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What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Sunday March 29.

Australia’s COVID-19 death toll rises to 16.

The number of Australians who have died after testing positive for COVID-19 has now reached 16, following the death of two more people overnight.

A man aged in his 80s died of coronavirus in hospital, taking Victoria’s death toll to four.

In Queensland, a 75-year-old woman who had been a passenger on the Ruby Princess cruise ship that docked in Sydney has died, taking the state’s toll to two.

Federal Government working on Australian wage subsidy.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has confirmed the Morrison government is working on a wage subsidy so that business can keep workers on their payrolls during the coronavirus crisis.

The government, including Senator Cormann, has repeatedly rejected a UK-style 80 per cent wage subsidy, saying it would take too long to introduce.

“We are going to do it in an Australian way,” he told ABC television’s Insiders programme on Sunday.

“We’re going to do it in a way that actually is going to be able to be delivered, using our existing systems and our existing architecture…

“We are working very hard on further expanding the level of income support through businesses to enable more businesses either to stay in hibernation or to survive through this difficult period ahead for a strong bounce back on the other side,” Senator Cormann said.

He declined to go into the specifics of the plan but said the government intended to make an announcement “over the next few days”.

Side note… Here is a graph showing the curve of the coronavirus cases worldwide, including in Australia.

Australian cases reach 3635.

There are now 3,635 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia.

In NSW, there are 1617 cases, Victoria has 685, Queensland has recorded 625, South Australia has 287, Western Australia has recorded 278, Tasmania has 59, there are 71 in the ACT and 15 in the Northern Territory.

Of the 3,635 confirmed cases in Australia, 14 have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

More than 202,000 tests have been conducted across Australia.

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In the world, cases have now reached over 660,000 cases. Over 30,000 people have died, and more than 140,000 have recovered.
Live tracker of the number of coronavirus cases worldwide.

Spain records worst day for deaths.

Spain has recorded their highest single-day death toll, as the Prime Minister announces stricter lockdown measures and deploys their armed forces to help transport the bodies of those killed by the coronavirus.

In the past 24 hours, Spain recorded 832 new fatalities, the health ministry said.

The Spanish military will now intervene due to an overwhelming number of deceased citizens and the lack of funeral homes, according to a statement published in the country’s official gazette.

In total, the number of deaths has risen since Friday to just under 5,700, meaning Spain has the second-highest death toll in the world after Italy.

The new lockdown measures will force all non-essential workers to stay at home for the next two weeks.

Workers would receive their usual salaries but would have to make up lost hours at a later date, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.

Schools, bars, restaurants and shops selling non-essential items have been shut since March 14.

Trump threatens to quarantine New York.

US President Donald Trump says he is considering sealing off New York and parts of neighbouring states in response to the worsening coronavirus crisis.

“There’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine, short-term, two weeks on New York, probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut,” Trump said on Saturday.

He said New York residents are leaving the state and “we don’t want that,” adding that the quarantine would be “enforceable” and would restrict travel outside the state.

Federal restrictions on travel would be an extraordinary measure by the United States President and a significant escalation from the current orders for New York residents to remain at home, which are largely being enforced through social pressure.

Trump’s statement was met with surprise by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said Trump did not mention a state-wide quarantine in a phone call between the leaders on Saturday.

“I don’t even know what that means. I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable,” Cuomo said at a press briefing. “I don’t even like the sound of it.”

New York has reported more than 52,000 cases of coronavirus, amounting to nearly half of all reported cases in the US.

– With AAP.

Read more:

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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Feature Image: Getty.

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