dominic perrottet icare
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

More than a week on from the Black Lives Matter protests, community transmission of COVID-19 is still a trickle, not a wave. But in South Asia and Latin America, cases continue to surge. And next year’s Oscars will be postponed, another sign that the disruption of the coronavirus will continue well into 2021 and beyond. 

Community transmission returns 

After more than two weeks without any locally-acquired cases in NSW, there have been two in the last three days.

Health authorities are trying to figure out how an Illawara man tested positive for COVID-19 through apparent community transmission. It’s another reminder that the virus is still circulating, albeit in low levels, in the community.

Meanwhile, a second protester who attended the Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne tested positive. But that case is not linked to the previous case recorded last week, and according to Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton, was unlikely to have picked up or spread the infection while at the protest. More than a week on from the rallies, we’re yet to see anything resembling the apocalyptic outbreak many of its opponents argued might happen. 

Are we entering a second wave?

But internationally, we might be entering a second wave, as cases continue to rise.

There have been 100,000 new cases worldwide every day for the past two weeks — the first 100,000 cases took over two months. Iran, which recorded over 100 new deaths on Sunday for the first time in two months, seems to be in the grip of a second wave.

A new outbreak has brought lockdown back to Beijing. Over the weekend, US states including Texas and Arizona have seen a sharp spike in new cases as much of the country continues to reopen.

Elsewhere, the worst still could be yet to come. In India, where the virus has continued to spread despite one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, researchers suggest the peak won’t be reached until November.

NSW economy takes a hit

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet will today release a dire economic update which outlines how badly the pandemic has hit the state. The state’s economy is set to contract by 10% this financial year. Unemployment will jump from 6% to 7.75%. Perrottet was meant to be handing down the state’s budget today, instead he’s delivering some fairly bleak numbers. 

Oscars in April

The Oscars are now the latest big international event set to be rescheduled by the coronavirus, with the 94th Academy Awards officially pushed back till April 25 next year.

With cinemas reopening in fits and starts around the world, release dates and shooting indefinitely paused, the Academy has extended the deadline to qualify for the awards to February 28, the date the ceremony was originally planned for. And the rest of the 2021 awards season is expected to follows suit, with the BAFTAs also announcing a move to April. It will be the first time in 20 years that the Oscars have been postponed — in 1981 they were delayed a day following an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.