Friday , October 23 2020
Breaking News
Home / Latest News / Coronavirus updates LIVE: Jenny Mikakos resigns as Victorian health minister, will leave parliament as state records 12 COVID-19 cases; Australian death toll jumps to 870

Coronavirus updates LIVE: Jenny Mikakos resigns as Victorian health minister, will leave parliament as state records 12 COVID-19 cases; Australian death toll jumps to 870

It sounds like Daniel Andrews will be giving the COVID-19 update and no doubt facing question on who will be the new Health Minister at 3pm AEST.

A notification was just issued for that time so we will have a live stream of the press conference at 3pm AEST.

For those asking about the usual Daniel Andrews/COVID-19 update press conference, we still haven’t heard a time for today’s update.

When we have more details we will let everyone know and have a live stream ready to show it.

Top economists are split over whether the federal government should intervene to bolster the nation’s falling population growth rate as debate swells about policies to attract more migrants when many Australians are unemployed.

Immigration has dropped sharply this year due to restrictions on international arrivals to Australia to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to the biggest fall in population growth since World War I.

Australia's population growth rate will sink to levels not seen wince WWI.

Australia’s population growth rate will sink to levels not seen wince WWI.Credit:Andrew Dyson

But Market Economics managing director Stephen Koukoulas, University of Western Australia Professor Jakob Madsen and Newcastle University Professor Bill Mitchell all strongly opposed any moves to encourage population growth in The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age Budget 2020 Scope Survey.

At the same time many others warned the economy would struggle to recover without efforts to increase the migration rate, including University of Melbourne Professor Neville Norman, BIS Oxford Economics’ Sarah Hunter, Housing Industry Association chief economist Tim Reardon and a swathe of banking chief economists.

Click here to read the story.

Victorian prisoners will have their sentences cut by a combined total of 487 years after being held under strict conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thousand of inmates have been granted “emergency management days” in return for measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which saw some confined to their cells 24 hours a day.

Eligible prisoners will have their prison terms commuted by one day for every day of significant restrictions they faced.

Port Phillip Prison, in Truganina.

Port Phillip Prison, in Truganina.Credit:Craig Abraham

By the end of August, 71,020 days had been cut from the sentences of 4313 prisoners, at an average of 16.4 days each.

A further 106,874 days of freedom were given to offenders on remand, however, the reductions will only apply to those eventually handed a prison sentence by the courts.

Click here to read the story.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he won’t add fuel to the fire in Victoria by commenting about the resignation of Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.

Mr Morrison, visiting Adelaide for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak in March, said he was only interested in helping to get Victorians “back on their feet”.

He said the testimony of Premier Daniel Andrews at Friday’s inquiry, where he said did not understand the extent of Australian Defence Force support on offer, would not be aided by his commentary.

“I don’t think it helps, my commentary on those matters,” Mr Morrison told reporters.

“It’s not my role to get involved in those matters that are being investigated in Victoria, they have their processes and I will respect those processes.”

When asked directly if he believed Ms Mikakos had been “thrown under a bus” by Mr Andrews, Mr Morrison replied: “I don’t have any observation to make.”

Australia is almost ready to return to the small list of countries that can consider themselves role models for suppressing the coronavirus. It all depends on Victoria. As the southern state re-emerges after a long and grinding lockdown, the nagging question of competence hangs over Daniel Andrews and his government. Have they learned enough from their mistakes to prevent a third wave of infections?

National attention, understandably, is focused on quarantine for returned travellers from overseas, where 99 per cent of Victoria’s cases of community transmission originated via the infection of private security guards at two Melbourne hotels. But that was only part of the story, and it has little bearing on the course of the pandemic from here on.

Illustration: Simon Letch

Illustration: Simon LetchCredit:

No quarantine arrangement is bullet-proof. Guards were also infected in NSW and Western Australia. But those states were able to track and contain the virus before it overwhelmed their health systems; Victoria could not.

Andrews did not appreciate being told by Scott Morrison that NSW has the gold standard for testing and tracing the virus. But the Premier has acknowledged the essential truth behind that prime ministerial sledge. He accepts that Victoria’s centralised health system, with its Charlotte’s web of bureaucrats with little medical experience, and no clear chain of command between them, was simply not built for a pandemic.

The acknowledgement has come in the lightening-quick reinvention of that system in NSW’s image. Three suburban hubs for contact tracing will open next week in Melbourne’s west, north-west and in the south-east. A further two hubs are to be announced.

Click here to read the story.

Two former leaders of a Massachusetts veterans’ home were indicted on charges of criminal neglect in connection to a coronavirus outbreak that contributed to the deaths of at least 76 residents, the state’s attorney-general said.

Bennett Walsh, 50, and Dr David Clinton, 71, were indicted on Thursday by a state grand jury on charges related to their work at the facility, the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Walsh had been the superintendent of the facility, and Clinton its medical director.

The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts.Credit:AP

“We began this investigation on behalf of the families who lost loved ones under tragic circumstances and to honour these men who bravely served our country,” the state attorney-general, Maura Healey, said in a statement. “We allege that the actions of these defendants during the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility put veterans at higher risk of infection and death and warrant criminal charges.”

Each man was indicted on five counts for two charges; the specific charges were for caretakers who “wantonly or recklessly” permit or cause bodily injury and abuse, neglect or mistreatment of an older or disabled person.

The New York Times

Click here to read the story.

A number of current and former Victorian Labor MPs have reacted to the resignation of Jenny Mikakos from parliament, with one saying he was ‘saddened’ by the way her career has ended.

Oakleigh MP Steve Dimopolous said Ms Mikakos had been “an amazing servant for our community” who had no personal ambition.

“Few people have worked as hard or have more passion for helping others,” he said. “I’ve never seen a hint of personal ambition, just an ambition to do good. Proud to call you a friend, Jenny.”

Nick Staikos, the MP for Bentleigh, said that the former Health Minister’s career ended this way “saddens me greatly”.

“She is a person of integrity who has worked her guts out while carrying the extraordinary weight of an unprecedented health crisis on her shoulders,” Mr Staikos said.

“I only wish her the best post politics.”

Upper House MP Adem Somyurek – who was forced out of the Labour party in June after branch stacking allegations – said while Ms Mikakos has her detractors due to her combative style, “she was one of the hardest working MPs” he had ever met.

Parliamentary Secretary of Mental Health, Harriet Shing, said Ms Mikakos was “one of the strongest and hardest-working women I’ve ever met”.

“It’s been a huge privilege to work with her and to call her my friend,” Ms Shing said.

“And it’s been a privilege to witness the enormous contribution she has made with diligence and commitment over many, many years.”

NSW has recorded one case of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours to 8pm in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine, bringing the number of cases in NSW to 4029.

There were 12,258 tests reported in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 13,686 in the previous 24 hours.”

With the start of school holidays and increased movement of people, “NSW Health is appealing to everyone to get tested as soon as symptoms appear,” a statement from NSW Health said.

“Testing numbers have declined in recent weeks. Please come forward for testing right away if you have a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, fever or other symptoms that could be COVID-19.”

NSW Health is treating 72 COVID-19 cases, including three in intensive care, none of whom are on ventilators.

About admin

Check Also

Partner visa changes won’t protect women: Expert who wrote report

The measure will be rolled out along with a new English language test revealed in …