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The SAS Group will provide daily updates on the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia, including updates on Government and Department of Health announcements, travel and flight bans, and general media.

 Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced Queensland’s borders will be closed from midnight Wednesday. Over the weekend, the Queensland Government announced a $17 million package to fast-track a vaccine for COVID-19, and a support hotline for vulnerable Queenslanders in quarantine.

The Prime Minister over the weekend announced more widespread restrictions on social gatherings and restricted a number of facilities from opening. The Prime Minister also announced an economic support package to support Australian workers and businesses.

The Department of Health announced funding for COVID-19 research, and Hon. Greg Hunt MP published a number of interviews with various media outlets.

In general news, Australia will not compete at the 2020 Olympics.


23 March 2020 

URGENT NOTICE
Queensland’s borders close Wednesday, new arrivals must self quarantine
The Courier Mail

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Cabinet has resolved to close the state’s borders. Queensland’s borders will be closed from midnight, Wednesday. Freight will be exempt. Anyone travelling into Queensland will be required to self quarantine for 14 days regardless if they are sick or not.

More information here.


Tokyo Games: Australia won’t compete at 2020 Olympics, tell athletes to prepare for delay
The Courier Mail

Australia has pulled the pin on this year’s Olympic Games, telling its athletes to prepare for a delayed event in the northern summer of 2021 as the Coronavirus pandemic takes over the planet.

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMENT: Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) coronavirus statement on 22 March 2020
Department of Health

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) released a statement on 22 March in regards to COVID-19. The AHPPC stated:

  • It is in support of the national discontinuation of all non-essential gatherings;
  • It does not support closure of schools at this time;
  • It does not support full community lockdown at this time; and,
  • It recommends stronger enforcement of quarantine and isolation.

More information here.


Hon. Greg Hunt MP’s, Minister for Health, interviews with various media outlets discussing COVID-19 updates
Department of Health

                  Transcript for interview on the Today Show.

                  Transcript for interview on Sunrise.


22 March 2020

URGENT NOTICE
Media Statement: Update on coronavirus measures
Prime Minister of Australia

The Prime Minister yesterday released a media statement updating coronavirus measures. The National Cabinet agreed to move to more widespread restrictions on social gatherings. The following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday local time today:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the one person per four square metre rule applies).

Isolated remove community hubs are not included in these restrictions.

Leaders noted that these enhanced measures build on existing measures to slow the virus and save lives:

  • No non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people outside or more than 100 people inside.
  • All non-essential indoor gatherings of less than 100 people must have no more than one person per 4sqm. All Australians should expect their local businesses to be following this rule.
  • Where possible, keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Restrictions on entering aged care homes to protect older Australians

The Prime Minister announced that schools would not be cancelled yet.

More information here.


URGENT NOTICE
MEDIA STATEMENT: Supporting Australian workers and business
Prime Minister of Australia

The Commonwealth Government yesterday released the second stage of its economic plan to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus and help build a bridge to recovery. A total of $189 billion is being injected into the economy. This includes $17.6 billion for the Government’s first economic stimulus package, $90 billion from the RBA and $15 billion from the Government to delivery easier access to finance, and $66.1 billion in today’s economic support package.

The Commonwealth Government’s economic support package includes:

  • Support for households including casuals, sole-treaders, retirees and those on income support
  • Assistance for businesses to keep people in a job
  • Regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business.

More information here.


MEDIA STATEMENT: State and Federal Govts fund development of COVID-19 vaccine
Queensland Government

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday announced a $17 million package to fast track a leading vaccine for coronavirus developed in Queensland.

More information here.


21 March 2020

MEDIA STATEMENT: Support hotline opens for vulnerable Queenslanders in COVID-19 quarantine
Queensland Government

The Queensland Government announced on the weekend a hotline had been activated to support people who have been advised to quarantine at home but a medical professional, Queensland Health or through government direction. Queenslanders will now have access to advice, information and support through the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Hotline - 1800 173 349.

More information here.


MEDIA RELEASE: Fast-tracking research into treatments for COVID-19
The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health

Minister for Health the Hon. Greg Hunt MP on Saturday announced the Australian Government will provide $13 million to fast-track research into treatments for the novel coronavirus.

The funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) aims to support rapid development of safe and effective treatment options for COVID-19, and will be awarded via two open competitive grant opportunities: 

  • $8 million to identify and develop antiviral therapies for people infected with COVID-19.   
  • $5 million for clinical trials to better treat and manage COVID-19 patients with severe acute respiratory distress, which can be fatal. 

More information here.


MEDIA RELEASE: $2.6 million for coronavirus research, including a new simpler Australia pathology test
The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health

Minister for Health the Hon. Greg Hunt MP on Saturday announced the Australian Government is investing more than $2.6 million in cutting-edge diagnostics research at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, to tackle the evolving novel coronavirus health emergency.

The funding will be used to help maximise Australia’s capacity to test patients for the coronavirus.

More information here.


 

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