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Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg Accuses Mr. Daniel of ‘biggest public failure’

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has urged all political leaders, including Josh Frydenberg, to quit “doing politics” with COVID-19.
The appeal comes after the Treasurer, appearing on several shows, made the breakfast TV rounds to address the state’s coronavirus outbreak and its economic impacts.
Josh Frydenberg compared the situation to a “car accident” and urged a clear road map to get out of the restrictions. Premier Daniel Andrews was asked about his response to his daily press conference.
“I’m not here to argue with Josh Frydenberg. I don’t have time to argue with him or debate. I’m focused so hard on getting the job done,” said Mr. Andrews. I’ve just made the point I made yesterday-none of us has the privilege of doing this stuff in politics.
Our country and state deserve the support of all representatives of all political beliefs. That’s what I am doing and that’s what I’m going to continue doing. I’m not interested in getting into an argument or a fight with anyone other than this sinister Coronavirus, or something else.
The Morrison government has stepped up pressure on Andrews to announce the number of cases low enough to reopen the economy and “manage the virus”.
What we need to hear from Daniel Andrews is-what amount of new cases in Victoria is sufficient for unlocking Phase 4 restrictions? Just two weeks remaining, said Josh Frydenberg.
“The mental health effects are enormous. I mean, kids don’t see their friends.
“Grandparents don’t see their grandchildren. Families can’t go to work. Businesses are closed. We are subject to a curfew in Victoria. You can’t move more than 5 kilometers from your home. The damage is massive. However, the Premier has not provided a roadmap.”
The Morrison government insists that other states have “managed the virus” and that Victoria’s hotel quarantine program is responsible for the second wave in the state.
Citing new figures that reveal it is crashing the economy as spending in the state falls by more than 30 percent, Josh Frydenberg said 400,000 people have joined the state’s unemployment queues.
Now, if those Australian Treasury figures are not enough to present the economic plan of Daniel Andrews to get Victoria out of Stage 4 restrictions-I doesn’t know what will happen, Friedenberg said.

A Deadly Storm, Water Crisis Along with Corona Increases the Woes of People in Victoria

Amidst the lockdown and the rising cases of corona with fatalities among seniors on the rise Victoria is reeling under the devastation caused due to a storm that left three people dead including a four year child. A few suburbs in Melbourne are facing a power outrage because of the storm. A huge cleanup is underway to restore electricity and clear roads for traffic.
A woman in Fernshaw was killed while travelling with another woman on Maroondah Highway when a tree fell on their car. The other woman survived with minor injuries. A 59 year old Tecoma man was in his vehicle when his vehicle was hit by a falling tree. The painful death of a 4 year old boy has left his family devastated when he was hit by a tree while being out of his home with his sister and father.
Premier Daniel Andrews has expressed his condolences to the loved ones of the people who lost their lives in the storms overnight.
The majorly affected areas by the storm have been Lilydale and Emerald in Melbourne’s outer east. The state emergency department received 1700 calls for help throughout the night. Till Friday morning more than 50000 homes were without electricity. Road users have been advised to drive safely especially in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne and the Yarra Ranges.
As if the storm was not enough news of Yarra Valley Water contamination has led to panic buying of bottled water from supermarkets in Melbourne. Bottled water across supermarkets has been wiped out as soon as the news of tap water being contaminated from the Yarra Valley Water was reported. Yarra valley water supplies water to 88 Melbourne Suburbs all of which have been affected after untreated water entered the supply water. Authorities have issued an advisory to 250,000 households to boil water before using it for cooking and drinking. Although there are very less chances of gastro type diseases still one should contact their GP in case they have already used the water and not feeling quite good about their digestive system.
Blackburn, Box Hill, Bulleen, Bundoora, Burwood, Eltham, Epping, Doncaster Somerton, South Morang, Ringwood are few of the affected suburbs along with many others due to the contaminated water.
Meanwhile Victoria registered 113 new cases of corona with 12 deaths. The Lockdown although being followed and enforced with utmost care, the rising cases of deaths and positive cases of Corona remains a cause of concern.

