Health officials in the Australian state of Victoria say there are now 1,008 active cases within the aged care sector, which has emerged as a key area of concern for authorities.
It represents an increase of 80 new cases within that sector over 24 hours.
Overall, there are 5,919 active cases in Victoria, after 396 were added to the total on Saturday. Of those active cases, 637 are among health care workers, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Of the largest outbreaks, there were a 10 cases added to the stricken St Basil’s aged care home, which now has a total of 134 infections, while another facility, Epping Gardens, added three cases for a total of 118.
There are 399 people in Australian hospitals, including 50 people in intensive care units and 28 on ventilators, authorities say.
The overwhelming majority of those were in Victoria.
Australia’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Michael Kidd, told a daily briefing on Saturday the country had surpassed 200 deaths after three people died in Victoria and a further death in New South Wales.
Kidd also said Australia’s controversial Covidsafe app had allowed authorities to identify two new cases in Sydney.
This is a timely reminder of the importance of the Covidsafe app.
Kidd said the app had resulted in hundreds of additional people being tested and may have prevented a wider outbreak like those seen in Victoria.
He added that authorities had received “disturbing reports” that people who had tested positive to Covid-19 were not at home when they had been doorknocked. He stressed that those who have tested positive must stay home.
Workers at an abattoir in coronavirus-stricken Melbourne have been told to isolate until further notice after a staff member tested positive, fuelling fears of a possible second outbreak at the facility.
In May, Cedar Meats abattoir was at the centre of the largest cluster in Victoria with 111 cases, but this record has since been overtaken by several second-wave outbreaks.A
A Cedar meats spokeswoman said in a statement:
We have followed DHHS’s advice and had all close contacts of that staff member tested onsite [on Friday] at our premises in Brooklyn.
We have asked all of our staff to isolate until further notice, as per government guidelines.
It is unclear if the worker was infectious during their last shift, but is understood they were originally absent due to non-flu-like illness and were tested for Covid-19 only in recent days.
The results of the other staff tests will determine when the plant can reopen.
Gambling revenue in Macau plunged 94.5% in July year-on-year, with casinos reeling from a lack of visitors in the world’s biggest casino hub despite a loosening of quarantine restrictions which have led to only a modest rise in gamblers.
July’s figure of 1.3bn patacas ($US162.89m) was in line with analysts’ expectations of a drop of about 95%, reports Reuters.
Casinos are staring at heavy losses for the second quarter, with not much hope for a near-term recovery as a resurgence in coronavirus cases muddies the outlook for when China will reinstate travel visas.
Police in the state of South Australia have charged two people caught trying to cross the border from New South Wales.
The 25-year-old man and 20-year-old woman tried to cross the border at Pinnaroo on Thursday, claiming they were headed interstate to sell a dog, reports AAP.
They were refused entry and turned back to NSW, but police stopped their NSW-registered car in the Adelaide suburb of Kilburn on Saturday afternoon.
The pair were charged with breaching Covid-19 directions and have been denied bail ahead of a court appearance on Monday.
The arrests came as the state recorded one new case – a man aged in his 20s – of coronavirus. He had returned from interstate and has been in quarantine since his arrival.
Authorities in the state of Western Australia say no new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.
However, two historical cases based on serology were recorded overnight, the Department of Health said in a statement.
These cases are fully recovered and present no risk to the community. This brings the total case count to 668, comprising 640 confirmed cases and 28 historical cases.
China recorded 45 new cases on Friday, mostly from outbreaks in the provinces of Zinjiang and Liaoning, the National Health Commission has announced.
It comes after 127 new cases were detected on Thursday.
The elderly leader of a secretive South Korean sect at the centre of the country’s early coronavirus outbreak was arrested on Saturday for allegedly hindering the government’s effort to contain the epidemic.
Lee Man-hee, 88, is the head of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which is often condemned as a cult.
People linked to the church accounted for more than half of the South’s 4,000-plus coronavirus cases in February when the country was enduring one of the worst early outbreaks in the world.
Lee is accused of giving inaccurate records of church gatherings and false lists of its members to health authorities.
He was taken into custody early Saturday “after the Suwon district court granted an arrest warrant at 1.20am”, a court spokesperson told AFP.
Egypt reported 321 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, the health ministry said, the lowest figure since 3 May, according to Reuters.
In total, 94,078 cases have been reported in Egypt, of which 39,638 have recovered and 4,188 have died, including 31 on Friday, the ministry said in a statement late on Friday.
Egypt reopened resorts to foreign tourists on 1 July after tourism came to a halt in March under measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
But Egypt has not yet made it to a “safe list” of countries for resumption of non-essential travel to the European Union.
Japan’s Okinawa region has declared a state of emergency and asked people to stay home for two weeks as the popular tourist destination sees an “explosive spread” of coronavirus cases.
Agence France-Presse reports that the governor, Denny Tamaki, on Friday asked residents to avoid non-essential outings following a record new daily addition to the southern island’s total cases, the majority of which have been detected among US forces based there.
“We’re seeing an explosive spread of infections. We declare a state of emergency” through 15 August, Tamaki told reporters, adding hospitals were being overwhelmed by the surge.
The measures are non-compulsory and without the aggressive enforcement measures seen in Europe, but similar requests from authorities have been widely respected in Japan.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 955 to 209,653, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.
The reported death toll rose by 7 to 9,148, Reuters reported the tally as showing.
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