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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Australia

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Australia
COVID-19 outbreak Australia per capita cases map.svg
Confirmed cases per million residents by state or territory
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Australia (Density).svg
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 by state or territory
  500+ confirmed cases
  50–499 confirmed cases
  5–49 confirmed cases
  1–4 confirmed cases
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationAustralia
First outbreakUnknown
Index caseMelbourne, Victoria
Arrival date25 January 2020
(2 months, 1 week and 3 days)
Confirmed cases5,358[a]
Recovered636+[b]
Deaths
28
Official website
Health.gov.au

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Australia in January 2020. As of 2 April 2020, 5133 cases had been reported in Australia, with the highest number of cases being in New South Wales, with 2298.

The first case to be recorded in Australia was on 25 January 2020 in Victoria, when a man returning from Wuhan, China, was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

The total number of new cases grew exponentially and then levelled out at about 360 per day since 22 March and then fell to about 230 on 28 March.[1]

Timeline

COVID-19 cases in Australia  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases

Jan Jan Feb Feb Mar Mar Apr Apr

Last 15 days Last 15 days

Date
# of cases
2020-01-25
4(n.a.)
2020-01-26
4(=)
2020-01-27
5(+25%)
2020-01-28
5(=)
2020-01-29
7(+40%)
2020-01-30
9(+29%)
2020-01-31
9(=)
2020-02-01
10(+11%)
2020-02-02
12(+20%)
2020-02-03
12(=)
2020-02-04
13(+8.3%)
2020-02-05
14(+7.7%)
2020-02-06
15(+7.1%)
15(=)
2020-02-20
17(+13%)
2020-02-21
21(+24%)
21(=)
2020-02-25
22(+4.8%)
22(=)
2020-02-28
25(+14%)
2020-02-29
26(+4.0%)
2020-03-01
29(+12%)
2020-03-02
33(+14%)
2020-03-03
40(+21%)
2020-03-04
51(+28%)
2020-03-05
59(+16%)
2020-03-06
63(+6.8%)
2020-03-07
73(+16%)
2020-03-08
78(+6.8%)
2020-03-09
91(+17%)
2020-03-10
112(+23%)
2020-03-11
128(+14%)
2020-03-12
156(+22%)
2020-03-13
198(+27%)
2020-03-14
248(+25%)
2020-03-15
298(+20%)
2020-03-16
376(+26%)
2020-03-17
453(+20%)
2020-03-18
566(+25%)
2020-03-19
708(+25%)
2020-03-20
875(+24%)
2020-03-21
1,071(+22%)
2020-03-22
1,352(+26%)
2020-03-23
1,716(+27%)
2020-03-24
2,146(+25%)
2020-03-25
2,431(+13%)
2020-03-26
2,805(+15%)
2020-03-27
3,179(+13%)
2020-03-28
3,639(+14%)
2020-03-29
3,985(+9.5%)
2020-03-30
4,250(+6.6%)
2020-03-31
4,560(+7.3%)
2020-04-01
4,864(+6.6%)
2020-04-02
5,136(+5.5%)
2020-04-03
5,358(+4.3%)
Based on confirmed cases reported by 23:59 AEDT each day.[c]

January 2020

Semi-log plot of daily cases and deaths due to COVID-19 in Australia and the rest of the world (ROW) outside of Mainland China[3]
Semi-log plot of cumulative incidence of cases and deaths due to COVID-19 in Australia and the rest of the world (ROW) outside of Mainland China[3]

On 23 January, biosecurity officials began screening arrivals on the three weekly flights to Sydney from Wuhan. Passengers were given an information sheet and asked to present themselves if they had a fever or suspect they might have the disease.[4]

On 25 January, the first case of a SARS-CoV-2 infection was reported, that of a Chinese citizen who arrived from Guangzhou on 19 January. The patient received treatment in Melbourne.[5][6] On the same day, three other patients tested positive in Sydney after returning from Wuhan.[7][8][9]

On 27 January, a fifth case in Australia (fourth in NSW) was reported. It was a 21-year-old patient who returned from Wuhan and underwent treatment at Westmead Hospital in Sydney.[10][11]

On 29 January, two more cases were reported: a 60-year-old resident being the second case in Victoria,[12] and Queensland had the first case with a 44-year-old Chinese national from Wuhan.[13]

On 30 January, two more Chinese nationals tested positive: one in Victoria[14] and one in Queensland.[15]

On 31 January, the government announced that foreign nationals returning from China were required to spend a fortnight in a third country before being allowed into Australia.[16]

February 2020

On 1 February, the 10th case in Australia was reported: a woman in her 20s in Victoria who returned from Wuhan.[17]

On 2 February, two cases were reported in South Australia: a 60-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman who had returned from Wuhan on 20 January.[18]

