Started by ozbob, February 29, 2020, 10:14:47 AM
QuoteBritish team McLaren Racing have pulled out of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix after a team member tested positive to the coronavirus.The team member was tested and isolated after showing symptoms of the virus on Wednesday.In a development likely to ramp up pressure on authorities to call off the Melbourne race, McLaren officials on Thursday night reported the positive test result and pulled out of Sunday's race.Four Haas team members, also sent for tests after showing symptoms of the virus, have been cleared.It is believed two other people working at the Albert Park circuit who were sent for testing in the last two days also tested negative.In a statement, McLaren last night said: "the team member was tested and self-isolated as soon as they started to show symptoms and will now be treated by local healthcare authorities."It said the decision to pull out of the Grand Prix was "based on a duty of care not only to McLaren F1 employees and partners, but also to the team's competitor's Formula One fans and wider F1 stakeholders."It leaves just nine teams in Sunday's race.Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton raised concerns about the Melbourne Grand Prix going ahead as the coronavirus crisis grows.With at least six F1 staff from the Albert Park circuit placed into isolation and sent for testing with symptoms of the virus, the Mercedes star was shocked that it had not been cancelled."I am really, really surprised that we are here," he said."I think it's great that we have races but for me its shocking that we are here sitting in this room."There are so many fans here already here today and it looks like the rest of the world is reacting, probably a little bit late."
QuotePatients will be able to get a medicine prescription and have it filled without leaving their home as the government fast tracks the introduction of electronic prescriptions to beat coronavirus.Patients who need a prescription or repeat prescription will be able to contact their doctor for a telehealth consultation, the doctor will send an e- prescription to an electronic registry so it can be downloaded by their pharmacy.The pharmacist will fill the prescription and if the pharmacy home delivers the person will not need to leave their home to get their medicine.Australian Medical Association spokesman Dr Chris Moy said it was unclear whether the new system could be delivered within the eight week time frame set by the federal government."It's been the obvious thing to do ... theoretically we can do it if we can get all the ducks lined up," he said.The new system will allow people with coronavirus, who are in self-isolation, access to their medicines and reduce the spread of the virus in general practice waiting rooms and at community pharmacies.The Department of Health said older people and those with a chronic condition, who are at greater risk from coronavirus, would benefit if they did not have to expose themselves to the virus by visiting their GP's waiting room for a script.The electronic prescriptions are designed to work with new Medicare rebates for telehealth consultations with doctors that begin Friday.However, Dr Moy said these rebates were restricted to those with coronavirus in home isolation, those aged over 70, those with a chronic illness and pregnant women.The Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of GPS want telehealth to be available to all patients.Chemist Warehouse chief Mario Tascone said his business could manage anything but nothing had yet been put in place for electronic prescriptions.A spokesman for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia said very close to all pharmacies have capacity to read barcodes on paper scripts, but no pharmacies are yet enabled for the downloading of paperless scripts."It is a matter of how quickly the dispensary software vendors can rollout that capability to pharmacy dispensary systems," he said."Many pharmacies do home deliveries, but we don't know how many. The number will grow with a formalised and funded system for deliveries as announced by the Government. We are working with the Government to develop options and guidelines for such a service," he said.
QuotePopular fast food chain KFC has become the latest victim of the coronavirus, with a staff member at a North Brisbane store being confirmed to have the disease.Confirming the shocking new case of coronavirus Thursday night, KFC has now closed its Deagon store until further notice, and has reportedly sent multiple messages to local primary and high schools warning of the discovery.It comes as a number of schoolchildren who reportedly worked at the Deagon store were sent home from school today.In a statement to 7 News Brisbane, KFC confirmed the latest case of coronavirus, and was following the recommendations put forward by Queensland Health."A team member from our Deagon restaurant has tested positive for COVID-19. As a precaution we've closed the restaurant until further notice and all employees exposed to the member have been asked to self-isolate." a spokesperson said.
