Melbourne goes into level 4 lockdown

Covid has got out of control in Melbourne and Victoria, with record numbers of new cases and many hundreds of cases with no known source, meaning community transmission is happening on a significant scale.

Yesterday there were a record 723 new cases reported in Victoria. Total cases and total deaths in Australia have doubled in the last month, most of the increases in Victoria.

There are 760 ‘mystery’ cases, active cases where the source of the infection is not known.

The state government has now moved Melbourne into a drastic level 4 lockdown, and the wider state into a level 3 lockdown. a sttate of emergency has also been imposed.

ABC: Victoria has introduced a curfew and stage 4 coronavirus restrictions for Melbourne, and stage 3 restrictions for regional Victoria. Here’s what that means

Premier Daniel Andrews and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton have introduced a stricter set of rules designed to rein in coronavirus infections, which have been spreading disastrously over the past month.

Key changes:

From 6:00pm on Sunday, metropolitan Melbourne will come under stage four restrictions.

Melburnians will only be allowed to shop for food and necessary supplies within 5 kilometres of their home.

Exercise will be limited to one hour once per day, within 5km of home.A curfew will apply from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night.

From Thursday, regional Victoria will return to stage three “stay at home” restrictions, while Mitchell Shire will remain on stage three restrictions.

ABC: Police have been given greater powers under Victoria’s state of disaster. Here’s what that means

Six months after Victoria declared a state of disaster to deal with the summer’s fires, the dramatic legislation has again come into effect to deal with the “public health bushfire” of coronavirus.

It came into effect at 6:00pm on Sunday and can be in place for at least a month.

It gives police and emergency services much broader powers to enforce new coronavirus restrictions, including the Melbourne-wide curfew every night.

It also gives authorities the ability to suspend Acts of Parliament and take possession of properties.

Under the Act, the Emergency Services Minister can “control and restrict entry into, movement within and departure from the disaster area of any part of it”.

In this case, that means all of Victoria.

The Minister can also delegate the Emergency Management Commissioner — who is currently Andrew Crisp — “or any other person” any of her powers or functions.

This means police and other emergency services will get the power to enforce the new restrictions.

These measures have been announced to be in place for 6 weeks.

This is obviously bad news for Melbourne and Victoria, which has a population of about 6.3 million, a bit more than New Zealand.

What is happening in Victoria will impact on all of Australia, which travel restrictions in place.

It will also impact on New Zealand. Many of us have family living in Victoria. And a trans-Tasman travel bubble now looks a long way off.

Australian Covid statistics:

  • 17,923 total cases
  • 208 total deaths
  • 687 new cases in the last 24 hours
  • 408 hospitalised
  • 3,506 locally acquired cases in the last 7 days
  • 31 overseas acquired cases in the last 7 days

In New Zealand we continue to have a trickle of cases coming into the country at a similar level to overseas acquired cases in Australia. The obvious difference is the flood of locally acquired cases.

We have been successful here in containing Covid, partly by good management, partly by luck.

It is going to take an ongoing effort and months at least of isolation from thje world to keep Covid under control here.

What has happened in Victoria shows how quickly and easily it can get out of control.

Total COVID-19 cases and deaths by states and territories

This table shows the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths reported in each state and territory since 22 January 2020. State and territory totals reflect where a person has been tested and undergoing public health management, this may differ from their normal place of residence.

JurisdictionTotal confirmed casesNew cases in last 24 hoursDeaths
Australia17,923687208
ACT11303
NSW3,7841250
NT3300
QLD1,08516
SA45324
TAS229013
VIC11,557671123
WA66919

Source: Department of Health, States & Territories Report 2/8/2020

Opening borders arguments

It’s probably almost universally accepted that New Zealand had to close our borders to non-citizens and residents to protect the population from the spread of Covid-19. Despite some mistakes and problems and with some luck that has been very successful, with Covid cases reduced to zero before returning New Zealanders started a dribble of cases – but these have been contained by isolation, quarantine and testing,

There is no doubt that keeping our borders closed is bad for business – especially tourism and international education, but it also affects many others trying to revive  or keep alive their business.

So when we open our borders again, how quickly and to whom is one of the biggest decisions to be made.

