What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Wednesday April 1.

Australia’s COVID-19 death toll rises to 21.

NSW’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to 10 after a death was confirmed at Orange Base Hospital.

It’s believed the patient was admitted to hospital after testing positive to the virus, however no additional details have been given at the request of their family.

This comes after NSW recorded the death of a 95-year-old resident of the Dorothy Henderson Lodge, who passed away at the aged care facility in Sydney overnight.

The 95-year-old woman was the fifth resident of the facility in the north west Sydney suburb Macquarie Park to die.

On March 3, another 95-year-old resident became Australia’s second confirmed death.

Three other elderly residents, an 82-year-old man on March 9, a 90-year-old woman on March 14, and a 91-year-old woman on March 28, have also passed away.

Nationally, the current number of confirmed cases of the virus sits at 4,862, with that number expected to exceed 5,000 in under 24 hours.

NSW Health confirmed 150 new cases of coronavirus overnight, bringing the state’s total to 2,182.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state has now completed more than 103,000 tests for COVID-19.

She used her Wednesday morning briefing to also call on businesses to help as Australia begins to run low on medical supplies, by urging those who can to start manufacturing sanitiser and face masks.

“New South Wales relied on many different sources of equipment, including many sources overseas which no longer exist, or have been massively disrupted,” she said.

“So today I’m calling on the great people of our state, those great business people, those manufacturers who are able to re-tool, to consider re-tooling, to help supply the additional things we need in coming months, whether it’s sanitisers, medical equipment and a whole host of other things which our hospitals rely on,” she said.

Health Minister declares the curve is flattening in Australia.

The daily growth of COVID-19 cases in Australia has fallen significantly, leading Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to announce “we are now flattening the curve”.

Hunt said daily increases in cases had dropped from 25-30 per cent just over a week ago, to nine per cent this week.

It shows the social distancing measures and ‘stay home’ message was saving lives, he said.

“In these most difficult of times, with these most difficult of measures that none of us had ever dreamt we would ever be involved in, you have risen to the occasion,” he said.


“We are seeing what I would describe as early promising signs of the curve flattening.”

But he urged Australians not to become complacent, as we were a long way from being out of the woods.

The drop in numbers reflects the drop in travellers and overseas citizens arriving back in Australia, but we needed to remain vigilant to slow community transmission.

“Whilst we are making progress, and whilst we are now flattening the curve in the first early stages of progress, there’s more to do,” he said.

The new measures we have just put in place, we hope will deliver more benefit.”

10 per cent of Aussie cases are from Ruby Princess cruise ship.

There are more than 400 confirmed cases of coronavirus across Australia from the Ruby Princess cruise ship, according to state health departments.

A report by The Guardian found at least 440 people across six states and two territories had tested positive for COVID-19, after the cruise ship docked in Sydney in March.

This equates to a 10th of all national cases, which totalled 4557 as of Tuesday.

At least five of Australia’s COVID-19 deaths have been passengers of the Ruby Princess.

Image: Getty.

The ship's 2700 passengers disembarked without checks from health authorities on March 19, with many boarding flights interstate and internationally.

On March 21, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard admitted allowing the passengers to leave the ship without testing was a mistake.


"With the benefit of hindsight, passengers should not have been let off the ship. [But] Personally, I think the Federal guidance is very lacking in appropriate directions," he said.

The state's Chief Medical Officer, Kerry Chant, said NSW Health acted swiftly once it became known the virus was on board, but until that point there was nothing to indicate the ship was at risk.

"Cruise ships always had some level of respiratory illness," she said in a press conference.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said last week that state authorities had made a "serious mistake" by letting the ship dock.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has banned all cruise ships from docking in the state until new protocols are established.

Pop-up testing clinic in Bondi.

New South Wales will aggressively search for undetected cases of COVID-19 in Sydney's eastern suburbs, amid fears backpackers in Bondi could be spreading the virus around the community.

A pop-up testing clinic will open in Bondi and NSW Health will urge eastern suburbs GPs to ramp up coronavirus testing.

NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said there "has been an outbreak in backpackers".

As of Monday night there were 140 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Waverley local government area, 79 in Woollahra and 48 in Randwick.