QuoteUS President Donald Trump's unexpected ban on most travel from Europe to the US could send some foreign airlines out of business and prompt the biggest reduction to international air travel in decades, according to a respected aviation expert."It is massive. This is the biggest, most valuable international route group in the world," said Peter Harbison from the CAPA Centre for Aviation."As a route, the North Atlantic, it's by far the biggest and most valuable. And that means valuable to commerce but also valuable to the airlines themselves. Because a lot of the travel is business travel, corporate travel and therefore high-yielding," he said.Mr Harbison said the ban, which will last for 30 days from midnight Friday (American time), came at a time when travel was already down significantly."This is not a peak period, but you're taking away essentially at least half of their traffic if, for all intents and purposes, you're only allowing Americans to fly," he said.Australian Government health experts were asked to review travel between Europe and Australia following the US announcement. Health Minister Greg Hunt said the review was being done out of "an abundance of caution".While the viability of some foreign airlines would be at risk because of the US ban, Mr Harbison said it was likely that governments would respond to the risks."Inevitably governments will, selectively, be helping bail some of the airlines out. Because these things are too important to their economies to lose them," he said.The US ban, announced by President Donald Trump in a televised address from the Oval Office in the White House, is the latest setback for an aviation industry already facing a downturn in travel because of the coronavirus.Companies around the world are slashing their travel in order to keep their workers safe, while holidaymakers are postponing and cancelling holiday makers because of fears over coronavirus.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week warned that the coronavirus pandemic could slash the revenue of airlines by a massive $170 billion this year."In little over two months, the industry's prospects in much of the world have taken a dramatic turn for the worse," IATA president Alexandre de Juniac said.Mr Trump said US restrictions on people coming from China and other countries with early outbreaks of COVID-19 had held down the number of cases in the US compared with Europe. He also criticised the European Union for failing to immediately stop travel from China "and other hot spots" which he said had led to clusters of outbreaks in the US."I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and well-being of all Americans. To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days," Mr Trump said.US Homeland Security officials later clarified that the restrictions would apply only to most foreign nationals who have been in the 26-nation Schengen area of Europe in the 14 days before their scheduled arrival in the United States. The Schengen countries, which do not restrict travel among them, include Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria and others.It does not include Britain and IrelandMr Harbison said the US ban would affect only a very small number of Australian travellers, and have very little if any impact on Australian airlines."The direct impact for Australian travellers is very small," he said, adding that only a "very small number" of Australians flew from Europe to the US at any given time.Australians can still fly between the United Kingdom and the US, and between Europe and Canada."And it has next to no impact on the airlines themselves, Australian airlines. First of all they don't fly that route themselves, with their own metal," he said.A Virgin Australia spokeswoman said: "Virgin Australia does not expect to see a direct impact to its network as a result of the US suspension of travel from Europe."
QuoteAustralia's chief medical officer has told premiers, chief ministers and the Prime Minister that mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled amid fears about the spread of coronavirus.The leaders are currently considering that advice at a meeting in Sydney.The Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne had already been cancelled today, and spectators for cricket games banned.Questions about crowds have also been hanging over NRL, soccer and AFL matches.A press conference is expected after the leaders' COAG meeting finishes this afternoon.A senior West Australian doctor has called for all schools to be closed soon and for there to be no crowds allowed at events as the coronavirus spreads, declaring he wants his colleagues to stay alive.Prime Minister Scott Morrison and federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese earlier on Friday both said they planned to go to the football this weekend.Mr Morrison said it was up to states and individual organisations to decide whether major gatherings should go ahead, based on medical advice.But WA Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Andrew Miller posted on social media: "You want to go to the footy? I want my colleagues to stay alive."He finished the tweet by declaring "this is not a game".
Quote from: SurfRail on March 13, 2020, 13:09:39 PMI'm going on one in June (Sapphire Princess) which is being deployed to Australia from its usual home in Japan, specifically because of coronavirus risk and the market tanking. Sister ship of Diamond Princess which was quarantined.I take the view that either it will be cancelled, or it will have largely blown over by then. Happens, it happens (either way).
QuotePrime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed advice not to attend gatherings of more than 500 people does not include going to school or university, but it does include church services.Mr Morrison said the ban would apply to organised, "non-essential gatherings" of more than 500 people from Monday.But he said people could still go about their normal, essential business."(The advice) of course does not include schools," he said."It does not include university lectures. It does not mean people getting on public transport or going to airports or things of that nature."These events that we are seeking to advise against and restrict are our non-essential, organised gatherings of persons of 500 or more."Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the 500 figure was chosen based on the best available scientific modelling.He said casual exposure walking through a train station or airport presented a much lower risk.Mr Morrison said we might be watching football games on the television for a time.But he said he was still planning to go to the Cronulla Sharks game this weekend before the ban kicks in."We will set the ground rules about how these events can be run in the future and I have no doubt that there will be strong co-operation from all of the (football) codes as to how they manage that," he said.Mr Morrison said there would be issues to work through, for instance attendance at public galleries.He said churches and places of worship would have to make arrangements in relation to how large their gatherings were."I suspect they will do something common sense like hold multiple services at different periods of time over the course of the weekend so all their parishioners can come along," he said."But having more than a particular amount in one place at one time, I have no doubt they will honour the advice given to them about how many people should get together in one place on an organised basis for several hours."Mr Morrison said the move was a "common sense" precaution."What we are announcing today is just another step," he said."It is precautionary. It is getting ahead of this to ensure that we can minimise the impact on your health and we can ensure with confidence the ability for people to be accessing the health services that they and their families will need."Michael Johnson, of Tourism Accommodation Australia, said they were still waiting on further details on how long the ban would last but he said the impact of the move would be huge."This is just another major blow to hotels," he said.He said the banning of sporting events would impact hotel accommodation greatly, following the announcement of the Grand Prix being cancelled today."If you think of all those hotels in Melbourne that are full of clients, they'll probably be leaving Melbourne now," he said."You're going to have a situation where at those large conference hotels, any conferences will be off the table.""The advice of the medical experts still has to be taken into account, so it's difficult to criticise, but I can confirm the impact on the industry is going to substantial."
