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Home / Latest News / As it happened: Australia in recession as GDP drops 0.3 per cent; Victoria records seven new COVID-19 cases as Australian death toll stands at 102

As it happened: Australia in recession as GDP drops 0.3 per cent; Victoria records seven new COVID-19 cases as Australian death toll stands at 102

A 53-year-old man who died in Bali late on Tuesday night may be the first Australian to perish of coronavirus in Indonesia.

David William John Sparenburg may be the first Australian to die of coronavirus in Indonesia.

David William John Sparenburg may be the first Australian to die of coronavirus in Indonesia.

A copy of the man’s passport obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age said his name was David William John Sparenburg, and that he died in a boarding house in Munggu, Mengwi Village, in Badung regency.

David William John Sparenburg may be the first Australian to die of coronavirus in Indonesia.

The victim had complained of shortness of breath on Tuesday evening before he died and police had attended the scene in full protective gear as a precaution against COVID-19, in line with new rules on the island.

Mengwi Police Chief I Gede Eka Putra Astawa said the Australian was “complaining of difficulty breathing around 11pm local time [1am AEST on Wednesday] to a witness named Eka Surtika”.

Some local media have reported the Australian man may have had a history of heart disease.

“There is no history of COVID-19 in the area. We hope to get the test results back in a day or two. We did find a health record from a local hospital, he went to get a check-up a few months back. It is unclear what kind of check-up he did back then.”

You can read the full report here.

Thanks for following our live coronavirus coverage today and for your comments. Our team will be blogging again from 6am tomorrow.

For those tuning in late, here are some of the major developments of the day:

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Australia was on track for a recession with the first quarter of negative growth in nine years.
  • Sweden’s top epidemiologist has admitted his strategy to fight COVID-19 resulted in too many deaths.
  • The Morrison government is preparing a revamp to its $70 billion JobKeeper program.
  • There were no new coronavirus cases in NSW, or Queensland but one new case in WA and seven new cases in Victoria.
  • Victoria’s Premier says they will work with La Trobe University to find ways to support it, as it is “too important” to go broke.
  • Amcor reopened with COVID-19 free workers after 100 Melbourne staff were told to stay at home due to a worker testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says he is ‘very certain’ the Trans-Tasman travel bubble will happen.
  • The NSW Coroner will investigate the outbreak of COVID-19 at the Newmarch House aged care facility in Sydney where 19 residents have died.
  • A 53-year-old man who died in Bali may be the first Australian to die of coronavirus in Indonesia.

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A 53-year-old man who died in Bali late on Tuesday night may be the first Australian to perish of coronavirus in Indonesia.

David William John Sparenburg may be the first Australian to die of coronavirus in Indonesia.

David William John Sparenburg may be the first Australian to die of coronavirus in Indonesia.

A copy of the man’s passport obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age said his name was David William John Sparenburg, and that he died in a boarding house in Munggu, Mengwi Village, in Badung regency.

David William John Sparenburg may be the first Australian to die of coronavirus in Indonesia.

The victim had complained of shortness of breath on Tuesday evening before he died and police had attended the scene in full protective gear as a precaution against COVID-19, in line with new rules on the island.

Mengwi Police Chief I Gede Eka Putra Astawa said the Australian was “complaining of difficulty breathing around 11pm local time [1am AEST on Wednesday] to a witness named Eka Surtika”.

Some local media have reported the Australian man may have had a history of heart disease.

“There is no history of COVID-19 in the area. We hope to get the test results back in a day or two. We did find a health record from a local hospital, he went to get a check-up a few months back. It is unclear what kind of check-up he did back then.”

You can read the full report here.

A public artwork commemorating the coronavirus outbreak will be built on Sydney’s northern beaches after the local council approved spending more than $100,000 to help support the arts community.

The Oceanides sculpture in Manly could soon be accompanied by an artwork remembering the community's response to COVID-19.

The Oceanides sculpture in Manly could soon be accompanied by an artwork remembering the community’s response to COVID-19.

Northern Beaches mayor Michael Regan says the artwork commemorating the coronavirus pandemic is not a ‘giant germ statue’.

Cr Regan defended the artwork plans after one councillor labelled it “absurd” and some community members lodged concerns of a “giant germ statue on a beach”.

Last week councillors endorsed the commissioning of the artwork for the coastal walk under construction between Manly and Palm Beach.

Councillor Penny Philpott, who put forward the proposal, said it was intended “to remember, as a narrative, how the northern beaches community responded during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Read the full story here.

Australia is backing the regional offices of the World Health Organisation while criticising Geneva amid new revelations about its mishandling of the coronavirus crisis.

Global health security expert Adam Kamradt-Scott said despite legitimate criticisms of delays, obfuscation and political influence at the UN health body, a withdrawal from the global organisation towards regional bureaus would be “one of the worst outcomes”, preventing further pandemic coordination.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.Credit:AP

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the WHO was frustrated in January by the level of detail it was receiving out of China in the early days of the outbreak.

