Coronavirus update: British Open cancelled, Federal Government to release COVID-19 modelling – ABC News

Updated April 07, 2020 05:28:10

The Federal Government will today make public the scientific projections of the spread of coronavirus in Australia.

The modelling is expected to assess the impact of the Government’s response to the pandemic, including drastic social distancing measures and widespread travel bans.

This story is being updated regularly. You can also stay informed with the latest episode of the Coronacast podcast.

Tuesday’s key stories:

Lady Gaga announces star-studded benefit telecast

Pop music superstar Lady Gaga has announced a worldwide telecast featuring Paul McCartney, Lizzo, Billie Eilish and others to support healthcare workers responding to the global coronavirus outbreak.

The event, called One World: Together at Home, will be shown on multiple television and digital networks around the world on April 18.

It will be hosted by late-night television comedians Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert.

Lady Gaga, who said she helped curate the celebrity line-up, called in to the World Health Organisation’s coronavirus briefing on Monday to unveil the project, a joint effort with advocacy group Global Citizen.

Organisers have already raised US$35 million to help with the crisis, she said. The money will benefit the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Their goal is to raise funds in advance of the upcoming telecast so viewers can “sit back and enjoy the show you all deserve,” she said.

The event will feature appearances and performances by Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Elton John, John Legend, Keith Urban, Stevie Wonder and others, according to a statement.

France records its highest daily death toll

France’s Health Minister has reported the highest 24-hour death toll recorded in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Olivier Veran said 833 people had died of coronavirus in hospitals and nursing homes since Sunday.

Though some predicted the infection rate might start to slow, Mr Veran said France had “not reached the end of the ascent of this epidemic”.

France has only recently started counting nursing home deaths in their COVID-19-related death counts, and previously only reported deaths in hospitals.

8,911 people have died in total from coronavirus in France.

Government to release COVID-19 modelling

The Federal Government will today make public the scientific projections of the spread of coronavirus in Australia.

The modelling is expected to assess the impact of the Government’s response to the pandemic, including drastic social distancing measures and widespread travel bans.

Some experts fear the modelling might be misinterpreted, while others argue it is in the public interest to see what information the Government is using to justify its harsh measures.

Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen said the government should have trusted Australians and been transparent from the start.

“I think it would have been much better with respect if the modelling was released in real-time from the beginning of this crisis,” Mr Bowen said on Q+A.

“The Australian people were taken into the confidence of the Government with the various scenarios that were before us.”

What the experts are saying about coronavirus:

The Government is expected to release the modelling following a meeting of state and federal leaders.

National Cabinet is also expected to discuss ways to protect commercial tenants during the coronavirus crisis.

US blocks Canadian mask delivery

The premier of Ontario, Canada’s largest province, said the United States had blocked the delivery of three million face masks designed to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Doug Ford told Global News the incident had happened over the weekend and described it as “absolutely unacceptable”.

He also said Ontario’s stock of personal protective equipment would run out in a week.

Allies of the United States are complaining about what they call its “Wild West” tactics in outbidding or blocking shipments to buyers who have already signed deals for medical equipment.

US President Donald Trump has asked manufacturing firm 3M Co to pause the exports of domestically-produced respirator masks to Canada and some Latin American countries.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sidestepped reporters’ questions about the incident on Monday, saying his Government was in productive talks with the United States and adding: “We expect those shipments to be delivered.

The death toll in Canada rose to 293 from 258 on Sunday. There are now 15,822 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from 14,426.

The Open golf called off

The 149th Open Championship scheduled for Royal St George’s from July 16-19 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, golf’s governing body the R&A has announced.

“The R&A has decided to cancel The Open in 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic,” it said in a statement.

“The Championship will next be played at Royal St George’s in 2021.”

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said the decision had been made with a “heavy heart”.

“We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly,” he said.

“I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing The Open this year but it is not going to be possible.”

It is the first cancellation of the British Open since 1945.

IMF warns pandemic could resurge in China

The International Monetary Fund says while there are some encouraging signs of recovery in China — the first country to suffer the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic — a resurgence of the pandemic there and in other countries cannot be ruled out.

In a blog, top IMF economists said the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus had pushed the world into a recession that would be worse than the global financial crisis, and called for a global, coordinated health and economic policy response.

“The economic damage is mounting across all countries, tracking the sharp rise in new infections and containment measures put in place by governments,” the IMF experts wrote.

“The recovery in China, albeit limited, is encouraging, suggesting that containment measures can succeed in controlling the epidemic and pave the way for a resumption of economic activity.

“But there is huge uncertainty about the future path of the pandemic and a resurgence of its spread in China and other countries cannot be ruled out.”

Mother of Premier League manager Guardiola dies from coronavirus

The mother of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has died from coronavirus in Barcelona, the club has confirmed.

“The Manchester City family are devastated to report the death today of Pep’s mother Dolors Sala Carrio in Manresa, Barcelona after contracting Corona Virus. She was 82-years-old,” the club tweeted.

“Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends.”

Last month Guardiola donated 1 million euros (A$1.7m) to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in his native Spain.

The 49-year-old is one of the most successful football coaches in Europe, having taken Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona to multiple league titles.

Japan declares state of emergency

Japan has been ticking away with a slow rise in cases but a recent acceleration in Tokyo — more than 200 cases in the past two days, and 1,000 altogether in the city — has caused concern.

The Japanese Government has decided to declare a state of emergency, beginning on Tuesday, which will give governors of hard-hit regions legal authority to ask people to stay home and businesses to close.

But Japan will not implement a lockdown as strict as Australia’s. In most cases, there will be no penalties for ignoring requests.

Trains will continue to run and supermarkets will remain open.

Japan has more than 3,600 cases of coronavirus and 85 deaths.

The state of emergency will run until May and cover seven prefectures, including major cities like Tokyo and Osaka.

In the past week or so, Tokyo’s cherry blossoms have been in full bloom.

Normally, parks would be packed with people on picnic rugs having what are known as hanami parties to celebrate the beautiful season and warming weather.

This year the Governor has advised against the parties and shut down parks to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

‘Darknet’ vendors selling face masks for bitcoin

“Darknet” trading platforms where contraband from drugs to stolen credit cards usually change hands are now offering face masks and other coronavirus-related gear in exchange for bitcoin, researchers said on Monday.

Darknet markets are e-commerce sites designed to lie beyond the reach of regular search engines — they are popular with criminals, as buyers and sellers are largely untraceable and payment is made anonymously in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

A Reuters investigation last month found individual brokers were selling high-grade N95 masks, which are currently in unprecedented demand due to pandemic, at prices well beyond the pre-crisis retail levels of about US$1 ($1.60) each.

Some darknet vendors are selling N95 masks for almost $16 each, while others are offering the same items in bulk for as little as $2.50 each.

The frenzy has also eroded standard quality controls, opening the market to an influx of masks of uncertain origin and effectiveness.

“These vendors are opportunistic, jumping on any opportunity to supply goods that are difficult to obtain elsewhere,” blockchain analysis firm Elliptic said.

Sellers are also offering coronavirus testing kits, with one post offering unspecified and unverified “COVID-19 test strips” for over $148 each.

Others are also selling the malaria drug chloroquine as a supposed cure for coronavirus, making reference to claims by US President Donald Trump over its potential.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

Topics: infectious-diseases-other, respiratory-diseases, covid-19, united-kingdom, australia, japan, china

First posted April 07, 2020 02:19:21


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