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What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Saturday May 2.

Public health alert over Queensland virus case.

Queensland health officials have issued a public health alert after a Qantas flight passenger was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Anyone travelling on Qantas flight QF614 on April 22 has been urged to contact 13 HEALTH following the diagnosis overnight.

“We ask that passengers seated in rows 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 of this flight, who have not already been contacted by Queensland Health call 13 HEALTH and advise that you were a passenger on this flight,” a health department statement said.

“All other passengers are considered very low risk, however anyone with health concerns can contact 13 HEALTH.”

The passenger concerned recently returned from overseas and is linked to a cruise ship carrying people who later tested for the virus, Health Minister Steven Miles said on Saturday.

The passenger was the only new case of COVID-19 confirmed in Queensland overnight, with health workers now having done 113,601 tests.

Health officials are holding their breath to see whether allowing people to venture outside their homes will drive a wave of new virus cases.

Saturday is the first day of an experiment in easing some restrictions. It will take two weeks before officials know whether they can successfully juggle suppressing the virus while allowing people to move around a little more freely.

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coronavirus Newmarch House update
People gather along Burleigh Heads foreshore on May 02, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. The Queensland government has eased COVID-19 lockdown measures in response to a decline in coronavirus cases across the state. Image: Getty.

"If we don't mess this up, we'll be able to get more of our freedoms back," Mr Miles added.

Non-essential travel is allowed but there are still limits.

People are limited to spending time with members of their own family while those who are single can spend time with one other person.

COVID-19 outbreak at Melbourne meat facility.

A coronavirus cluster has been uncovered at a Melbourne meat processor, amid warnings Victoria's progress against the pandemic remains "incredibly fragile".

Seven new cases have been confirmed across the state, including a paramedic, bringing the total number of infections to 1,371.

It came as Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Saturday revealed eight staff members at a meat processing facility in Melbourne had tested positive to COVID-19, including three overnight.

coronavirus Newmarch House update
Victoria's Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos. Image: Getty.
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The business, which she refused to identify, closed on Friday for cleaning and all staff were being tested.

"I have no hesitation in naming a facility if I think that that is in the public interest," Mikakos told reporters, when pressed to provide further details.

She stressed there were no concerns about food safety or risk to the broader community.

Two staff test positive to virus at Sydney aged home, as NSW cases grow by 5.

NSW health authorities are investigating possible breaches of infection control at a Sydney aged care facility at the centre of a coronavirus cluster.

Of the five new COVID-19 cases in the state over the last 24 hours, two were recorded at Anglicare Newmarch House.

There have been 61 cases and 13 deaths related to transmission at the western Sydney facility despite what it called "strict procedures and enforced infection control practices".

Side note...Mamamia breaks down your most common questions about COVID-19. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

Newmarch House has been criticised by residents' relatives for a lack of communication.

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In an attempt to improve communications, the nursing home has started window visits.

"We've clearly seen transmission that on the surface looks like there's been breaches in infection control amongst particularly the staff," NSW chief medical officer Kerry Chant said on Saturday. "And that's obviously a concern."

NSW's coronavirus tally has now grown to 3031 with no new deaths recorded.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the new five cases came from 8809 tests - the second highest rate of testing recorded across NSW since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis.

Mr Hazzard also said he had eased restrictions on people attending beauty salons to purchase retail products.

AFL season could return in late June.

The AFL will spend another week plotting how to reboot its season amid the COVID-19 pandemic following a National Cabinet meeting. But according to The Age, the AFL believes they are on track to return in late June.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan was banking on definitive announcements flowing out of Friday's discussions between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders.

Ultimately, Morrison has left it to the states to determine how and when the AFL season can resume.

The Queensland government has already given the all-clear for the three NRL clubs in its state to resume training.

"The individual jurisdictions will ultimately provide any of the clearances that are necessary on a health basis to deal with any of the major codes, be it the NRL, the AFL or the others," Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

The AFL now might have to wait until next Friday's national cabinet meeting before the public is any clearer on when football returns.

Some players with young families have baulked at the prospect, but McLachlan believes the improving COVID-19 situation across the country will allow for the season to restart in easier circumstances.

McLachlan says whatever situation evolves, the AFL will return to play this year.

Games played before fans remains unlikely this year, but Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner has offered to host AFL games in Darwin as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease in the top end.

WHO says they gave the world "enough time" to respond to COVID-19 outbreak.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gave a robust defence of his and the WHO's "timely" actions in declaring the coronavirus an international emergency at the end of January.

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The January 30 declaration was made in "enough time for the rest of the world to respond", Tedros said, because at that stage outside China there were only 82 cases of infection and no deaths, he said.

Tedros said the WHO, which is seeking to lead the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, had used the days before declaring the global emergency as time to visit China to learn more about the new virus.

During that visit, they also won a "ground-breaking agreement" with China to send in investigators, Tedros said.

Tedros, asked about relations with the United States, which has suspended funding after criticising WHO's handling of the pandemic, said: "We are actually in constant contact and we work together."

More than 3.29 million people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and 232,806 have died.

In case you missed it: Scott Morrison says Australians must do one thing for pubs to reopen.

Scott Morrison
Image: Getty.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has floated the tantalising prospect of pubs reopening if enough people download the coronavirus tracing app.

More than 3.5 million Australians have registered for the app which uses Bluetooth connections to determine who infected people came into close contact with.

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But health officials and the federal government are warning it's not enough, with millions more needed to make the scheme effective.

As federal and state leaders prepare to relax some social and economic restrictions next Friday, Mr Morrison said the first step back to the pub would be downloading the app.

"If that isn't an incentive for Australians to download COVIDSafe on a Friday, I don't know what is," he told reporters in Canberra.

He said 11 of the 15 conditions for easing restrictions has been met.

"Of those that remain outstanding, there was one that Australians can do something about, and that is downloading the COVIDSafe app," Mr Morrison said.

"This is a critical issue for national cabinet when it comes to making decisions next Friday about how restrictions can be eased."

The National Cabinet will make decisions about Australia-wide baseline restrictions a week earlier than expected.

Mr Morrison said restarting the economy was as important as stopping the spread of the virus.

"Australians have earned an early mark through the work that they have done," he said.

There have been 6,765 people diagnosed with the disease in Australia with 1000 cases still active.

The death toll is 93, with the latest victim at Sydney nursing home Newmarch House where 13 people have lost their lives.

Infection rates have plummeted with fewer than 20 cases a day being consistently recorded nationally.

- 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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