Chant said there needed to be extra testing where there is clear community transmission and areas of "active clusters".

Four babies diagnosed with COVID-19 in Victoria.

Four babies are among new cases in Victoria, including a one-year-old and three under 12 months.

All the children are in isolation at home, recovering with their families, and the children are not related to each other.

"I should stress it’s not believed that this is a cluster, so it doesn’t appear that this is one childcare centre, one group of children all known to each other," Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

"But there is a thorough investigation underway in relation to how these children acquired COVID-19."

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton reiterated risk from COVID-19 to children was extremely low and deaths are almost unheard of.

"That should be a reassurance to any parent of young children," he said.

NSW Police crack down on park goers.

NSW Police are threatening to fine people who are disobeying social distancing laws and order them to return home.


Yesterday, police cars were seen dispersing sunbathers and park goers at Rushcutters Bay Park in Sydney's east, after the government announced fines of $11,000 and up to six months' jail for anyone found to be ignoring distancing measures.

NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller said the state was "absolutely" in a state of lockdown, saying the police force is "prepared" to take even tougher measures if the rules are not obeyed.

Six Qantas baggage handlers test positive in South Australia.

Six Qantas baggage handlers have tested positive to coronavirus, prompting concerns for their colleagues at Adelaide Airport.

Roughly 100 other baggage handlers were now being investigated, with many expected to be forced into quarantine.

The Qantas staff worked in a confined area, prompting concerns over the further spread of the virus, South Australia Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said on Tuesday night.

About 100 other baggage handlers are now being investigated and a large number are expected to be forced into quarantine.

South Australia Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the Qantas staff all worked in a relatively confined area, prompting concerns over the further spread of the virus.

Passengers who arrived at the airport in the past few days were advised to wipe their baggage, she said.

"This is a serious situation," Professor Spurrier said.

"We've met with Qantas and we're looking at implementing some workarounds to ensure baggage can be off-loaded."

WA regional lockdown comes into effect.

New restrictions on travel within Western Australia came into effect overnight.

The restrictions mean only essential travel will be allowed between the state's regions, with everyone else ordered to stay within their zone.

Rule breakers face fines of up to $50,000.

JobKeeper package attracts 300,000 registrations in two days.

The federal government's $130 billion JobKeeper package has attracted almost 300,000 business subsidy registrations in the first two days.

The package will provide businesses with a $1500 fortnightly wage subsidy to be distributed to each employee.

The drastic measure is designed to save six million jobs over the next six months.

UK and Spain record deadliest days.

Both the United Kingdom and Spain have recorded their deadliest days of the coronavirus pandemic so far.

A total of 367 deaths were reported in Britain on Tuesday, bringing its toll to 1651. Another 849 deaths on Tuesday pushed Spain's death toll to 8,189.


The virus shows no sign of letting up in Europe, with a 12-year-old girl becoming the youngest to die from it in Belgium.

Young women in their 20s are Australia's most infected.

Federal Department of Health data has found more young women in their 20s have tested positive for the coronavirus than any other age or sex group in Australia.

The data released by The Australian has been put down by their active social lives and likelihood to travel.

Women aged between 20 and 29 make up close to 500 cases, as of March 31, while men in the same age group make up just over 400 cases.

A NSW Health spokeswoman said the state's data matched the Department of Health, but it needed to be taken with the understanding that this is to be expected due to travel patterns.

"Overseas travel is the most significant COVID-19 risk factor to consider," she told The Australian.

"We know that people in the 20-to-29-year age group are more likely to travel overseas than most other age groups, and so we would expect them to be over-represented in our case numbers.

"We do not have specific information to say that people in this age group are more or less likely to follow public health advice than other age groups, but they have been one of our key target groups in our social media messaging."

Maccas to sell fresh milk and bread.

If you have a craving for a Big Mac, but also need some milk and bread, Maccas is now a one stop shop for all three items.

Starting today, you'll be able to order full cream or skim milk, as well as packs of English muffins and gourmet bread rolls, in addition to the burger chain's usual menu.

"Our contactless service removes any need for touch contact between our employees and customers, making it a safe way for people to get food and drinks, as well as these essential basics," a spokesperson said.

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.

-With AAP.

Feature images: Getty.