By 6 February, the number of cases had risen to 15 with three more cases in Queensland: comprising a group of three returning from a tour group in Wuhan.[19]

In the rest of February, there were eleven more cases. Of the 24 Australians infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, eight were sent to Darwin for two weeks of quarantine.[20] The number repatriated from the ship are included in the state totals as follows: Qld (3), SA (1), Vic (4), WA (2, one of whom died on 1 March).[21]

On 27 February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the country was activating the Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),[22] stating that the rapid spread of the virus outside of China had prompted the government to elevate its response.[23]

On 28 February, Queensland reported a new case: a 63-year-old woman who had returned from Iran three days earlier.[24]

On 29 February, after the case in Queensland, the government extended the enforced quarantine to people returning from Iran, requiring them to spend a fortnight in a third country before being allowed into Australia.[25]

March 2020

The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak resulted in panic buying, leading to empty shelves as seen here on 4 March 2020 in the Adelaide suburb of Paralowie.

Week 1

On 1 March, Australia reported the first death from COVID-19: a 78-year-old Perth man, who was one of the passengers from the Diamond Princess, and who had been evacuated and was being treated in Western Australia.[26]

On 2 March, four new cases were reported, two of which were the first cases of community transmission of the virus.[27] These two cases were acquired in Australia whereas all other previous cases were imported from another country. The two cases were in NSW: one was acquired from a close relative and the other was a health care worker in Western Sydney.[28] Another confirmed case on this day was a 40-year-old man from Launceston who came back on 29 February from a flight which left Melbourne and landed in Launceston on the same day. He was treated at the Launceston General Hospital as he became the first Coronavirus case in Tasmania.[29]

On 4 March, a second death was reported, a 95-year-old female dying at a Sydney aged-care facility.[30]

By 5 March, NSW Health announced three new cases, bringing the state total to 25 and the national total to 57.

On 7 March, Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos confirmed during a press conference that a doctor in Victoria had tested positive for COVID-19. The doctor in his 70s had returned to Australia from the United States on 29 February. From 2 to 6 March, the doctor had consulted approximately 70 patients at The Toorak Clinic in Melbourne and two patients at an aged-care facility. The clinic was closed over the weekend and patients were contacted to self-isolate. Health officials sought to notify passengers on the doctor's flights. The doctor believed he only had a mild cold and was fit to return to work,[31] hitting back at the minister for her comments.[32][33]

A male Hobart resident in his 20s returned from Nepal via Singapore on 26 February and experienced cold-like symptoms the following day. On 6 March he was asked to self-isolate by authorities whilst awaiting his test results. He ignored this advice and attended his casual work shift on 7 March at the Hotel Grand Chancellor. Shortly after, his results returned positive for the virus.[34]

Week 2

On 8 March, an 82-year-old man died becoming the second death at the Dorothy Henderson Lodge aged-care facility and the third death in the country.[35]

On 9 March, the principal of Carey Baptist Grammar confirmed that one of the teachers at their Kew campus was infected with the virus. This teacher, a woman in her 50s, was confirmed to be the partner of an individual who was on the same flight from the US that the GP of Toorak Clinic was on.[36][37]

On 11 March, the head of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), David Walsh, cancelled the Dark Mofo winter arts festival. In a statement, David Walsh stated "I know that [the cancellation] will murder an already massacred tourism environment, but I feel like I have no choice," he feels that "if we ran Dark and nobody came, I’d lose $5 million or more because I would have to cover the absent ticket revenue."[38] In a statement on the cancellation the chief executive of Tourism Industry Council Tasmania said that "Dark Mofo is our largest drawcard over the winter months and has a big positive impact on visitation across Tasmania in June. [The cancellation] is going to severely impact our visitor economy over the depth of winter." and that they "will work with MONA and our tourism and event stakeholders, as well as the Hobart City Council, to identify opportunities to attract local and domestic visitors during this upcoming winter season,".[39]

On 12 March, the ACT announced its first case, the 142nd case in Australia. A man in his 30s had not travelled overseas but did travel outside of the ACT.[40] Actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson advised that they had tested positive and were in isolation.[41][42]

Later that day, a $17.6 billion stimulus package was unveiled by the Prime Minister to "protect Australians' health, secure jobs and set the economy to bounce back"[43] from the crisis. West Australian health minister Roger Cook has informed the public that the Western Australian Department of health is postponing upgrades at Peel Health Campus to accommodate patients with the virus. There were concerns that the upgrade would temporarily halve the ED waiting room capacity, preventing isolation of ED patients from patients with the virus. The upgrade has been postponed to 1 October 2020.[44]

Victoria confirmed nine new cases, one of which was the first case of human-to-human transmission in the state. A McLaren Formula One team member tested positive for the virus.[45] This brought the Victorian total to 36 and the national total to 175. Peter Dutton the Home Affairs Minister for Australia was diagnosed in Queensland.[46] The Victorian government declared they are suspending all jury trials to limit the spread of the virus.[47]

Week 3

On 15 March, two deaths were reported in NSW.[48][49][50]

The University of Queensland stopped all teaching for the week after three students tested positive for the virus.[51] Western Australia introduced similar measures as New South Wales, preventing schools from organising gatherings of over 500.[52] Susan McDonald, a Queensland senator, confirmed being infected with the virus.[53] NSW Liberal senator, Andrew Bragg, was the third Australian politician to test positive.