QuoteUNPRECEDENTED restrictions are being rolled out on a shocked nation including cancelling mass gatherings of 500 people or more from Monday and recommending against all overseas travel, with the dire situation expected to last weeks or even months.There are more restrictions expected to come, as Australia braces for sporting matches without crowds, restricted church congregations, concerts, gigs and other big events to be cancelled as the nation locks down against the COVID-19 pandemic.Schools, universities, childcare, workplaces and public transport will continue to run as normal, Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the advice to cancel mass gatherings was only for "non-essential" meetings.The shock decision was unanimously agreed to by Mr Morrison and all state and territory premiers on advice from Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy, as the virus increases its spread throughout Australian cities.Sporting matches this weekend, including the Broncos-Cowboys NRL opener in Townsville, are expected to go ahead, but the situation is constantly changing as the Prime Minister and state premiers begin to work out the details of the mass gathering ban.A National Cabinet, made up of the state and territory leaders and the Prime Minister to be advised by the nation's chief medical officers, has been formed for the first time in Australian history.It will meet again on Sunday, then weekly after that, as they seek to drive a united and consistent response to the pandemic in Australia.Mr Morrison said the decision to recommend the cancellation of gatherings and advise against international travel was done in a bid to slow the encroachment of the novel coronavirus and give the health system the best chance to cope with it."What we are seeking to do is to lower the level of overall risk, and at the same time ensure that we minimise any broader disruption that is not necessary at this stage," he said. "It doesn't eliminate all risks. This is not an absolute measure. We are still in the early phases, and community transmission is at a very low level. This is incredibly important because as we slow it, as we manage it, that ensures that the national health system ... will be able to accommodate the increasing demands we'd expect to see as a result of the coronavirus spread throughout Australia."At this stage, the cancellation of non-essential mass gatherings is only a recommendation.A known football fan and devoted Christian, Mr Morrison last night cancelled his plans to go to a live Cronulla Sharks game on Saturday night and said his and other large church groups would likely have to limit the size of congregations.Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk backed the limits on public gatherings and endorsed the national cabinet."Everything we have done is about slowing the spread of the virus as much as possible and we have been very successful at that," Ms Palaszczuk said. "But now we are beginning to enter a new stage and the advice is to limit large non-essential gatherings. Nominating Monday as a starting date gives people time to plan. It's important to note this is about staying ahead of the virus. It does not apply to schools and workplaces. Those are essential."Prof Murphy said the decision to implement the mass gathering restriction from Monday was his recommendation, with the delay being because it was a precautionary measure only."There's no immediacy about this, but we need to get ahead of the curve," the chief medico said.The restriction of 500 people was based on advice of epidemiology, he said.While Australians are being advised against travel overseas, a travel ban on other countries is not being considered at the moment.With more than 100 countries now hosting the disease it was common sense not to travel abroad, he said.Even as the groundbreaking restrictions were announced, Mr Morrison urged the public to remain calm."There is absolute reason for calm. There is absolute reason for proportionally responding to the challenges that we have here. I'm very comfortable about it," he said.Transport Minister Mark Bailey said national public transport plans had been drawn up but assured people there was very low risk in taking the bus or train. "We will respond appropriately and there's a lot of planning and preparation going on," he said
QuotePrime Minister Scott Morrison will not be tested for coronavirus despite spending hours behind closed doors this week with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who was in a Brisbane hospital on Friday night after contracting the disease.Mr Morrison's office moved to play down fears up to 20 senior members of the federal government would be forced into self-isolation over the next fortnight, after confirmation they were exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case during Tuesday's meeting of federal cabinet in Sydney.But Mr Morrison has cancelled his plans to attend the Cronulla Sharks' opening NRL match, just hours after he had vowed to join the crowds at Sydney's ANZ Stadium this weekend.A government spokesman confirmed Mr Dutton had attended Tuesday's meeting of federal cabinet in Sydney and Thursday's meeting of the National Security Committee via video link."In advice provided to the Prime Minister this evening, the deputy Chief Medical Officer has reiterated that only people who had close contact with the minister in the preceding 24 hours before he became symptomatic need to self-isolate," Mr Morrison's office said."That does not include the Prime Minister or any other members of the cabinet."Mr Dutton is the first member of the Australian government to return a positive test for COVID-19. Senior government sources on Friday night said cabinet members were prepared to self-isolate if required, but were following the advice given to all Australians as how to handle exposure to the