Four Arrests and Nine Fines Issued After Anti Lockdown Protests Escalates

With the ever increasing fatalities due to corona virus with the government taking all measures to curb the infection there have been a few protests to oppose the lockdown one of which led to an ugly situation in Dandenong resulting in the arrest of four people.
The situation took an ugly turn when a woman police officer apprehended one of the protesters for not wearing a mask. A male officer then tackled the protester and was joined by other police officers. Meanwhile one police officer threatened the crowd of protesters with a can of pepper spray and prevented them from helping the man being tackled by the police officers. A video of the incident has gone viral and has sparked an online debate about the role of the police and the actions of the protesters to come out in the open defying the lockdown orders issued by the government.
Victoria Police did talk on this specific issue but said that such protests had become a recurring event and warned people from joining such protests since they had already arrested four people and slapped fines on nine other who had been a part of the protest. Victoria Police has made it clear that they wont hesitate in taking appropriate action against people who wont be following the lockdown rules. Fines and arrests will be made without hesitation. Dandenong’s post code has a total of 84 active cases of Corona Virus and such incidents might escalate the situation.
Meanwhile there was no respite in the increasing number of infections and fatalities due to Corona virus. Victoria recorded 23 deaths and 113 new cases yesterday. Victoria has 3308 active cases currently which is quite a high number. 532 cases of corona virus are being treated in various hospitals out of which 29 are in intensive care. A total of 14,837 people have recovered and returned back to their normal life. This is the current situation so far in Victoria.
A ray of hope however has come from the University of Queensland where scientists have issued a call to volunteers for the trial of a vaccine that is expected to tackle the deadly virus. The call has been extended to Queenslanders aged 56 and above since the mortality rate is highest among seniors.

Victorian Scientists Say That The New Treatment With Antibodies May Prevent You From Contracting The Coronavirus

Victorian scientists made a breakthrough in the use of antibodies to prevent the Coronavirus from infecting human cells in what could be a crucial alternative to a vaccine.
Researchers at the Walter Institute and Elisa Hall obtained $500,000 from the Victorian government to continue developing antibody-based therapies for treating and preventing COVID-19 to prevent the virus from entering cells and stopping infection.
The team is screening millions of antibodies to find the most powerful ones that can target the spike protein on the surface of a coronavirus cell. “You can actually prevent the entry of the virus, but you can also prevent infection,” said Associate Professor Wai Hong Tham, of the Walter Institute and Elisa Hall.
Antibody-based therapies have already been used in treating cancer and immune disorders.
“We are very optimistic. We are working as hard as possible,” Dr. Wai-Hong Tham said on Wednesday.
“It’s an incredibly fast job.
If successful, treatment can be used both as prevention before test results show positive, and as a treatment in the early stages of the disease.
It could be a major breakthrough in fighting the virus until a successful vaccine is secured. It may also be vital for those who cannot get vaccinated due to age or ill-health.
Dr. Wai-Hong Tham said, “In particular, in the elderly before an outbreak, a treatment dependent on antibodies can be given that helps protect the population who can not develop immune response (to the vaccine).

How would antibody therapy work?

Antibodies are proteins that bind to foreign invaders in the body and send a signal to the immune system to start working. In this research, scientists are trying to use antibodies that focus on the spike protein on the virus.
They hope to develop a set of antibodies that interfere with the spike’s function to prevent it from entering healthy cells and causing infection.

Is the government funding other Coronavirus research?

The antibody research is one of 17 projects that have co-funded over $ 14 million from the Victorian government.
Other projects include:

  • $4 million for the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity for antiviral research to improve and identify candidate drugs that can be tried quickly.
  • $1 million to study the effectiveness of isolation, quarantine and social distancing at Burnet Institute.

$1.4 million for Alfred Health and Monash Partners to Study the Long-Term Physical and Psychosocial Effects of COVID-19 on Frontline Workers.

