At least 5,956 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Australia and 50 people have died.
The virus has killed more than 81,000 people worldwide and more than 1.4 million are infected.
This is what is happening in Australia and beyond:
1. Queensland Announces $5.5 Million Package To Support Domestic Violence Victims
On Wednesday Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state government is putting $5.5 million towards supporting women and children facing domestic violence during the Covid-19 crisis.
“There will be $1.5 million provided to DV Connect, $1.7 million is allocated for crisis accommodation, $1.8 million for enhanced services and of course we will be supporting an awareness campaign up to half a million dollars as well,” she told media.
The premier encouraged anyone who needed help and support to call the DV Connect helpline on 1800 811 811.
She said this is a “really important issue, and one that I hope that Queenslanders won’t need to take up but it’s there for you and, of course, we know sometimes that women need to get out of situations”.
“We are providing that money to put in place crisis accommodation so you and your family can be safe during this time.”
2. Two People Test Positive After Hotel Quarantine
NSW Health has confirmed two people, an adult and child, have tested positive for Covid-19 after being in a Sydney hotel where travellers who had returned from overseas had been placed in mandatory quarantine.
A family of seven were staying at the Hilton Hotel, before three members were taken to hospital on Tuesday night after showing symptoms.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant told media on Wednesday that these family members would be taken to another hospital or hospital hotel for appropriate treatment and care.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said social distancing measures will be in place until a
I said yesterday that social distancing would be a part of our lives until there was a vaccine or a cure, and that’s absolutely the case.
3. Boris Johnson Spends Second Night In ICU
The UK’s Prime Minister is breathing without a ventilator and is in “good spirits” while being treated in intensive care for coronavirus symptoms, Downing Street has said.
He was transferred to the intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Monday evening as his condition worsened. More details here.
4. Police Patrolling Roads Ahead Of Easter
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has warned police will be patrolling the streets over the Easter weekend, issuing fines to those who are out and about for non-essential reasons.
“We will be going through caravan parks early, issuing warnings to people who may think that they can get around these laws,” he told media on Wednesday. “It’s important over this weekend that we continue the good work and we continue to isolate, as frustrating as that may be.”
The commissioner said a number of tickets had already been issued over the past 24 hours, most of which were given to people who had been issued multiple warnings beforehand.
He said “the big focus will be on our country roads, those back streets, the main highways, the caravan parks right across country New South Wales”.
“People will be given one opportunity to pack up, go back to your home state and go back home. Otherwise, we will, unfortunately, have to issue tickets.”
5. Another Ruby Princess Passenger Dies
A 62-year-old woman from Adelaide died on Wednesday morning at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. She contracted Covid-19 from the Ruby Princess Cruise ship.
On March 19 the ship was allowed to disembark 2700 passengers in Sydney when many passengers had flu-like symptoms. So far over 600 of those people have tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier this week police confirmed a criminal investigation would be launched after nearly a third of Australia’s coronavirus-related deaths have been attributed to the Carnival Corp cruise. More details here.
6. Government’s JobKeeper Stimulus
Australian parliament resumed for a one-off session on Wednesday to discuss JobKeeper legislation.
“When Australian lives and livelihoods are threatened, when they are under attack, our nation’s sovereignty is put at risk, and we must respond,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said of the special sitting.
Citing the threat of a prolonged economic downturn, Morrison’s government has promised to spend A$130 billion over the next six months to subsidise the wages of six million Australians.
Morrison had earlier promised one-off payments to small and medium-sized businesses and the opposition Labor Party has said it will back the stimulus packages.
With additional reporting by Reuters.