On 18 March 2020,[54] a human biosecurity emergency was declared[55] by the Governor-General, David Hurley, under Section 475 of the Biosecurity Act 2015.[54] See Preventive measures (below) for more detail.

The cruise ship Ovation of the Seas docked in Sydney on 18 March and discharged about 3,500 passengers. 79 passengers had tested positively for the virus by 1 April.[56] The Voyager of the Seas also docked on 18 March. On 2 April 34 passengers and 5 crew members had tested positively for the virus in New South Wales alone.[57] The Celebrity Solstice docked on 19 March. On 2 April 11 cases had tested positively for the virus in New South Wales alone.[57]

The cruise ship Ruby Princess discharged 2,700 passengers in Sydney on 19 March 2020. It was announced on 20 March 2020 that three of 13 passengers tested positive for the coronavirus. New South Wales health authorities asked all passengers to go into self-isolation.[58]

747-400ER (VH-OEE) performing a flypast over Sydney at the end of what is likely to be the final commercial flight by a Qantas 747, on 29 March 2020

Also on 19 March 2020, Qantas confirmed it would suspend about 60% of domestic flights,[59] put two thirds of its employees on leave, suspend all international flights and ground more than 150 of its aircraft from the end of March until at least 31 May 2020 following expanded government travel restrictions in response to COVID-19.[60][61]

Week 4

On 24 March one passenger from Ruby Princess had died and 133 on the ship had tested positive.[62] On 28 March 284 passengers had tested positive.[63]

On 25 March the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) was established by the Prime Minister, as a strategic advisory body for the national response to the pandemic.[64][65] The NCCC's role includes providing advice on public-private partnerships and coordination to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.[66][67]

Week 5

On 30 March Tasmania and the ACT each recorded their first deaths, both women in their 80s.[68]

There was a reduction of new infections in the end of March, from around 360 per day for the period of 23 March to 27 March, then down to 190 in 28th March and 100 on 29th March). However, there was a sudden increase in deaths near the end of March.[1]

The Artania cruise ship docked at Fremantle on 27 March. Most of the 850 passengers flew home from Perth to Germany on 28–29 March. 41 passengers and crew tested positive to COVID-19 and are being treated in Perth hospitals.[69][70] These are not being counted in the case statistics for Australia.

As of 30 March, at least 440 passengers (211 in New South Wales, 71 in South Australia, 70 in Queensland, 43 in Western Australia, 22 in the Australian Capital Territory, 18 in Victoria, three in Tasmania and two in the Northern Territory) from the Ruby Princess had tested positive for the virus.[71] As of 31 March 2020, five of them had died, one in the Australian Capital Territory, two in Tasmania, one in New South Wales and one in Queenland.[72]

On the evening of 31 March, six baggage handlers from Adelaide Airport tested positive. As a result, up to 100 other staff from the airport would need to self-isolate, causing cancellations of flights to and from Adelaide.[73]

April 2020

Week 1

On 2 April the number of cases in Victoria exceeded 1000, including over 100 healthcare workers.[74]

Preventive measures

Federal Government

On 1 February 2020, Australia banned the entry of foreign nationals from mainland China, and ordered its own returning citizens from China to self-quarantine for 14 days.[75] On 1 March, Australia subsequently imposed a travel ban on Iran,[76] South Korea (5 March),[77] and Italy (11 March).[78]

National Cabinet

On 13 March, the National Cabinet, a form of national crisis cabinet akin to a war cabinet, was created following a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). This is the first time such a cabinet has been proclaimed since World War II,[79] and the only time in Australian history that a crisis cabinet has included state and territory leaders.[80] The Cabinet consists of the Premiers and chief ministers of the Australian states and territories and meets weekly during the crisis.[81] At its first meeting on 13 March, the National Cabinet announced that gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled from 15 March. Schools, universities, workplaces, public transport and airports were not included in this recommendation.[80]

On 15 March, Morrison announced that from midnight, all travellers arriving in or returning to Australia must self-isolate for 14 days,[82] mirroring a similar requirement imposed by New Zealand. Failure to comply would result in a fine of $11,000 to $50,000 and jail time depending on the state.[83] Cruise ships were also be barred from docking in the country for 30 days.[84][85]