Qantas Plans To Cut Another 2,500 Australian Jobs

Qantas plans to cut another 2,400 jobs by outsourcing all ground handling work at Australian airports, in another blow to its workforce after announcing 6,000 redundancies in June in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement comes after Qantas revealed last week that it has fallen to $ 1.9 billion in the whole year and will face “tough decisions” during a slower than expected recovery from the health crisis.
Qantas said Tuesday that it is proposing to outsource work including baggage handling and plane cleaning at 10 airports where it currently has about 2,000 Qantas employees. Qantas said existing employees could “bid” to keep working under the terms of their workplace agreement.
Meanwhile, Jetstar, the low-cost arm of the company, has decided to outsource ground handling to six airports, resulting in 370 jobs lost. Fifty Sydney Airport bus drivers are slated to lose their jobs.
The new round of 2,400 surpluses will raise the total job loss in Qantas in response to COVID-19 to 8,500, or nearly a third of the pre-pandemic workforce of 29,000. About 20,000 employees remain unemployed.
Qantas is currently operating with about 20 percent of its domestic capacity prior to the outbreak and has suspended all international flights until at least the middle of next year.
Domestic Qantas CEO Andrew David said the airline would save about $ 100 million annually by outsourcing ground handling work at airports Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Townsville.
The announcement today will be very painful for our hard-working employees, most of which have been excluded without work for many months already, David said in a statement.
This may add to the confusion but that’s the sad truth of what COVID-19 has done for our industry.
Every major airline in the world uses third-party ground processors, Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said, which can do the work at a lower cost since it can service multiple airlines at one airport.
He said the contract of service would also prohibit Qantas and Jetstar from spending around $100 million in the next five years on ground handling equipment.
“We understand that this decision will be very difficult news for the ground handling team and their families at a truly challenging time,” said Mr. Evans.
But unfortunately, this ongoing crisis means that we will make some difficult decisions about our team members who provide reliable and professional service for many years.

Premier Daniel Andrews Says Victoria’s State of Emergency Will Extend To 18 Months

Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced that the state of emergency will remain in place for 18 months and that limits on lock-downs would be extended after September.
Premier Andrews said the state cannot afford to lower restrictions and will extend the state of emergency to 18 months in September, giving the government the power to impose further lockdown restrictions. It is not an inevitable extension, but simply a realization that on 30 September the epidemic does not stop.
While the Public Health and Welfare Act of 2008 only allows a state of emergency to operate for six months, the premier said amendments are being made to change it.
This is to ensure that restrictions like mandatory masks and strict lock downs continue to apply across the state.
This is the legal instrument that allows rules about face masks, about safe action plans for COVID in workplaces large and small and this is the legal instrument that lies beyond the density limits in bars, cafes and restaurants.
Things like someone who is positive, someone who has this virus and is required to be isolated at home.
Under the Public Health and Welfare Act, we will not extend the status of emergency protection for more than 12 months. Andrews stated that it was about the “everyone protection” decision in Victoria to ask Parliament to extend the restrictions.
“They should be in place after September 13th. I wish it wasn’t the case. Even if there was no second wave, these rules still have to be applied,” he said.
Since there is no jurisdiction in the world it will return to absolute normality, with no restrictions on restaurants, no limits in cafes, no masks at all, and no need for isolation if you already have these.’
All those common-sense judgments they need when you get over September 13th. The law doesn’t quite say that. We want to make a change.
When no vaccine occurs within 12 months, state limitations may need to be expanded once more.  We will be in a similar situation now that we will have to return to Parliament. Nobody requires five or 10 unlimited years to run forever. 12 months we think fit. This means that it can be expected.
Hope we were wrong in our expectation that this would still need rules within 12 months. Hopefully, we will have a vaccine by then. But until then, the vaccine will take time to develop, manufacture, administer, and effectiveness of the vaccine, what is the life cycle of that, does it protect you for three months, six months, here, forever, all the ideas of a booster, those things.
This is a logical extension of time and adjusts the law of the State to make sure it is the same as the problem of a state.

