Global COVID-19 cases pass 16.8 million, deaths reach 660,000

Global COVID-19 cases pass 16.8 million, deaths reach 660,000

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AUSMAT medics have started work in Victoria today, as federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says the government is “stepping in as a country to help one state which is facing a profound challenge”.

“Victoria has a massive task,” Mr Hunt told 2GB this morning. “We’ve stepped in, we’re helping them. But we know it comes with an immense human cost once this disease is out in the community in a significant way.”

About 950 cases in aged care have been confirmed in Victoria’s second wave across 87 facilities. More than 46 aged care residents have died.

St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Fawkner, where a large number of residents have tested positive for coronavirus.Credit:The Age

Asked about Queensland’s decision to close its border to Sydneysiders, Mr Hunt said such action was not the advice of the federal medical expert panel. The Health Minister also criticised the two women who are at the centre of a possible outbreak in Logan near Brisbane who did not self-isolate after travelling to Melbourne and subsequently tested positive.

“[We] can save a life or risk lives with our actions. For those who are not following those rules, they are not games,” he said. “These are literally decisions which can have catastrophic consequences for elderly Australians.”