Human biosecurity emergency

On 18 March 2020,[54] a human biosecurity emergency was declared in Australia owing to the risks to human health posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after a National Security Committee meeting the previous day. The Biosecurity Act 2015 specifies that the Governor-General may declare such an emergency exists if the Health Minister (currently Greg Hunt) is satisfied that "a listed human disease is posing a severe and immediate threat, or is causing harm, to human health on a nationally significant scale". This gives the Minister sweeping powers, including imposing restrictions or preventing the movement of people and goods between specified places, and evacuations.[55] The Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) Declaration 2020 was declared by the Governor-General, David Hurley, under Section 475 of the Act.[54]

On 19 March, Morrison announced that Australia would be closing its borders to all non-residents and non-Australian citizens from 9pm on 20 March. The Australian Government had imposed the ban in coordination with New Zealand, which imposed a ban on most non-residents and non-citizens from midnight on 19 March.[86][87]

A social distancing rule of 4 square metres (43 sq ft) per person in any enclosed space was imposed by the Australian Government on 21 March.[88] On 22 March 2020, the State governments of New South Wales and Victoria imposed a mandatory closure of non-essential services,[89] while the Governments of Western Australia and South Australia imposed border closures.[90]

On 22 March, Morrison announced a closure of places of social gathering, including registered and licensed clubs, licensed premises in hotels and bars, entertainment venues, including but not restricted to cinemas, casinos and nightclubs and places of worship. Cafes and restaurants are to remain open, but limited to takeaway only. Similarly, enclosed spaces for funerals and things of that nature will have to follow the strict four square metre rule. These measures are effective immediately at midday, 23 March.[91][92] He stated that he would like the schools to remain open but parents could keep children at home if they wished to.[93]

National COVID-19 Coordination Commission

On 25 March, the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) was established by the Prime Minister, as a strategic advisory body for the national response to the pandemic.[64][65] The NCCC's role includes providing advice on public-private partnerships and coordination to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.[66][67]

On 29 March, Morrison addressed in a press conference following a National Cabinet meeting that public gatherings will be limited to two people, while also urging Australians over the age of 70, Australians with chronic illness over the age of 60 and Indigenous Australians over the age of 50 to stay home and self-isolate.[94] Morrison also cleared the only four acceptable reasons for Australians to leave their houses: shopping for essentials; for medical or compassionate needs; exercise in compliance with the public gathering restriction of two people; and for work or education purposes.[95]

Queensland

Queensland was the first to declare a public health emergency on 29 January 2020.[96] The legislation was strengthened when parliament passed the Public Health (Declared Public Health Emergencies) Amendment Bill 2020 on 6 February.[97]

New South Wales

Premier Gladys Berejiklian formed a war cabinet to make decisions in relation to the pandemic.[98] Members include herself, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard and Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott.[98]

On 15 March, Secretary of the NSW Department of Education, Mark Scott ordered that, effective immediately, NSW schools introduce social distancing measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus.[99] The order requires schools to cancel all assemblies, excursions, travel, concerts, large inter-school sporting and arts events, and other events that would require students and staff to congregate in large numbers.[100] Schools will continue to stay open. Four schools in the state have been shut for periods during the crisis due to confirmed cases within their school communities.[101]

On 16 March, NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard announced that he was using his powers under Section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010 to immediately and indefinitely cancel all public events with more than 500 attendees.[102] The order is enforceable by NSW Police and violations of the order carry a prison term of six months and/or an $11,000 fine.[102]

Chief Justice Bathurst, Chief Justice of New South Wales, and Chief Judge Price of the District Court of New South Wales ordered that effective 16 March 2020, new jury trials would be suspended to limit the spread of coronavirus.[103] The order does not apply to already empanelled jury trials.[104] Corrective Services New South Wales implemented screening mechanisms, early flu vaccination programs and stricter hygiene requirements for staff, visitors and inmates to slow the spread of the virus.[101]

The University of Sydney has cancelled all graduations, conferences, academic events and student organised events.[105] The University of New South Wales announced that it was cancelling all student and academic events until Easter, encourage staff to work from home and, where possible, shift all lectures, tutorials, demonstrations and labs to online learning.[106]

NSW schools have been told by the NSW Department of Education Secretary Mark Scott, to cancel all assemblies, excursions, travel and some events and conferences including arts and initiative events, as well as whole school sporting events and inter-school sporting events with three or more involved schools.[107]