Yesterday National leader Todd Muller stirred things up – Todd Muller says keeping border shut ‘untenable’, but PM says opening up soon is ‘dangerous’

Muller was criticised but also what he said was misrepresented.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the idea of opening New Zealand up to countries where Covid-19 is “dangerous”.

Ardern was responding to comments from National leader Todd Muller, who said on Monday that keeping the borders shut until other countries are as free of Covid-19 as New Zealand was “untenable” in the long term.

Speaking to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Muller said New Zealand would be “on its knees” if it waited for a vaccine to be developed or for other countries to completely kill community transmission.

“A strategy that says we stay completely closed to everybody for the next 12 to 18 months is simply untenable. We won’t recognise this country in terms of economic impact,” Muller said.

Ardern said the idea of opening New Zealand up to Covid-19 any time soon was untenable and dangerous.

Ardern and Muller are talking past each other. Muller said “untenable” in the long term and “closed to everybody for the next 12 to 18 months is simply untenable”, but Ardern said “any time soon was untenable and dangerous”.

Unless Ardern sees 12 to 18 months as soon then they are talking about different timeframes.

And if the Government thinks it is untenable to open our borders in 12-18 months, then economically we are likely to have a big problem on top of the major problems we already have.

Some had hoped that a Tasman bubble may be possible in the short term but that has been put on hold after a surge of cases in Victoria – Virus resurgence in Victoria with another 75 cases

The Australian state of Victoria is experiencing a “concerning” upward trend in coronavirus infections, with 75 new cases identified overnight.

The latest cases were “overwhelmingly concentrated” in 10 Melbourne suburbs identified as community transmission hotspots, the state’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

Mikakos said the 75 new cases could be broken down into the following categories:

  • 14 cases linked to outbreaks (positive results in those tested as close contacts of existing cases)
  • 37 cases found by routine testing (general testing sites set up by health authorities)
  • 23 cases still under investigation (some were found late in the reporting day)c
  • One case is a returned traveller in hotel quarantine

So even inter-state travel in Australia is still restricted:

So even though Covid is under far better control in Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory any open travel across the Tasman looks unlikely at this stage.

But Europe has just opened their borders to a number of countries including New Zealand for economic/tourism reasons: EU to allow in visitors from 14 ‘safe’ countries

The EU has named 14 countries whose citizens are deemed “safe” to be let in from 1 July, despite the pandemic – but the US, Brazil and China are excluded.

UK nationals are still to be treated in the same way as EU citizens until the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December. Therefore, during that time UK nationals and their family members are exempt from the temporary travel restriction.

On the current “safe” list, still likely to be amended, are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

The UK is currently negotiating “air bridges” with several EU member states, so that coronavirus does not totally block summer holidays – the busiest season in Europe for tourism, which employs millions of people.

So Australians and New Zealanders will be able to travel to Europe but we can’t travel to Australia.

And Ardern has said that New Zealanders going to Europe for a holiday will still have to do 14 days isolation. and may not get that provided for free – Kiwis choosing to go overseas could get Covid-19 isolation bill

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern floated the idea at Monday’s post-Cabinet press conference. She has previously been asked about whether all arrivals could have to pay a share of the bill for isolation.

“One message I’m sending clearly to New Zealanders … for anyone who may be considering a non-essential trip, we will be looking at whether or not you end up being charged on your return, because you have choices.

“It’s just not fair to expect New Zealanders to pick up the tab on that.”

It’s not just the opposition calling for re-opening: Border reopening must be priority – Business NZ

The business community pinned its hopes on the border reopening as soon as possible and says the government’s failed to hold up its end of the deal.

Business leaders say billions of dollars of opportunities are on hold while the government and the army fix up mistakes most New Zealanders thought were being managed.

The government is frantically trying to plug those gaps, while at the same time the Opposition ramps up pressure for the border to open.

Almost four million international tourists typically cross New Zealand shores each year and BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said livelihoods depend on that window opening again.

But for now, the government isn’t even resuming compassionate exemptions let alone allowing international visitors in, because there isn’t enough confidence in quarantine and managed isolation facilities.

Ardern:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has thrown the Opposition leader’s own words back at him.

“It is untenable to consider the idea of opening up New Zealand’s borders to Covid-19 and in some parts of the world where we have had frequent movement of people they’re not estimating that they will reach a peak for at least a month or sometimes several months”.