Despite this, the WHO continued to praise China’s leadership in public in a bid to solicit more information. The 4000-word AP report, based on internal WHO recordings, also said scientific competition in China, a lack of collaboration between research labs and Beijing’s delays in releasing the virus’ genome played critical roles in hampering the international response to the outbreak.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday night the claims were “totally untrue”.

“China’s fight against the epidemic is open to the world, the time and the highlights are clear, the facts and figures are clear at a glance, and they can stand the test of time and history,” he said.

Dr Kamradt-Scott, who has worked with the WHO in Geneva and is now at the University of Sydney, said the WHO was the sum of its parts, and many of its problems have been inflicted by its member states.

You can read Eryk’s full report here. 

The centrepiece of the government’s response to the downturn has been its JobKeeper program with up to 3.5 million Australians’ wages supported by the subsidy. But the program has been criticised by some employers while Labor has argued it could be better targeted at individuals and industries in need.

A Treasury review into the scheme is to start soon and will feed into new government economic forecasts to be released on July 23. Those forecasts had been slated to be released next week.

You can read the full report here.

Swinburne University in Melbourne has warned staff to brace for job losses as it faces a deficit of more than $150 million due to a reduction in overseas students caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Swinburne University vice-chancellor Linda Kristjanson. 

Swinburne University vice-chancellor Linda Kristjanson. Credit: Photo: Eddie Jim

A week after Deakin University announced it would cut 400 positions, Swinburne has followed step, telling staff it must “consider difficult decisions” to ensure its financial viability.

The warning to Swinburne staff comes as The Age revealed on Wednesday that La Trobe University could go broke within weeks unless it secured a financial lifeline and an agreement from staff on pay cuts.

Victorian universities are reeling from the loss of international students since the coronavirus pandemic crunched the sector this year.

Read the full report here. 

A major packaging company has reopened its Port Melbourne factory in Melbourne after about 100 workers were told to stay home because one employee tested positive for COVID-19.

A worker at Amcor's Port Melbourne factory has tested positive for COVID-19.

A worker at Amcor’s Port Melbourne factory has tested positive for COVID-19.Credit:Paralax Photography

The factory reopened on Wednesday afternoon, with staff who had tested negative to COVID-19, the spokesman confirmed.

More than 50 test results have come back, all of which were negative. Amcor is awaiting the results of the remaining tests.

You can read the full report here.

South Korea reported 49 new cases of COVID-19, continuing a resurgence as millions of children are returning to school.

Senior students wait for class to begin with plastic boards placed on their desks at Jeonmin High School in Daejeon, South Korea.

Senior students wait for class to begin with plastic boards placed on their desks at Jeonmin High School in Daejeon, South Korea.Credit:AP

The figures announced by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday brought national totals to 11,590 cases and 273 deaths. All but one of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where hundreds of infections have been linked to entertainment venues, church gatherings and a massive e-commerce warehouse.

Mayors and governors in the greater capital area have shut thousands of nightclubs, hostess bars, karaoke rooms, churches and wedding halls to slow the spread of the virus.

But despite the spike in transmissions, the government has been pushing ahead with a phased reopening of schools, which began with high-school seniors on May 20. Nearly 1.8 million more students were to return Wednesday.

But South Korea’s education minister says 519 schools so far have been forced to go back to remote learning because of virus concerns.

Ashleigh Perrie may have had to spend the first two weeks of her return home to Perth cooped up in a hotel room but it seems she had quarantine life in the bag after spending three months stranded at sea, adding sustainable fashion designer to her repertoire of creative pursuits.

Queen of Quarantina, Ashleigh Perrie.

Queen of Quarantina, Ashleigh Perrie.

Ms Perrie had been working on a cruise ship as a professional dancer and performer, travelling throughout South America and Antarctica, when the coronavirus pandemic broke out.

The Maria Paper-pova

The Maria Paper-pova

“Unfortunately we had a COVID-19 outbreak on our ship and I came down with all of the symptoms,” she said.

Ashleigh Perrie in her Origami Diva ‘off to the races’ creation.

Ashleigh Perrie in her Origami Diva ‘off to the races’ creation.

“I was separated from my boyfriend and isolated in a tiny crew cabin with another crew member who also had symptoms. We had no window so there was no daylight or fresh air.”

After being confined to her cabin, Ms Perrie eventually managed to get back to WA where she was forced into yet another mandatory lockdown.

You can see more of Ms Perrie’s creations here.

The NSW Coroner will investigate the deadly outbreak of COVID-19 at the Newmarch House aged care facility in Sydney’s west where 19 residents have died.

The announcement comes after Newmarch operator Anglicare cleared all remaining patients of the virus on Sunday, seven weeks after the outbreak began. But the home itself is still some weeks away from being cleared by NSW Health.

A spokesman for the court said on Wednesday the state coroner “has accepted jurisdiction for COVID-19 related deaths of residents of Newmarch House. Police will prepare a brief of evidence for the coroner.”

Read the full story here.

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