Even though there was a ban on gatherings of more than 500 people, huge crowds flocked to the popular Bondi Beach and other beaches across Sydney on Friday 20 March. Health Minister Greg Hunt said that such behaviour was "unacceptable" while the NSW Labor's Shadow Treasurer, Walt Secord urged the government to completely close off the beach. NSW Police Minister David Elliott later stated in a televised interview that lifeguards were instructed to keep a head count of the people at the beach and if the number exceeded 500, the beach will be closed. On 21 March, crowds built up yet again which led Waverley Council to temporarily close Bondi and the other beaches of Bronte and Tamarama.[107]

Victoria

On 10 March, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews warned Victorians to expect "extreme measures" in the wake of the federal government updating the travel advice for Italy.[108] These could include cancelling major sporting events, requiring entire economic sectors to work from home, and calling recently retired health professionals to return to work.[109]

On 16 March, Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos declared a state of emergency for Victoria for at least four weeks.[110]

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on 22 March that the state will bring the school holiday forwards to 24 March from 27 March.[111]

Tasmania

Scotch Oakburn College in Tasmania closed as a preemptive decision in fear of rising SARS-CoV-2 cases. It will be closed from 16 March until at least 30 March.[112] On 17 March, Tasmania declared a public health emergency.[citation needed] On 19 March, Premier Peter Gutwein announced that all "non-essential" travellers to the state, including returning residents, would be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.[113]

Western Australia

On 15 March, Premier Mark McGowan declared a state of emergency in Western Australia, along with a formal public health emergency. Schools were prevented from organising gatherings of over 500, including "...swimming and sports carnivals, interschool carnivals, performances, concerts, exhibitions, fetes and fairs."[52] On 22 March, the WA government announced that the state's borders would be closed from Tuesday 24 March in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and all interstate arrivals will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.[114]

On 2 April, the WA Government announced a temporary closure of all of its borders from midnight Sunday 5 April.[115]

South Australia

On 15 March, a public health emergency was declared in South Australia.[116] On 22 March, a "major emergency" was declared, giving the police power to enforce self-isolation rules.[117] Premier Steven Marshall also announced that the state's borders would be closed from 16:00 Tuesday 24 March in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. People arriving into the state will be required to sign a declaration that they will self-isolate for 14 days and provide an address to the police, with penalties for failure to comply.[117][118] On 27 March 2020, using the Emergency Management Act 2004,[119] the State Coordinator, Commissioner of South Australia Police Grant Stevens, made a direction to prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people, and with a limit one person per 4 square metres.[120]

Australian Capital Territory

On 16 March, the ACT government declared a public health emergency.[121] It has also planned to cancel all visits to the Alexander Maconochie prison from 23 March. ACT Corrective Services Commissioner Jon Peach stated that as a result there would be "increased access to telephones" for prisoners to keep in touch with their families.[122]

Northern Territory

The NT government is set to introduce strict border control on 24 March. Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced on 21 March that anyone arriving from abroad or interstate will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. The only exemption to this requirement would be due to health and emergency services, defence and policing, flight crews and freight, and based on "compassionate grounds". NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said that the local police and government are likely to impose these measures until September. Anyone now arriving in NT will have to declare that they would isolate for 14 days and let the authorities know of their location during this period at the point of entry. Failure to comply with the new regulations could result in denying entry or a fine of AU$62,800. Furthermore, all non-essential travel to the NT's 76 remote communities is currently banned.[123]

Norfolk Island

As of 20 March Norfolk Island has not had any cases. As a precautionary measure the government imposed a 32-day travel ban and declared a state of emergency.[124] Administrator Eric Hutchinson stated that the measures were necessary due to the remote island's extremely limited health capacity.[124]

Impacts

National

New South Wales

Tasmania

South Australia

Victoria

Economic

An empty street in the Brisbane city centre, 29 March 2020.

On 3 March, the Reserve Bank of Australia became the first central bank to cut interest rates in response to the outbreak. Official interest rates were cut by 0.25% (25 base points) to a record low of 0.5%.[147]

On 12 March, the Government announced a A$17.6 billion stimulus package, the first since the 2008 GFC.[148][149] The package consists of multiple parts, a one-off A$750 payment to around 6.5 million welfare recipients as early as 31 March 2020, small business assistance with 700,000 grants up to $25,000 and a 50% wage subsidy for 120,000 apprenticies or trainees for up to 9 months, 1 billion to support economically impacted sectors, regions and communities, and $700 million to increase tax write off and $3.2 billion to support short-term small and medium-sized business investment.[148][150]

On 19 March, the Reserve Bank again cut interest rates by a further 0.25% to 0.25%, the lowest in Australian history.[151]

In March 2020, the Australian Bureau of Statistics began releasing a number of additional statistical products to assess the economic impacts on the outbreak on the Australian economy. Data on retail trade turnover indicated a 0.4% rise in turnover in February 2020. Negative effects on some areas of the retail sector (particularly tourism-dependent businesses) were offset by a rise in food retail turnover, with supermarkets showing a large rise in sales,[152] mainly arising from panic buying.

