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What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Sunday April 19.

Australian death toll rises to 71.

A second person has died at a Sydney high-care nursing home where a quarter of all residents and 13 staff have been infected.

Anglicare confirmed a 94-year-old man with COVID-19 died at its Newmarch House in Kingswood on Sunday morning.

With a 93-year-old resident also dying on Saturday morning, the NSW toll now sits at 30.

It comes after another Victorian died as a result of coronavirus on Sunday, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying the government’s hardline strategy will remain in place, despite the number of new cases staying relatively low.

“We need to stay the course. It’s frustrating, but it’s certainly less frustrating than if you look at what happened in north west Tasmania last week,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“This can get away from you very, very rapidly.”

He reinforced that classrooms would remain closed for the majority of school children.

The state of emergency in Victoria is due to expire on May 11 and authorities will set about removing social distancing restrictions in a “very thoughtful and careful way”, Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said on Saturday.

Mass gatherings including sporting events and concerts may not happen until next year.

As of Sunday morning, there have been 6,586 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia. There have been 53 new cases since yesterday.

The coronavirus death toll in Australia is now 71.

Fines of $5000 for spitting or coughing on all essential workers.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has extended the $5000 on-the-spot fine for spitting and coughing on NSW health workers to include all essential workers.

“Unfortunately, there have now also been incidents in which retail staff and transport staff have also been subjected to this disgusting, dangerous behaviour, and it will not be tolerated,” Hazzard said.

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“Every worker in this COVID-19 crisis is now an essential worker and will have the added protection they deserve, including those in retail stores and those critical to our public transport system.”

The retail workers’ union said its members had “borne the brunt of a huge upsurge in customer abuse” during the pandemic and said it had become “disturbingly common”.

“These are our neighbours stocking our shelves and manning our cash registers,” Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association NSW/ACT Secretary Bernie Smith said in a statement on Sunday

“They are also your friends’ sons and daughters, and your colleagues’ partner or parent.

“Sometimes we’ve all just got to step back and remember that we’re all in this together.”

Randwick City council lifts restrictions on beaches.

Randwick City council, on Sydney’s eastern suburbs, has announced they will reopen their beaches for exercise purposes.

“Three weeks ago we made the decision to close beaches to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. And while we know the past three weeks have been difficult on our beach-going lifestyle, the closure has helped stopped the spread,” the council said in a statement.

“Since then, the Government has introduced new social distancing and group gathering restrictions. We now feel we can allow our beaches to be accessed safely for exercise purposes only.”

“With that in mind, beginning tomorrow, Randwick City’s beaches including Coogee, Maroubra and Clovelly Beaches will be made available for exercise purposes only.”

The council clarified that surfing and swimming will be allowed, whereas sitting or sun-baking on the sand will not be permitted.

Donald Trump says the US ‘has produced a better health outcome than any other country.’

US President Donald Trump has reprimanded claims that the United States is the worst-hit country amid the coronavirus crisis.

“The United States has produced a dramatically better health outcome than any other country, with the possible exception of Germany,” President Trump said on Saturday during a White House briefing.

“On a per-capital basis, our mortality rate is far lower than other nations… But you don’t hear that, you hear we have more death, but we’re a much bigger country,” Trump declared.

“We’re not number one [in terms of death], China is number one, by a lot, it’s not even close.

“They’re way ahead of us in terms of death. You know it, I know it, they know it, but you don’t want to report it.”

In the US, the total number of deaths recorded is nearly 40,000, and over 700,000 confirmed infections. China has reported 4,632 deaths from COVID-19.

Listen: Is it safe to send the kids to school this term? Post continues after audio.

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Queen Elizabeth cancels birthday plans.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will not celebrate her 94th birthday in any special way and has asked that there be no gun salutes to mark the occasion because it would not be appropriate while the country battles a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Britain is at or near the peak of an outbreak in which more than 14,000 people have already died – the fifth highest national death toll of a pandemic linked to at least 150,000 deaths worldwide.

Ceremonial gun salutes, in which blank rounds are fired from various location across London, are typically used by the royal family to mark special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays.

The Queen’s birthday is on April 21.

It is believed to be the first such request in the Queen’s 68-year reign.

Spain’s coronavirus deaths surpass 20,000.

The Spanish government plans to extend a nationwide lockdown by about two weeks after the coronavirus death toll rose to 20,043.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s request to prolong the stay-at-home order to May 9 must still be signed off by parliament, but approval is considered all but certain after the opposition expressed support.

Sanchez said in a speech the extension was needed despite the steady progress being made to control the coronavirus outbreak.

For five weeks, Spain’s nearly 47 million citizens have been allowed to leave their homes in only a few exceptional cases – mainly to go to work, the doctor, or the grocery store.

Unlike in other countries, outdoor walks and sports are strictly prohibited.

Spain is the third hardest hit country in the world after the US and Italy.

Pressure on hospitals and intensive care units, which were on the verge of collapse in some regions, is also continually decreasing, according to authorities.

For more on COVID-19:

— With AAP

Feature Image: Getty.

To protect yourself and the community from COVID-19, keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people, regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.


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