New Data Shows That Australians Want Environmental Initiatives Funded By The Federal Government To Support Regional Recovery

The number of unemployed regional Australians has doubled, but new polls reveal that planting trees and restoring rivers can keep them working as part of the recovery from COVID-19.
This shows that over 80 percent of Australians believe that the Morrison government should finance environmental initiatives to create more jobs for more than 1.4 million job seekers.
There was a 134 percent increase nationwide in people actively seeking work through the federal government’s Job Active program during the first half of 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. In some regional regions of Australia, this figure is much higher.
Many areas across the country are still experiencing a devastating 2019 wildfire season, and many are grappling with an ongoing drought. Communities have been left to struggle further as the COVID-19 virus puts twice as many people out of work. In Queensland, more than 51,000 people are unemployed in the Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast area, which was devastated by wildfires in 2019. At the end of 2019, there were only 23,641 people without work.
To the west, the Wivenhoe District, which deals with the continuing effects of drought, has more than 30,000 job seekers, up 150 percent since the end of 2019. It’s a similar story in the Somerset region, with 59,840 people actively searching for work in June, up from 23371 six months ago.
In the far west of New South Wales, a region devastated by persistent drought, 7,627 employable people live without work. In the Murray Riverina area, more than 10,000 people are on the Job Active program. On the North Central Coast, Job Active cases jumped from 14,666 in March to 22,956 in June. On the south coast of Victoria, 6,594 people are on JobActive, up from 3,191 in December 2019.
A recent survey, commissioned by the National Landcare Network, shows that 76 percent of Australians are concerned about the country’s environmental health, and a similar number agree that economic stimulus funding should be used to help communities and the environment recover from wildfires and droughts.
“Australians greatly support COVID recovery initiatives that can keep people in action while also helping to restore damaged landscapes,” said Jim Adams, CEO of the National Landcare Network.
People see practical programs to help plant trees, restore damaged river systems and eradicate weeds and feral animals, which is a perfect way to help develop our ecosystems while ensuring that communities survive this difficult time.
To keep people employed while Australia recovers from COVID-19, a coalition of more than 70 conservation and agricultural organizations is calling on state and federal governments to fund thousands of jobs that carry out “practical protection activities” such as planting trees, weeding and restoring rivers.
More people working to help the environment will benefit the planet, said Pepe Clarke, a deputy to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Because there is clear evidence of people struggling to find work, it would be great to see the federal government answer to this public support for practical conservation work and land management as the economy recovers.

Coronavirus Research Centers in Melbourne Idle As State Reports 240 Cases, 13 Deaths

Thousands of people in Victoria have recovered from the Coronavirus, with active cases in the state falling by 2,291. On Wednesday there were 7,155 active cases but on Thursday the number dropped to 4,864.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said a lot of work has been done to extricate people and release them from isolation. What this involves is that you ensure your symptoms have gone missing and that you have been able to get out of isolation from the beginning of your illness.
Professor Cheng explained the process, saying that people who had not had symptoms for 10 days had cleared and that additional tests “were not necessary”. However, people with persistent weaknesses and symptoms were tested before release.
More than a third of the state’s active cases are in elderly care with 1,811 cases, and healthcare workers account for another 753. The Victoria Regional District has 295 active cases, of which 118 cases are in Greater Geelong and 27 in Greater Bendigo.

240 New Cases, 13 Deaths

Another 13 Victoria died from the coronavirus, and the country added 240 cases to the tally on Thursday. There are 3,784 cases of unknown origin in the state. Professor Cheng warned while the positive case numbers today showed that the case was not yet clear. Most of the cases are in Metropolitan Melbourne.
The number of daily cases is slightly higher than 216 on Wednesday and 221 on Thursday. Victoria state has recorded a total of 17,683 cases and 376 deaths since the pandemic began.
Eight out of the 13 deaths were linked to aged care settings. The deaths include a man in his seventies, six females in his eighties, five females, and one man in his nineties. There are 622 people in the hospital, of whom 43 are in the intensive care unit and 28 are on ventilators.
The Victorians are flocking again to coronavirus testing sites with 20,279 tests performed yesterday.
The move was welcomed by Mr. Andrews, who had previously warned that lower test rates could affect the lifting of restrictions on the right track.
Mr. Andrews asserted that “a lot of work” was going on when it came to the transition from tight lockdown but there were no new announcements to make. We have data and statistics that make this forecast reliable as quickly and once as possible.