On 22 March, the government announced a second stimulus package of A$66bn, increasing the amount of total financial package offered to A$89bn. This included several new measures like doubling income support for individuals on Jobseeker's allowance, granting A$100,000 to small and medium-sized businesses and A$715 million to Australian airports and airlines. It also allowed individuals affected by the outbreak to access up to A$10,000 of their superannuation during 2019–2020 and also being able to take an additional same amount for the next year.[153]

On 30 March the Australian Government announced a $130 billion "JobKeeper" wage subsidy program. The JobKeeper program would pay employers up to $1500 a fortnight per full-time, part-time or casual employee that has worked for that business for over a year. For a business to be eligible, they must have lost 30% of turnover after 1 March of annual revenue up to and including $1 billion. For businesses with a revenue of over $1 billion, turnover must have decreased by 50%. Businesses are then required by law to pay the subsidy to their staff, in lieu of their usual wages.[154] This response came after the enormous job losses seen just a week prior when an estimated 1 million Australians lost their jobs. This massive loss in jobs caused the myGov website to crash and lines out of Centrelink offices to run hundreds of metres long.[155] The program was backdated to 1 March, to aim at reemploying the many people who had just lost their jobs in the weeks before. Businesses would receive the JobKeeper subsidy for 6 months.[154]

The announcement of the JobKeeper wage subsidy program is the largest measure announced by the Australian Government in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak. In the first hour of the scheme, over 8,000 businesses registered to receive the payments. The JobKeeper wage subsidy program is one of the largest economic packages ever implemented in the history of Australia.[154]

Sport

The major sporting leagues (A-League, AFL, AFL Women's, and the National Rugby League) initially stated that their seasons would not be suspended but would continue behind closed doors. The leagues would all later be suspended.[citation needed]

Australian Rules Football

The AFL season was initially curtailed to a maximum of 17 games,[156] with clubs expected to take at least a 10% revenue hit from coronavirus related issues.[157] However, on 22 March, just before the end of round 1 of the 2020 season, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced that the AFL season would be suspended until at least 31 May, citing the shutting of state borders as the primary cause for this decision.[158] The 2020 AFL Women's season was cancelled entirely, midway through the finals series.[158]

Basketball

The 2020 NBL Finals followed suit beginning with game two, although it was stated that they would be immediately suspended if any participants were to be diagnosed.[159] The best of five series was subsequently cancelled after the third game was played with the title awarded to Perth Wildcats.[160]

Cricket

The remaining two One Day Internationals between Australia and New Zealand were cancelled after the first match was played behind closed doors.[161] Cricket Australia also cancelled the Australian women's cricket team's tour of South Africa due to the virus.[125]

Motorsports

The first sporting event in Australia to be affected was the 2020 Australian Grand Prix, which was cancelled on 13 March after McLaren withdrew when a team member tested positive for COVID-19.[162] This was also enforced on the support races which included the 2020 Melbourne 400, which was the second round of the 2020 Supercars Championship to be cancelled.[citation needed]

Rugby League

Following the implementation of travel restrictions by New Zealand,[163] the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) announced that the New Zealand Warriors would be based in Australia for the foreseeable future.[164] The 2020 season was suspended indefinitely on 23 March.[165] Chairman of the ARLC Peter V'landys requested a government bailout for the National Rugby League, a request that was struck down,[166] and caused a considerable negative reaction.[167][168]

Rugby Union

The 2020 Super Rugby season was suspended following the conclusion of play on 15 March, due to the outbreak and the imposition of mandatory quarantine for international travellers to New Zealand.[169]

Soccer

The A-League initially announced a continuation of the league with the Wellington Phoenix being based in Australia;[170] however, on 24 March, suspended the remaining matches.[171]

Statistics

As of 4 April 2020 7:30 p.m. AEDT, there were 5550 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia:

  • 2493 in New South Wales[172] (including 337 passengers and 3 crew infected on the Ruby Princess, 74 infected on the Ovation of the Seas, 34 infected on the Voyager of the Seas, 11 infected on the Celebrity Solstice and a NSW resident who was diagnosed in Darwin[173] but excluding a Victorian resident who was diagnosed in NSW[174])
  • 1115 in Victoria (including 18 infected on the Ruby Princess,[71] 3 people infected on the Diamond Princess and a Victorian resident who was diagnosed in NSW.[175])
  • 900 in Queensland[176] (including 70 infected on the Ruby Princess[71] and 3 from the Diamond Princess)
  • 436 in Western Australia[177] (including 43 infected on the Ruby Princess[71] and 2 from the Diamond Princess)
  • 407 in South Australia (including 71 infected on the Ruby Princess[71] and 1 from the Diamond Princess)
  • 80 in Tasmania[178] (including 4 from the Ruby Princess cruise ship and 1 from the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship docked in Sydney[179])
  • 93 in the Australian Capital Territory[180] (including 22 from the Ruby Princess[71])
  • 26 in the Northern Territory[181][a](including 2 from the Ruby Princess[182] and a Territorian treated by NSW Health [183] but not a Queenslander diagnosed in Darwin.[184] [185] )

Deaths

As of 4 April 2020, 30 people linked to COVID-19 have died in Australia.