Ardern said even considering opening the border right now was reckless.

“Any suggestion of borders opening at this point frankly is dangerous and I don’t think we should put New Zealand in that position”.

Apart from people whose businesses and jobs are at risk there is still probably widespread support for playing safe here.

It seems a risky political play for Muller to talk this side of the election about reopening the borders.

But the public mood can change quickly – going into lockdown was widely accepted, but once the case numbers dropped many people acted ahead of Government relaxations.

There are big and difficult decisions for the Government to make over border restrictions, but it’s something that should be openly discussed. There is a lot at stake, both in health and with the economy – and there will be many more people losing their jobs than their are getting sick from Covid.

I think it is too soon to reopen our borders now, as that risks losing a lot of what we have succeeded with over the last few months.  But we also have to look ahead at options and possible timings.

Just being told we can’t travel indefinitely is not a tenable option.

I certainly don’t want to catch Covid and risk dying from it, or risk the other health effects. But if our borders remain closed for a year or two my job will be at risk (it has been impacted already). Difficult times, difficult decisions.

Women’s Football World Cup 2023

Some good sports news – New Zealand and Australia have just been selected to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.


Australia and New Zealand selected as hosts of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ will be staged in Australia and New Zealand, following a vote taken by the FIFA Council during its meeting held via videoconference, the result of which was announced by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

The joint bid submitted by Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football received 22 of the 35 valid votes cast by the FIFA Council members in the first ballot, with the Colombian Football Association having obtained 13 votes. The full voting results are available below.

Following on from the astounding success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ in France and the subsequent unanimous decision by the FIFA Council, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be the first edition to feature 32 teams and it will also be the first to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand and across two confederations (AFC and OFC).


At time of sparse sports news this is a big deal,even if it is for a few years in the future (when Covid will hopefully no longer be an issue).

Swedish epidemiologist admits Covid-19 mistakes

The Swedish approach to dealing with Covid-19 has received a lot of attention, both in favour and critical. Their top epidemiologist now says that more should have been done to limit deaths.

Sweden has had about 4,500 deaths to date and has a relatively high death rate per million (450).

Stuff: Swedish disease expert admits Covid-19 mistakes

Sweden’s top epidemiologist says more should have been done in his country to tackle Covid-19 at the start of the outbreak, in order to keep the death rate down.

“If we were to encounter the same illness with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our response would land somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done,” Anders Tegnell said in an interview with Swedish Radio.

Tegnell is the brains behind Sweden’s controversial approach to fighting the virus, and the government of Stefan Lofven has deferred to the epidemiologist in its official response to the pandemic.

“Clearly, there is potential for improvement in what we have done in Sweden,” he said.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said earlier this week that the government would launch an inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In retrospect I think that all countries will see that things could have been done better, but it could take a year or two to get a full picture to judge actions against.

Health officials and politicians had to make big decisions during a rapidly evolving pandemic.

New Zealand (with about half the population of Sweden) has done fairly well so far with just 22 deaths and 1,504 cases, but what has been done here should also be scrutinised.

Australia as a whole has had fairly similar outcomes (102 deaths, 7,229 cases) but some states have done much better than others.

Queensland has had just 6 deaths (population a little less than new Zealand) and West Australia has had 9 deaths (population about half ours).

And of course the social and economic effects and a range of other factors need to be taken into account.

New Zealand Covid rate improving compared to Australia, maybe

Data shows that New Zealand began the lockdown with a worse infection rate than Australia but improved thiough the lockdown and is now better.

But our death rate went the other way, starting better (because we had very few deaths initially)  but is now a bit worse than Australia.

The pros and cons of New Zealand measures compared to Australia will no doubt continue to be examined.

NZ Herald: Revealed – the data showing the success of NZ’s lockdown over Australia’s

The daily case rate in New Zealand has been only 59 per cent that of Australia since the start of a 33-day lockdown, according to Otago University Associate Professor Brian Cox, a medically-trained epidemiologist and specialist in public health.

His analysis shows that New Zealand’s rate of confirmed cases per capita was far higher than Australia’s at the start of the lockdown, but drew level after about three and a half weeks and is now well below Australia’s.