Victoria Recorded 216 Cases of COVID-19 and 12 New Deaths

12 Victorians have died of Coronavirus in the past 24 hours, with 216 new cases of the disease. Among the 12 deaths were three men in their seventies, four women and one man in their eighties, three women and one man in their nineties. All deaths are related to elderly care.
This brings the number of COVID-19 deaths in the state to 363, but the daily total equals the lowest since July 11 – in more than five weeks. It is the fourth consecutive day of 200 cases, a positive sign two weeks after the 2nd wave peaked on August 5 at 725 cases.
Another 82 mysterious cases have been added to the nation’s tally.
There are 7,155 active cases across the state, including 79 active cases in disability utility facilities, 19 in transportation facilities, and 60 in NDIS services.
Premier Daniel Andrews said there are now 2,050 active cases in the aged care sector and only five of them are in state government facilities. This comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison was questioned on Wednesday morning about the responsibility of the outbreak of private elderly care. The federal government regulates enterprises in this sector.
There are 1069 active cases among health care workers, and 63 paramedics are out of work due to Coronavirus, including five who have tested positive.
Victoria has recorded a total of 17,446 cases since the epidemic began. Phase 4 restrictions were imposed in Melbourne, on August 2.

Community transfers are heading down

Victoria’s chief health official, Professor Brett Sutton, said that Wednesdays are usually “high days” and that it was a good sign of a drop in infections. He said, “We will take 216 (cases)”
But we have to keep in mind that the test numbers are down. The transmission of the community is also going down as planned.
Four new outbreaks were reported overnight by Victoria, one of the lowest in weeks. Professor Sutton said the numbers are going in the right direction.
Active cases decreased by 119 in the past 24 hours.
Professor Sutton said the challenges of the second wave should not be underestimated. Victoria’s popularity worldwide is fairly well achieved with the second wave.
But concerns were raised about lower test numbers in the state, as 16,109 people were screened on Tuesday, down from the daily rate of 20,000.

Major Drop in Victorians Testing For Coronavirus as the State Records 222 Cases and 17 Deaths

17 residents of Victoria have died of coronavirus, with 222 new cases recorded overnight. It was the state’s lowest daily total since 217 new cases were recorded on July 18, two weeks before the fourth phase restrictions were imposed in the capital, Melbourne. Another 43 mysterious cases have been added to the nation’s tally.
Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said the number of mysterious cases has returned to 20 percent of daily cases, which is worrisome but is now at par with the June statistics. The daily death toll is down from Monday’s high of 25 the deadliest day in Australia so far. Since the pandemic began, Victoria has recorded 351 deaths and 17,238 cases of the virus. Thirteen of the 17 deaths on Tuesday were associated with elderly care.
Among the dead were a man in his sixties, a woman and a man in his seventies, two women and four men in their eighties, and four men and four women in the nineties. There are 665 Victorians in the hospital with the virus, of whom 45 are in intensive care.

TESTING DECLINE CAUSES CONCERN

Premier Daniel Andrews has again urged people to get tested, especially if they have symptoms because it is more likely to be coronavirus than influenza. There is a 30 percent decrease in people taking the test, Andrews said, which is partly due to less movement in the community.
The test numbers are too low for us to show how much virus is there, he said. Our greatest weapon in fighting an epidemic is to continue testing. Most importantly, the number of active cases in the states decreased by 200 to 7,247.
Professor Sutton said he hopes the number of daily cases will be in the hundreds, not 200, next week. But it all depends on everyone doing the right thing, including taking the test, he said.
I believe we would have enough test rates at 17,000 or 18,000 if we tried to get people to test for symptoms. But I don’t think there is one magic threshold. I think it’s all about the fact we only need someone who has symptoms.
Regional cases are declining, with 422 active cases – down 90 in recent days. In Geelong, there are 159 active cases, 44 in Bendigo and Ballarat 24.
The announcement of the Victoria Pat boundaries is imminent as well, according to Andrews, who said the ongoing discussions have been fruitful with the New South Wales government expected to announce the time for today’s changes. This comes after warnings from the Victorian Farmers Union about concerns about food and worker shortages.

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