Deaths by State/Territory
State/Territory Deaths
ACT 2
NSW 12
NT 0
QLD 3
SA 0
TAS 2
VIC 8
WA 3
TOTAL 30
  • 1 March: the first death from COVID-19 was a 78-year-old Perth man, one of the passengers from Diamond Princess who was being treated in Western Australia.[26]
  • 4 March: the second death was a 95-year-old woman who died at the Dorothy Henderson Lodge aged-care facility in Sydney.[30]
  • 8 March: the third death was an 82-year-old man, the second death at Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Sydney.[35]
  • 13 March: the fourth death was a 77-year-old Brisbane woman who developed symptoms on a flight to Sydney and died the same day.[49]
  • 15 March: the fifth death was a 90-year-old woman, the third death at Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Sydney.[50]
  • 18 March: the sixth death was an 86-year-old man being treated in a Sydney hospital.[186]
  • 20 March: the seventh death was an 81-year-old woman who had close contact with another confirmed case of COVID-19 at Ryde Hospital, Sydney.[187]
  • 24 March: the eighth death was a 77-year-old woman from the cruise ship Ruby Princess, which had docked in Sydney on 19 March.[188]
  • 25 March: the ninth death was a 68-year-old man from Toowoomba, Queensland, with a serious underlying medical condition, who had been infected on the cruise ship Voyager of the Seas.[189]
  • 26 March: four deaths were reported: three men in their 70s with pre-existing medical conditions died in Victoria.[190] A Perth man in his 70s who was a passenger on the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice died in Western Australia.[191]
  • 28 March: a 91-year-old NSW woman became the fourteenth death, and the fourth from the Dorothy Henderson Lodge aged-care facility.[192]
  • 29 March: two deaths were reported, one a 75-year-old woman from Queensland who travelled on Ruby Princess,[193] and the other a man in his 80s from Victoria.[194]
  • 30 March: two deaths were reported, both women in their 80s linked to the Ruby Princess, one from Tasmania and one in the ACT, bringing the national total to 18.[195]
  • 31 March: the 19th death was a man in his 80s also linked to the Ruby Princess who died in Tasmania.[196]
  • 1 April: the 20th death was a 95-year-old woman who died at the Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Sydney,[197] and the 21st was a woman in Orange, in the Central West of NSW. This was the first NSW death outside of metropolitan Sydney and another that had been a passenger on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.[198][199]
  • 2 April: two people died in Victoria, one was a woman in her 70s[200] and another was a woman in her 60s.[201] A third death was a 85-year-old man in Queensland.[202]
  • 3 April: four people died: one was a man in his 80s in Victoria,[203] the second was a person in Albury, New South Wales,[204] the third was a 75-year-old man in Wollongong who had been a passenger on the Ovation of the Seas[205] and the fourth was a man aged in his 60s in WA.[206]
  • 4 April: two people died, a woman in her 70s in Victoria[207] and a man in his 80s in the ACT.[208]

Number of cases

The numbers of cases in the tables below refer to the number at the end of each day (11:59 pm AEDT). Numbers for the current day are updated from the hourly state health reports and will likely change until the end of the day.

This data has been compiled by recording the daily values from the first table in the Australian Government website.[1] However, they are substantially higher than indicated by the graph on the same website for reasons unknown. Both claim to be from the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System.