Currently New Zealand has 229 confirmed cases (not including probable) per million people, compared to Australia’s 269 confirmed cases per million people.

“If we hadn’t locked down when we had, it would have just taken off and we would have been way above Australia,” Cox told the Herald.

His work comes amid calls that New Zealand could have had more lenient lockdown rules, as Australia has appeared to have achieved similar public health outcomes while allowing hairdressers, retailers, construction and manufacturing to continue operating.

Infectious diseases physician and microbiologist Professor Peter Collignon told the Daily Mail Australia that while both countries had seemingly quashed Covid-19, “Australia has achieved it with less collateral damage”.

“We’ve been able to achieve success results without the severe social or economic impacts the lockdown has had in New Zealand.”

Otago University Associate Professor Brian Cox's analysis comparing NZ's and Australia's rate of confirmed cases per million people. Photo / Supplied

Confirmed cases are just a part of the picture though. and complicated by New Zealand reporting both confirmed cases (as used by Prof Cox) and confirmed+probable, as shown below:

 

New Zealand

Australia

Total cases

1,472

6,731

Cases per 1m

305

264

Recovered cases

1,214

5,626

Active cases

239

1.284

In hospital

9

 
Serious/critical

1

42

Total deaths

19

84

Deaths per 1m

3.9

3.4

Total tests

126,066

530,679

Tests per 1m

26,143

20,811

It’s hard to get a clear differentiation from the various statistics, and it’s too soon to tell which approach is the best, Both countries have done very week compared to many other countries, with only 3 new cases in New Zealand and 11 new cases in Australia yesterday..

But he crucial numbers are yet to to be known – as lockdowns are relaxed whether Covid-19 remains contained or starts to grow again.

A vaccine may still be a year or more away, and how we manage to then is what will count in the end.

And this comparison may become a moot point, as there is talk that Australia and New Zealand may open up a dual country protection zone allowing relatively free trade and travel across the Tasman moat.

Contact tracing apps versus privacy

Covid-19 contract tracing apps for phones are seem as essential in identifying as many people as possible who may have been in contact with anyone who tests positive for the virus, but there are some obvious privacy concerns.

An app has just been launched in Australia: Coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe released by Government to halt spread of COVID-19 in Australia

Australia’s coronavirus tracing app, dubbed COVIDSafe, has been released as the nation seeks to contain the spread of the deadly pandemic.

Smartphone users can download the app for iPhones and Android and will be able to register their information on Sunday from 6:00pm AEST.

People who download the app will be asked to supply a name, which can be a pseudonym, their age range, a mobile number and post code.

Those who download the software will be notified if they have contact with another user who tests positive for coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged the app as being essential for Australia to be able to ease coronavirus-induced restrictions across the country.

Using Bluetooth technology, the app “pings” or exchanges a “digital handshake” with another user when they come within 1.5 metres of each other, and then logs this contact and encrypts it.

The data remains encrypted on a user’s phone for 21 days, after which it is deleted if they have not been in contact with a confirmed case.

The application will have two stages of consent that people will have to agree to: initially when they download the app so data can be collected, and secondly to release that data on their phone if they are diagnosed with the virus.

If a person with the app tested positive to COVID-19, and provided they consent to sharing the information, it will be sent to a central server.

From here, state and territory health authorities can access it and start contacting other people who might have contracted coronavirus.

Also from ABC: Government’s coronavirus tracing app released, Health Minister says misusing data could result in jail

Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy said he would be using the app.

“No Australian should have any concerns about downloading this app,” he said.

“It is only for one purpose, to help contact tracing. If someone becomes positive, that is all it is for and all that it will be used for.”

There are questions around what installing a data-collection app means for privacy.

The Government has explicitly said using the app will help save lives and has repeatedly linked its proliferation to any plans to ease restrictions.

It has also said it would not use any data for other purposes.

“The app cannot be used to enforce quarantine or isolation restrictions or any other laws,” the COVIDSafe website said.

Mr Hunt said unauthorised use of the data was a criminal offence.

“The data has to be kept on an Australian server. It cannot leave the country. It cannot be accessed by anybody other than a state public health official,” he said.

“It cannot be used for any purpose other than the provision of the data for the purposes of finding people with whom you have been in close contact and it is punishable by jail if there is a breach of that.

