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What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Sunday April 5.

NSW Police to investigate Ruby Princess cruise ship.

A criminal investigation will be launched to into how the cruise line operator Carnival Australia was permitted to disembark the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney.

“The only way I can get to the bottom of whether our national biosecurity laws and our state laws were broken is through a criminal investigation,” NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said on Sunday.

He said there was clear evidence COVID-19 has come off the Ruby Princess and at least 10 passengers have died in Australia because of it.

The investigation will cover the actions of the port authority, ambulance, police, the NSW Health deportment and Carnival Australia.

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A total of 10 passengers from the Ruby Princess cruise ship have died after testing positive to COVID-19. Image: Getty.

Detective Chief Inspector Jason Dickinson of homicide will lead the investigation and the coroner will be notified.

At the time of reporting, the ship has been responsible for more than 600 COVID-19 cases after it docked in Sydney Harbour on March 19.

Fuller added there are still about 200 crew members who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

"Community transmission is what worries me."

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said during a press conference on Sunday that community transmission was the biggest risk to Australians.

"Community transmission is what worries me most of all," Professor Murphy said.

A community transmission happens when someone tests positive to the illness if they haven’t been overseas or have a connection to another positive case.

"About 10 per cent of our cases across Australia are those cases where there is no known contact with another case," he said.

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"They've appeared from the community. Those are the reason we have brought in the social distancing measures and all of those measures to stop the spread.

"We all know just how infectious this virus can be. Just look at what it did on some cruise ships. 35 people in one wedding. The Qantas and Jetstar baggage handlers in Adelaide. It spreads very quickly."

Manly beach has closed.

A number of beaches on Sydney's Northern Beaches have closed as a result of people flouting the rules to stay home unless for essential reasons and to social distance.

Manly is one of the beaches that has been forced to shut following large numbers of people populating the area on Sunday morning.

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Northern Beaches Council confirmed the closure on Sunday.

"Our Rangers and Council staff have been posted to a number of hot spots today where large gatherings have occurred.

"We have had to close Warriewood, Manly, North Steyne, Queenscliff, Freshwater and Palm Beach. More beaches will close and reserves too if people don’t follow the rules."

Four new COVID-19 deaths in NSW.

Four more people have died from coronavirus in NSW, bringing the state's death toll to 16 and the national death toll to 34.

The deaths were all men, aged 61, 76, 80, and 91, NSW Health protection executive director Dr Jeremy McAnulty confirmed on Sunday.

Three of the four people who died overnight were former passengers on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

"Our condolences go to the family," Mr McAnulty told reporters in Sydney.

In the 24 hours to 8pm, NSW recorded 87 new cases, bringing the state's total to 2,580, Health Minister Brad Hazzard told reporters on Sunday.

"This is a very dangerous virus and it is still marching through our community," he said.

Australia's new coronavirus cases are slowing.

There are positive signs that the curve is flattening in Australia, with the rate of new coronavirus cases slowing. Despite the positive signs,  officials are urging Australians to not get carried away as they insist the health crisis is far from over.

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The latest government figures show there are 5,548 COVID-19 cases across the country with 30 deaths.

The daily rate of cases have been gradually easing from as much as 30 per cent a couple of weeks ago to single figures in recent days.

Here is Australia's coronavirus curve, compared to other countries. 

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth is cautiously optimistic, but warned of the risk of lifting restrictions, such as social distancing, too soon.

Using an AFL metaphor, Dr Coatsworth said Australia was at the end of the first quarter in the grand final and a goal ahead.

"We know that if we work as a team and play as we are now, we can get the premiership, but we are a long way away from that being the case," he told Sky News on Sunday.

"It is far too early to drop the ball and... if we do stop these measures too early, then we have seen graphs in the media showing there could be a resurgence in cases so we have to be careful on those grounds."

Peter Dutton warns of dodgy COVID-19 tests.

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has warned against using dodgy, imported home COVID-19 test kits, saying they pose to a risk to public health.

A number of these kits from China and Hong Kong have been intercepted by Australian Border Force officers in the past few weeks.

He warned using these kits would undermine the vital, lifesaving work of health professionals.

"Inaccurate results could prevent people from seeking the medical help they need, or alternatively, discourage people who should be self-isolating from doing so," Mr Dutton said.

Britain records their deadliest COVID-19 day to date.

Britain has recorded their deadliest day yet for coronavirus fatalities. The death toll rose by 708 in the past day, or by 20 per cent, to 4,313 on Friday afternoon.

Britain is unlikely to lift its stringent lockdown rules until the end of May, once the spread of the coronavirus has started to slow, a leading government adviser said.

The government has put Britain into a widespread shutdown, closing pubs, restaurants and nearly all shops, while ordering people to stay home unless it is absolutely essential to venture out.

Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, said the United Kingdom’s peak of new cases could come within a week or 10 days, but adherence to the strict rules will determine how quickly the rate of infections decline after that.

Britain initially took a restrained approach to the outbreak but Prime Minister Boris Johnson changed tack and imposed stringent social-distancing measures after Ferguson's modelling showed a quarter of a million people in the country could die.

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The response has since been hampered by a lack of ventilators and an inability to carry out mass testing to determine whether the public, and particularly health workers, have built up an immunity.

Donald Trump says their toughest coronavirus weeks lie ahead.

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President Donald Trump answers questions in the press briefing room with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. Image: Getty.

President Donald Trump says the United States is heading into what could be its "toughest" weeks as coronavirus cases swell nationwide and warned states not to inflate their needs for critical medical equipment.

"There will be a lot of death, unfortunately. There will be death," Trump said in a sombre start to his Saturday briefing on the pandemic.

"We're going to be adding a tremendous amount of military to help," the President added.

Trump added that 1,000 military personnel were being sent to New York City – the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US – including military doctors and nurses.

Trump also revisited a familiar message, saying he wants to get the economy up and running as soon as possible. At one point during the unfolding outbreak, Trump said he had hoped to open up businesses by Easter, April 12. He later acknowledged that was not possible, ceding the month of April after seeing rising death toll projections.

The number of people infected in the US has exceeded 300,000, with the death toll climbing past 8,100. More than 3,500 of those deaths are in New York.

New York have recorded their deadliest 24 hours, with 630 people dying from coronavirus in the past day alone.

Boris Johnson's pregnant fiance has COVID-19 symptoms.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson and fiance Carrie Symonds attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 in London, England. Image: Getty.
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Carrie Symonds, the pregnant fiance of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, says she spent the past week in bed with symptoms of coronavirus. After seven days of rest, she is now on the mend.

"I've spent the past week in bed with the main symptoms of coronavirus. I haven't needed to be tested and, after seven days of rest, I feel stronger and I'm on the mend," Symonds said.

"Being pregnant with COVID-19 is obviously worrying. To other pregnant women, please do read and follow the most up to date guidance which I found to be very reassuring."

Johnson said on Friday he was remaining in isolation with mild symptoms of COVID-19, including a raised temperature, seven days after he first tested positive for the coronavirus.

Johnson, 55, and Symonds, now 32, announced in February that they were expecting their first child together and were engaged to be married.

Australia and worldwide cases update.

As of Sunday morning, Australia has 5,635 COVID-19 cases across the country with 34 deaths.

In NSW, there are 2,580 cases, Victoria has 1,115, Queensland has recorded 900, South Australia has 407, Western Australia has recorded 436, Tasmania has 79, there are 93 in the ACT and 25 in the Northern Territory.

Worldwide, confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached 1.2 million, with nearly 65,000 deaths.

Read more on COVID-19:

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.

— With AAP. 

Feature Image: Getty. 


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