Virus fallout spreads
WITH the World Health Organisation having declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Australian states and territories were battling to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Pat Turner, chief executive of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation said governments needed to make urgent arrangements to protect Aboriginal people in remote areas who are highly vulnerable to the virus, including considering using the army.
“State and territory governments need to do everything they can to stop this getting into our communities,” she said. “If this gets into any remote community, there will be a high rate of deaths. Our communities will be devastated, because of the already low levels of health.”
On Sunday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a “comprehensive shutdown” of non-essential services as the number of coronavirus cases in the state rose past 500. As of today, Wednesday, the cases in NSW had exceeded 1000 and the national toll exceeded 2200.
The NSW parliament on Tuesday night passed legislation to help tackle the spread of infection.
Under the bill, state police will be able to arrest people reasonably suspected of breaching COVID-19 public health orders and return them home or to a place of detention.
The Corrective Services commissioner could grant conditional parole to certain offenders before their non-parole period if the pandemic makes it necessary.
Pubs, cinemas, gyms and churches are closed across the nation with beauticians, open house inspections and auctions to shut down from midnight on Wednesday in a bid to slow the spread.
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor or Aboriginal Medical Service.