“There is no geolocation. There is no Commonwealth access.”

Data cannot be taken from phones that do not have the app installed and downloading it is not mandatory.

When the app is deleted from a phone, all contact information is also removed.

RNZ: New Zealand contact tracing app due within two weeks

A contact tracing app for Covid-19 will be available in the next fortnight, the Ministry of Health says.

The ministry said it would use mobile data to track the movements of people with the virus.

The first version of the app would allow voluntary pre-registration so the ministry had up-to-date contact details for users.

Respecting people’s privacy and security would be a key focus, it said.

In Australia, more than a million people downloaded an official contact tracing app within hours of its release last night.

In Singapore, the Tracetogether app uses Bluetooth for close-range swapping of contact information by smartphones, and is an opt-in smartphone app.

The Government has talked to the GCSB and Pallantir about contact tracing, which will cause a bit of concern for some.

RNZ:  Controversial tech firm Palantir had talks with govt on Covid-19

The secretive US data-mining firm Palantir founded by Silicon Valley billionaire and New Zealand citizen Peter Thiel has had talks with the government here about combating Covid-19.

Palantir has worked for spy agencies in the United States and New Zealand.

It is now parlaying its data mining power for governments around the world desperate to track how the virus is spreading.

RNZ asked the Health Ministry about Palantir after learning that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has been advising the ministry about Covid-19; and because of Palantir’s pandemic work in other countries.

The advice from the GCSB is about contact tracing technology which is needed to speed up tracing so teams can find 80 percent of contacts of an infected person within three days.

The bureau’s advice was to ensure any technology brought in from overseas complied with privacy and security rules, the ministry said.

RNZ asked what kind of technology Palantir was offering New Zealand – whether it was contact tracing, which can be invasive, or higher-end data pattern processing to track the virus’s spread.

Two hours later, the ministry issued a second short statement, saying it had got an email from Palantir on Monday this week, as a follow-up to the March meeting.

It had not responded to that email before Wednesday evening, it said.

Then it added: “We don’t have plans to and haven’t used their services.”

So that looks like Palantir is not going to be involved, but the GCSB are. Haven’t they used Palantir?

ODT (in 2013):  Spotlight shines on surveillance:

Palantir: This company mines data for some of the world’s biggest spy agencies, and has set up shop in New Zealand. It was reported this month that Palantir sifts through data, matching phone records, internet activity, credit card use and GPS locations to find patterns. Mr Key is not commenting on whether Palantir is working for the Government. Job vacancies listed on the Palantir website this week include the position ”Embedded Analyst, Government: New Zealand”.

But surveillance is going to be voluntary, for now at least.

Lockdowns extended in UK, Australia, some states of US but others want to reopen

While some lockdowns are being relaxed, others are being extended around the world.

BBC: UK lockdown extended for ‘at least’ three weeks

Lockdown restrictions in the UK will continue for “at least” another three weeks as it tackles the coronavirus outbreak, Dominic Raab has said.

The foreign secretary told the daily No 10 briefing that a review had concluded relaxing the measures now would risk harming public health and the economy.

“We still don’t have the infection rate down as far as we need to,” he said.

It comes as the UK recorded another 861 coronavirus deaths in hospital, taking the total to 13,729.

Mr Raab, deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from the illness, said: “There is light at the end of the tunnel but we are now at both a delicate and a dangerous stage in this pandemic.

“If we rush to relax the measures that we have in place we would risk wasting all the sacrifices and all the progress that has been made.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said similar when warning about rushing relaxations of restrictions – we won’t find out until Monday if the lockdown here is being scaled back next Thursday.

SkyNews: Australia in lockdown for another four weeks: PM

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says there are “no plans” to change the current lockdown measures for at least another four weeks.

Delivering an update in Canberra on Thursday, Mr Morrison said restrictions would only be eased if Australia met three key conditions: increased testing, better contact tracing, and the ability to lock down localised areas in cases of outbreaks.

“We want to be very clear with Australians, baseline restrictions we have in place at the moment there are no plans to change those for the next four weeks,” he said.

Mr Morrison also clarified what he sees as the end date for the “six month” timeline his government has referred to the response to the pandemic.

Australia’s lockdown conditions are probably more similar to our planned Level 3 lockdown than our current Level 4.

