China's latest lockdown - after just 18 new COVID cases

The Informer: China's latest lockdown - after just 18 new COVID cases

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Coronavirus
China has imposed a strict lockdown near Beijing after a small surge in coronavirus cases. Photo: Shutterstock

China has imposed a strict lockdown near Beijing after a small surge in coronavirus cases. Photo: Shutterstock

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It might still be all about Victoria on the COVID-19 front but two other states stuck their noses into the mix today - as did the PM.

There were 85 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Australia today, the highest number since April 11. In all, 75 were in Victoria, seven in New South Wales and three in South Australia.

Before the state v state outrage kicks in, it is worth noting that all the new confirmed cases in South Australia and New South Wales are returned travellers in hotel quarantine. That was the case with one of the Victorian cases.

There are now 288 active cases in Victoria. And that, Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton says, may mean a review of movement laws. Of course, suburban lockdowns are not quite the same as closing state borders, so ... watch this space.

Even so, the situation in Victoria has South Australia and Western Australia reconsidering their respective options.

Let's hope the Victorian authorities aren't watching the Chinese ones too closely. A strict lockdown has been reinstated near Beijing, affecting around 400,000 people, after a small surge in cases.

Chinese media say there have been 18 cases in the county since the beginning of the recent surge in Beijing two weeks ago.

Meanwhile the PM addressed another aspect of the pandemic today when he told Sydney radio that people are knocking back work because their unemployment benefits are too generous.

"We are getting a lot of anecdotal feedback from small businesses, even large businesses," Mr Morrison told a Sydney radio station on Monday.

"Some of them are finding it hard to get people to come and take the shifts because they're on these higher levels of payment."

The PM will receive a Treasury report on the coronavirus payments tonight but will wait another month before making any changes.

On a global level, we have surpassed two sobering pandemic "milestones - 500,000 confirmed deaths, 10 million confirmed cases - but possibly the most welcome news is that some US states have taken notice.

Californian Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered some venues to shut down again - the first major rollback of efforts to reopen the state's economy. Other states are following.

No doubt you've read of all sorts of reunion stories forced on people who needed to return home to ride out coronavirus. Try this one: An Argentine man stuck in Portugal because of the virus travels for 85 days the only way he could: in a small boat. All to see his 90-year-old father.

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The story China's latest lockdown - after just 18 new COVID cases first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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