Christmas island asylum seekers
Christmas Island detention centre (Image: AAP/ Lukas Coch)

Deadly record

Today Victoria has confirmed 725 new coronavirus cases and 15 deaths — including the death of a man in his 30s — marking a new record for the state. Twelve deaths are linked to aged care clusters. The previous highest daily totals were last week with 723 new cases and 15 deaths.

Leaked emails show operators of Melbourne’s hotel quarantine program had no idea who was in charge, with the Department of Jobs still struggling with logistics two months into the program.

Victoria is also facing $60 billion in debt by next year, with hundreds of thousands of workers stood down following the stage four lockdown restrictions. 

COVID-19 accommodation

There are mounting calls for Victorian travellers returning to NSW to undergo a 14-day hotel quarantine stay at their own expense.

Currently in NSW, returned travellers have to undergo a strict screening process at the airport and self-isolate for 14 days.

Yesterday, NSW recorded 12 new cases of COVID-19, three of which are linked to household cases acquired in Victoria. Again today, NSW has recorded 12 new cases — 10 are linked to known clusters and one is a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

Queensland currently has self-paid mandatory hotel quarantine for all returning travellers. The state announced this morning it will close its borders once again to all residents of the ACT and NSW from August 8.

Meanwhile, non-citizens facing deportation may instead be held at Christmas Island, with plans to reopen the prison (ahem — detention centre). Detainees in Yongah Hill, Western Australia, will be flown in as part of a COVID-19 contingency plan. 

Blame the youths

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that young people who are “letting down their guard” could be behind a new surge in cases in some countries.

Many new infections in the US, Spain, Germany, France and Japan are in young people, and globally the rate of infection in those aged 15 to 24 has more than tripled, from 4.5% to 15%. 

The Philippines faring poorly

Residents in the Philippines have been put back into lockdown as cases skyrocket. The country has a population of 106.7 million and more than 112,593 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

The country recorded 6352 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and is at risk of overtaking Indonesia as the worst-hit country in south-east Asia.

Only those buying food and supplies and going to work will be allowed to leave their homes.

Two major government hospitals in Manila, the country’s capital, have been shut after infections among healthcare workers escalated. 

Trump cornered

In an interview with US President Donald Trump, Australian journalist for Axios Jonathan Swan — son of ABC reporter and doctor Norman Swan — cornered the president with questions around infections as a percentage of the US population, questioning the White House’s response. 

On the fact that 1000 Americans were dying a day, Trump simply responded: “It is what it is.”

Hilarious stills of the interview show Swan looking baffled and surprised at Trump’s responses. 

Get more Crikey, for less

It’s more than a newsletter. It’s where readers expect more – fearless journalism from a truly independent perspective. We don’t pander to anyone’s party biases. We question everything, explore the uncomfortable and dig deeper.

Join us this week for 50% off a year of Crikey.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
50% off