able to make the journey, with one Twitter user asking, "our borders are supposedly closed to everyone except returning citizens and permanent residents. How did you get round the red tape?"
I've not traveled on a commercial airline for 25 years. Yesterday I traveled to Sydney with @emirates . I have never experienced service like it in all my life. It was fantastic . both on the ground and in the air. Amazing. For the skeptics it was fully paid for not free.— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) September 16, 2020
Labor Senator and opposition foreign affairs spokesperson Penny Wong slammed the decision, tweeting, "As tens of thousands of Australians wait to see if their airline tickets will be cancelled yet again, the Morrison government has seen it fair to grant an exemption to British billionaire Lord Sugar, allowing him to travel to Australia to film a reality television show.
"Once again we see the Morrison government has one rule for the privileged few, while stranded Australians are told to ask for charity or to go to homeless shelters."
STRANDED AUSSIES OFFERED LIFELINE
Stranded Australians have been offered a lifeline home after the federal government announced it would increase its return traveller caps as early as next week.
The national cap for Australians returning from overseas is currently 4000 each week, but will now move to 6000.
As of September 27, NSW will take an additional 500 travellers per week, while Queensland and Western Australia will take an additional 200 travellers respectively. Queensland will move to increasing their intake to the full additional 500 by October 4, while WA will move to the full additional 500 by October 11.
"Australians who are trying to get home at the moment are seeking to do that for many reasons, and particularly those more vulnerable, for circumstances completely outside their control. It's not like they had an opportunity to come home early or anything like that," Mr Morrison said during a press briefing.
"But we've got to remember, these are Australians coming home. These are Western Australians coming home to Western Australia. They are Queenslanders coming home to Queensland."
There are over 25,000 Australian trying to get home from overseas locations.
NSW, Queensland and WA will manage the vast majority of returning traveller quarantines due to their major international airports.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced return traveller caps will increase later this month.
The Prime Minister said he hopes to see the cap increased past 6000 weekly returns in the near future.
Mr Morrison also said Australia is managing the COVID-19 pandemic "better than almost any other part of the world in developed economies."
"Australia is the envy, in many respects, of so many other countries around the world, in how we are managing both the health consequences of the COVID pandemic and the economic consequences of the COVID pandemic," Mr Morrison said.
Originally published as NSW hospital worker COVID positive; VIC cases drop