Cumulative confirmed cases by State, Territory & Nationally[209][210]
NSW[211][d] QLD[212] VIC[213] SA[214] WA[215] TAS[216] ACT[217] NT[218][e] Total[a] New
cases
%
growth
Deaths
Nationally[219]
25 January 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 0
27 January 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 2 0
29 January 4 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 7 1 0
30 January 4 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 9 2 0
1 February 4 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
8 February 4 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 13 0
22 February 4 7 4 0 1 0 0 0 16 0
29 February 5 9 4 3 2 0 0 0 23 0
1 March 6 9 9 3 2 0 0 0 29 6 26.1% 1[26]
2 March 9 9 9 3 2 1 0 0 33 4 13.8% 1
3 March 15 10 10 3 2 1 0 0 41 8 24.2% 1
4 March 22 11 10 5 2 1 0 1 52 11 26.8% 2[30]
5 March 25 13 10 7 3 1 0 1 60 8 15.4% 2
6 March 28 14 10 7 3 1 0 0 63 3 5.0% 2
7 March 36 14 11 7 3 2 0 0 73 10 15.9% 2
8 March 40 15 12 7 4 2 0 0 80 7 9.6% 3
9 March 47 15 15 7 6 2 0 0 92 12 15.0% 3
10 March 60 18 19 7 6 2 0 0 112 20 21.7% 3
11 March 64 20 22 9 9 3 0 0 127 15 13.4% 3
12 March 77 27 27 12 9 3 1 0 156 29 22.8% 3
13 March 91 35 36 16 14 5 1 0 198 42 26.9% 3
14 March 111 46 49 19 17 5 1 0 248 50 25.3% 3
15 March 133 62 57 20 18 7 1 0 298 50 20.2% 5[220]
16 March 170 68 71 30 28 7 2 0 376 78 26.2% 5
17 March 209 78 94 32 31 7 2 0 453 77 20.5% 5
18 March 266 94 121 37 35 10 3 0 566 113 24.9% 6[221]
19 March 306 144 150 42 52 10 4 0 708 142 25.1% 6
20 March 381 184 178 50 64 10 6 2 875 167 23.6% 7
21 March 435 221 229 67 90 16 9 4 1,071 196 22.4% 7
22 March 532 259 296 100 120 22 19 6 1,354 283 26.4% 7
23 March 704 319 355 134 140 28 32 6 1,718 364 26.9% 7
24 March 913 397 411 170 175 36 39 6 2,147 430 25.0% 8[222]
25 March 1,029 443 466 197 205 42 44 6 2,432 285 13.3% 9[223]
26 March 1,219 493 520 235 231 47 53 12 2,810 378 15.5% 13[224][225][226]
27 March 1,405 555 574 257 255 58 62 14 3,180 370 13.2% 13
28 March 1,617 625 685 287 278 62 71 15 3,640 460 14.5% 14[192]
29 March 1,791 656 769 299 312 66 77 15 3,985 345 9.5% 16[227][193]
30 March 1,918 689 821 305 355 69 78 15 4,250 265 6.6% 18[228][229]
31 March 2,032 743 917 337 364 69 80 19 4,561 311 7.3% 19[230]
1 April 2,182 781 968 367 392 71 84 19 4,864 303 6.6% 21[231]
2 April 2,298 835 1,036 385 400 74 87 21 5,136 272 5.6% 24[232][233]
3 April 2,389 873 1,085 396 422 80 91 22 5,358 222 4.4% 28[234][235][236][237]
4 April 2,493 900 1,115 407 436 82 93 26 5,552 194 3.5% 30[207][208]
NSW QLD VIC SA WA TAS ACT NT Total New
cases
%
growth
Deaths
Nationally

Notes:

  1. The figures for 4 March include 10 cases from the Diamond Princess. The number repatriated from the ship are included in the state totals as follows: Qld (3), Vic (4), SA (1), WA (2, one of whom died on 1 March).[21][209]
  2. The figures for 22 March include 26 from the Ruby Princess cruise ship:[238] NSW 18, WA 6, other 2. The number climbed to 133 on 24 March: 107 in NSW, 26 interstate.[188] A passenger from the ship died on 24 March in Sydney. Since then, more than 440 cases have been traced to the ship, including five deaths.[71][72]



See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Since 6 March, multiple media outlets have continued incorrectly reporting figures higher than actual confirmed cases because they have been double counting the same case in both NT and NSW, despite the fact that the Department of Health has removed the case from the NT tally and included it in the NSW tally, along with a case residing in Victoria that was diagnosed in NSW, which seems to also be double counted.
  2. ^ This figure underestimates the true number of recoveries as only four jurisdictions — Victoria, WA, the ACT and Tasmania — report recoveries.
  3. ^ This figure underestimates the true number of recoveries as only four jurisdictions — Victoria, WA, the ACT and Tasmania — report recoveries.
  4. ^ Since 5 March, the figures in this column also include a Northern Territory case diagnosed on 4 March, which has been counted as a NSW case by NSW Health from 5 March after the case returned to his home state.[173]
  5. ^ On 27 March, NT Health added a case of a Queenslander diagnosed in Darwin yesterday to its tally, adjusting the total number of cases in the NT from 12 on 26 March to 13. [185] [184] On 27 March, NT Health reported a Territorian being treated by NSW Health, but it did not count the case in its tally.[183] From 27 March onwards, the NT tally in this column includes the Territorian treated by NSW Health but not the Queenslander diagnosed in Darwin, so the total number of cases in the NT recorded in this column will be the same as that reported by NT Health.

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