virus.In a statement on Friday afternoon, Mr Dutton said he had woken with a temperature and sore throat earlier in the day."I immediately contacted the Queensland Department of Health and was subsequently tested for COVID-19. I was advised by Queensland Health this afternoon that the test had returned positive."It is the policy of Queensland Health that anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into hospital and I have complied with their advice."I feel fine and will provide an update in due course."The Home Affairs Minister flew to the United States earlier this month to meet security ministers from the Five Eyes intelligence alliance in Washington on Thursday, March 5. He met with US Attorney-General William Barr and Ivanka Trump during the trip.He returned to Australia at the weekend before travelling on a commercial flight from Brisbane to Sydney for the cabinet meeting.Mr Morrison spent most of Friday in close contact with state premiers and territory leaders preparing their response to the coronavirus outbreak.Mr Dutton had missed his regular weekly television on the Nine Network's Today Show on Friday, with hosts announcing he was sick with a "stomach bug".The government on Friday night was scrambling to determine the potential extent of any infection, with state premiers, senior ministers, Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy, and Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy all potentially in contact with the virus.A spokesman for Mr Morrison said he had originally planned to attend the NRL game to make it "very clear" the medical advice from the experts about mass gatherings of more than 500 people was not taking immediate effect and there was "no serious immediate health risk" to Australians attending such events over the weekend."The PM did not want to create any unnecessary alarm as a result of these proposed new arrangements," a spokesman said."After further consideration and the potential for the prime minister's attendance to be misrepresented, the prime minister has chosen not to attend the match this weekend."The Prime Minister believes this would avoid any unnecessary confusion about his attendance."The Prime Minister's spokesman said Queensland Health would now undertake the "appropriate contact tracing".Before Mr Dutton's diagnosis, Mr Morrison said Parliament would go ahead as planned on March 23 to pass the coronavirus economic stimulus package. People diagnosed with coronavirus have to go to hospital, while people who come into contact with a confirmed case have to self-isolate for 14 days.New Zealand's Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said she would self-isolate and get tested after she met Mr Dutton in the US six days ago, Stuff NZ has reported.She did not recall shaking hands with Dutton but had sat besides him for the 90-minute meeting. He did not display any symptoms, she said.On Friday, Sophie Trudeau, the wife of Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, tested positive for coronavirus after returning from a trip from Britain. Though Mr Trudeau has no symptoms of the disease, he is self-isolating for the next 14 days. Canada has at least 103 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
QuoteA crisis cabinet has been formed between the nation's top political leaders to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the country in an emergency decision not seen since World War II.The unprecedented move means Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet weekly with state premiers and territory first ministers to decide on a united approach to managing the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.The bipartisan group was formed after a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments on Friday and will be involved in regular secure phone hook-ups. The first meeting of the new "national cabinet" will be on Sunday to discuss implementing the national advice to end gatherings of 500 or more people.While the COAG typically meets two to four times a year, the new group will convene on a weekly basis to discuss how best to tackle the outbreak."Each and every state and territory represented here is completely sovereign and autonomous in the decisions they make, but what we have agreed to do together is to work together and be unified and as consistent and coordinated as possible in our national response," Mr Morrison said on Friday afternoon.The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee will advise the group on health responses, which could involve sharing of resources. The AHPPC is chaired by Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy and includes state and territory chief health officers."There are many others who will be advising through to the group on other matters I've referred to, but that's the medical advice, the best medical advice, which will be the basis of the protocols, guidelines and decisions which will be made by premiers, chief ministers and of course myself as Prime Minister together with our respective cabinets," Mr Morrison said.A War Cabinet was created in 1939 created under the Menzies Government with members of the federal opposition included, however it did not include state and territory leaders. This is the first time a "national cabinet" has been formed with non-federal MPs.University of Sydney academic and constitutional lawyer Anne Twomey said there would not be any legal implications of the new arrangement as it would not give any additional powers to different arms of government.The Commonwealth and the Premiers discuss matters at conferences, COAG meetings and treaties councils, among other meetings."It is just a cooperative body that has been re-badged for the occasion, presumably as an indicator of collective leadership and the gravity of the situation," she said.
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