Australia

Victoria records its first COVID-19 deaths

Very few people about at Flinders Street train station in Melbourne, Victoria. The state has confirmed its first two deaths from coronavirus overnight Source: AAP

The first deaths in Victoria from coronavirus have been recorded, with two men in their 70s dying overnight.

Victoria has recorded its first coronavirus deaths, with two people succumbing to the virus overnight.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed the deaths of two men in their 70s.

The state's total number of confirmed cases has also risen to 520.

It comes a day after Premier Daniel Andrews warned he may implement further measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus, as the police union called for a state of disaster to be declared.

The state's tally includes four health workers at Werribee Mercy Hospital in Melbourne's outer west

The hospital confirmed one emergency department worker tested positive to COVID-19 on Sunday.

Fellow staff members considered at risk of infection were isolated and tested, with three confirmed as also having the virus.

The Police Association has called for a state of disaster to be declared, which would give its members greater powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

About 500 police officers are tasked with enforcing the closure of non-essential services in Victoria and the mandatory 14-day self-isolation for travellers.

Individuals face fines of up to $25,000 and businesses could be forced to cough up $100,000 for breaching restrictions.

NSW measures may 'go futher'

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has flagged the coronavirus restrictions will have to "go further" unless the state sees a drop off in new cases.

The announcement came as health authorities announced a further 190 positive COVID-19 tests overnight, bringing the state's total to 1,219.

Ms Berejiklian also announced a blanket ban on cruise ships docking in the state until new protocols are established following controversy over the Ruby Princess cruise ship. 

"Nobody will be getting off a ship in NSW until further notice," she said on Thursday morning.

At least 105 passengers of the cruise ship have been diagnosed with coronavirus in NSW since passengers were allowed to disembark at Sydney Harbour last week. 

The Premier said all NSW residents should "be prepared" for further shut down measures, "because it's in the interest of public safety".

NSW Police now have the power to issue $1,000 on the spot fines for individuals who do not comply with coronavirus directions.

"Despite the majority of people doing the right thing, we are still seeing reckless and irresponsible behaviour that endangers the lives of others, particularly to elderly and immuno-compromised members of the community,” NSW Police Minister David Elliot said on Wednesday.

“The rules are clear and they apply to everyone. No one is above the law."

with AAP

Australians must stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people. Indoors, there must be a density of no more than one person per four square metres of floor space.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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