NEWS
22/04/2020 8:56 AM AEST | Updated 22/04/2020 4:53 PM AEST

Coronavirus In Australia: Death Toll Up As Bondi Plans To Reopen

Plus from next Tuesday Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama will be open for surfing and swimming.

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Police officers ride horses as they patrol during a partial lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus in Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia,

See the latest stories on the coronavirus outbreak.  

Two more Australians have died of coronavirus overnight bringing the national death toll to 74. 

At least 6,600 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Australia.

There are more than 2.5 million confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, and more than 174,000 people have died from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

Here’s what’s happening with coronavirus in Australia and beyond today:

1. Australian Death Toll Rises

Australia’s Covid-19 death toll stood at 74 on Wednesday after NSW confirmed two new deaths.

A 75-year-old man died in Sydney’s St George Hospital and was a household contact with a known Covid-19 case, News.com.au reports.

The other victim, an 80-year-old woman, who had a pre-existing medical condition, passed away at Gosford Hospital.       

SAEED KHAN via Getty Images
An empty Coogee beach is seen during a lock down in Sydney on April 16, 2020. - All beaches remained closed as Australia brushed aside calls for an easing of tough restrictions on travel and public gatherings despite their success in curbing the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP) (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

2. Bondi To Reopen 

Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach will reportedly reopen from Mondays through to Fridays, following a drop in coronavirus cases in Australia.  The beach will officially open as of Tuesday next week. 

The beach was closed March 21 after thousands of Sydneysiders blatantly ignored the government’s social distancing advice and flocked to the city’s multiple beaches, including Bondi, in large groups. 

Waverley Council voted on Tuesday evening to open the water at Bondi for swimmers and surfers only with sunbaking or gathering in groups still strictly prohibited. 

Nearby Bronte and Tamarama beaches will reopen with the same rules with people allowed back in the water from 7:00am to 5:00pm. 

There will be two fenced corridors to be set up to funnel people to the water and lifeguards will be on patrol.  

Sydney’s eastern suburbs remain one of NSW’s most heavily infected areas. 

Randwick City Council announced Sunday it would open some of its beaches including Coogee, Maroubra and Clovelly for exercise purposes only.

Mayor Danny Said explained that keeping the beaches open would depend on attendance numbers and that restrictions could return if people don’t cooperate.  

3. US Death Toll Tops 40,000 

COVID-19 has now claimed the lives of at least 40,000 people in the US, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The death toll in the US is nearly twice as high as that in Spain, the country with the second most virus-related deaths in the world.

With more than 13,000 deaths, New York has by far suffered the highest number of deaths, compared to any other state. Roughly 70% of those deaths were in New York City.

The United States has recorded at least 750,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, Reuters reported Sunday.

Although it’s home to about 4% of the world’s population, the US now accounts for more than 30% of the world’s total COVID-19 cases. Spain, which has recorded the second-highest number of cases globally, has reported more than 198,000 cases to date. 

— Dominique Mosbergen contributed to this report. 

Jeenah Moon via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Medical workers hold signs outside NYU Langone Health hospital as people applaud to show their appreciation to medical staff and essential workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic on April 21, 2020 in New York City. COVID-19 statistics continue to trend downward in the tri-state region, but New York City has surpassed 132,000 cases since the outbreak. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

4. NRL Confirms Return Date

The NRL has confirmed it will “definitely” resume on May 28. 

A statement on the official NRL website indicated that the “NRL has the green light from government to restart on May 28”.

Team training will begin on May 4.

“What we achieved today was a lot more clarity around the medical process and what those protocols are,” said ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce.

“We clarified that May 28 is a definite and also confirmed that May 4 is the resumption date for training.

“What was also confirmed that the competition points that had been earned in the first two rounds will carry over to the extended competition. Everyone is supportive of what we’re doing. Everyone is unified into getting back on the field.”