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Coronavirus updates LIVE: Victoria records 116 new COVID-19 cases as infections continue to fall; hotel quarantine inquiry continues as Australian death toll jumps to 517

Premiers Daniel Andrews and Gladys Berejiklian are due to hold press conferences at 11am today, which you can watch live, below:

But if you prefer, you can continue watching Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry here:

All 15 Victorians who lost their lives to coronavirus in the past 24 hours were linked to nursing home outbreaks.

Three women and five men in their 80s, four women and two men in their 90s and one woman in her 100s died.

A total of 629 people are currently in hospital battling the virus, including 31 in intensive care and 17 on ventilators.

NSW Health is aware of “around 15” cases of the virus that have not been linked to known clusters in the last six or seven weeks, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Monday.

“It tells us that there are still undetected sources of the virus in south-western and Western Sydney and potentially people walking around with the virus giving it to others without knowing,” she told reporters.

“That’s why it’s really important for people to come forward and get tested.”

The one new case of community transmission of COVID19 reported on Monday is a “close contact” of a known case, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant told reporters on Monday.

Dr Chant said that the second security guard at the Marriott Hotel identified on Sunday had a “very very low” level of infectiousness at the time he was in the community.

“It may be challenging to isolate sufficient quantities of the virus, but the labs are continuing to work on that.

“I just wanted to indicate that may be challenging given his viral load was very low.”

NSW has recorded three new cases of coronavirus in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

Two of those cases are returned hotel quarantine and one is in the community, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Monday morning.

“We know there is community transmission lurking in and around south-western and western Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“New South Wales… has got the balance right. We are able to go about our business while controlling the virus. NSW has fared the last six or seven weeks as best as we can,” she said, encouraging the community to come forward for testing.

Overnight, the state passed two million tests.

Qantas has dispatched the boss of its international division, Tino La Spina, after grounding all international flying for at least another 12 months.

The airline said on Monday morning that Mr La Spina’s responsibilities will be absorbed by Qantas Domestic chief executive Andrew David.

“It’s increasingly clear that our international flights will be grounded until at least mid-2021 and it will take years for activity to return to what it was before,” Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.

Qantas has dispatched the boss of its international division, Tino La Spina.

Qantas has dispatched the boss of its international division, Tino La Spina. Credit:Nine

“Under those circumstances, we’ve made the decision to consolidate the domestic and international business units under a single divisional CEO.”

“Tino has done a superb job throughout his 14 years at Qantas. He’s a talented executive who brings his trademark enthusiasm to every challenge. I know I speak for the rest of the executive team and for the board in thanking him sincerely for the huge contribution he has made, particularly as Deputy CFO and then CFO for most of that time.”

A former Qantas CFO, Mr La Spina was seen as one of the leading internal candidates along with Jetstar boss Gareth Evans to replace Mr Joyce when he retires at some point after 2023.

With around 20,000 Qantas staff stood down from work, its executives took a three-month pay freeze for the last quarter of FY2020. Mr Joyce is now on 65 per cent of his normal pay and the rest of the executive team is on 85 per cent of their normal pay.

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Warning: This post contains material that may distress some readers.

A returned traveller says he and his partner were only allowed a fresh air break after another guest at their quarantine hotel took their own life.

Professional athlete Kaan Ofli was quarantined in the Pan Pacific hotel with his partner from April 9.

Mr Ofli has told the Victorian inquiry into hotel quarantine they were given a break outside on the third day of their stay.

A security guard told him the fresh air break came about after someone else quarantined in their hotel took their own life, Mr Ofli said.

The lawyer acting for the Department of Health and Human Services, Claire Harris, QC, put to Mr Ofli that the guest’s suicide was not the reason for the fresh air breaks and that the department had been planning outside breaks well before the death on April 11.

Mr Ofli acknowledged that could be true, but said that was what was relayed to him by the guard.

He then told Ms Harris there was one night when he was feeling claustrophobic and, unable to get help on the phone, he opened his door and yelled out to the guards for help.

A DHHS worker came to his door and told him if he opened his door again, they would call the police and he would be fined $20,000.

Mr Ofli said he was told he “should feel lucky because people at Crown aren’t getting walks”.

Mr Ofli has finished giving evidence to the inquiry. Two security guards are scheduled to give evidence for the rest of the day.

If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue’s coronavirus mental wellbeing support service on 1800 512 348.

Now to Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry, where a professional athlete Kaan Ofli has given evidence about his experience at the Pan Pacific hotel.

Mr Ofli, who was detained at the Pan Pacific hotel with his partner from April 9, has told the inquiry he was firstly not given enough food, then unknowingly ate meals that weren’t Halal certified.

Mr Ofli said he had to ring the Department of Health and Human Services three times a day to request more food, before realising on day 10 of 14 they had been served meals for one person.

Returned traveller Kaan Ofli appeared before the hotel inquiry on Monday. 

Returned traveller Kaan Ofli appeared before the hotel inquiry on Monday. 

He said a nurse conducting the daily phone call to check if they had symptoms was surprised when his partner, who answered the phone, said “No, we don’t.”

“What do you mean by ‘we’?” the nurse replied.

The nurse told his partner they only had a record for one person staying in the room, despite being seen and spoken to by multiple people running the quarantine program at the hotel and both served with their own detention notices at the airport.

“The whole 10 days, I wasn’t actually in the system,” Mr Ofli said.

It then dawned on him that because he had been eating his partner’s meals, the meat was not Halal as he had requested at the start of their detention.

“I was just really disappointed, that’s all,” he said.

The federal government has finally released the review into the spread of COVID-19 at Sydney aged care facility Newmarch House.

The review into the outbreak that killed 19 residents was released this morning by Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck, who last week told the Senate’s Select Committee on COVID-19 that he did not know how many aged care residents had died from the virus.

“The outbreak at Anglicare’s Newmarch House was incredibly challenging and underlined the impact this infection can have within an aged care facility,” Senator Colbeck said.

Professor Lyn Gilbert and Adjunct Professor Alan Lilly carried out the review.

Changes already implemented include:

  • Immediate and repeated testing of all residents and staff as soon as the first case is identified;
  • Actions to reinforce compromised management;
  • Immediate engagement of advocacy group Older People’s Advocacy Network (OPAN) to ensure services and information are available to providers, residents and their families;
  • The provision of support from the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (in Victoria) to improve communication, staff and management support;
  • Expansion of surge workforce providers for facilities affected by outbreaks; and
  • Practical additional infection control training, including support from AUSMAT.

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