In the US the partisan divide is a problem, with Democrat governors extending lockdowns while republicans want to scale back:

New York’s stay-home order will be extended until May 15, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

Cuomo, during his daily briefing in Albany, said extreme distancing measures that began on March 22 have helped slow the coronavirus infection rate, but he’s not ready to let up on the far-reaching restrictions.

Wisconsin schools will be closed for the rest of the school year and many businesses will stay shuttered until the end of May under action Gov. Tony Evers took Thursday to extend restrictions to contain the coronavirus in the state.

The move will keep hundreds of thousands of school children at home for nearly three months — some receiving no virtual instruction — and comes as key Republican lawmakers are calling for Evers to roll back restrictions, not extend them.

Gov. Tom Wolf has no plans to move forward with a broader reopening of businesses during the COVID-19 emergency.

His spokesman said he will veto the GOP-backed Senate Bill 613, which the General Assembly sent to his desk on Wednesday. The governor plans to continue his aggressive measures to stem the spread of the virus.

Following President Trump’s lead, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday created a task force to plan for the “resurgence and reopening of Florida” from the coronavirus shutdown.

The governor also notably distanced himself from Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees’ comments Monday that social distancing could last as long as a year or more until there was a vaccine.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer faces at least two federal lawsuits challenging her April 9 executive order to combat the coronavirus outbreak, including requirements that residents stay at home and most businesses close.

In complaints filed on Tuesday and Wednesday, several Michigan residents and one business accused the Democratic governor of violating their constitutional rights by imposing her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.

The plaintiffs in Wednesday’s lawsuit “reasonably fear that the draconian encroachments on their freedom set forth in this complaint will, unfortunately, become the ‘new norm,’” according to their complaint.

The governors for Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky have formed a partnership to work together on restarting the economies in their states, they said in a statement.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday warned against reopening the country prematurely, saying the public health threat posed by the deadly coronavirus is a greater evil than the current economic hardship facing businesses and workers nationwide.

The Speaker is calling for more widespread testing around the country, to gauge the regional prevalence of the deadly virus, before scaling back locally imposed prevention measures.

“I heard one of them say: ‘Well, people will die — or we’ll open up the economy and people will die — so that’s the lesser of two evils,'” Pelosi said.

The White House plans to release guidelines Thursday to inform states on how to relax coronavirus restrictions and reopen businesses.

President Trump announced the plans during a news conference Wednesday, claiming data shows that the United States has “passed the peak” of COVID-19 cases nationwide.

The decision on what individual states do, however, will fall to governors across the country.

“The battle continues but the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases,” Trump said at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden.

x

Covid-19 cases recorded worldwide passes 2 million

The total number of recorded Covid-19 cases worldwide has just ticked over the 2 million mark.

  • Total cases: 2,000,734
  • Total deaths: 126,775
  • Total recovered: 484,781
  • Active cases: 1,389,177
  • Serious/critical: 51,603

 

 

That’s at 7:20 am Wednesday GMT so most countries haven’t updated for the day.

There are likely to be many more undetected or uncounted cases around the world.

Australia and new Zealand with today’s updated totals:

Note that both Australia and New Zealand have more recovered cases than active cases, which contrasts with the world ratio of 3 times as many active cases than recovered cases.

The USA in particular has a bad recovered ratio 549,362 active to 38,320 recovered.

From https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Covid-19 death toll now over 100,000

The official world-wide death toll is now over 100,000 – current numbers as at 8:00 pm Friday 10 April 2020 GMT (Worldometer):

  • Total cases 1.685,533
  • Recovered cases 375,221
  • Active cases 1,208,213
  • Attributed deaths 102,099

Cases rose yesterday (Thursday GMT) by 85,589 and deaths by 7,234, with similar increases looking likely today.

As at the end of 10 April GMT:

Over the past week about a third of new cases and a quarter of new deaths have been recorded in the US. Total US cases are now 493,426 and total deaths 18,331 (just 500 fewer than Italy).

Italy and Spain seem to have flattened off at around 6-700 deaths per day.

France (+987 deaths)  and the UK (+980) are increasing rapidly, as is Belgium (+496).

Largest death totals (9 pm Friday GMT):

  • Italy 18,849 (312 per 1m)
  • USA 18,430 (56 per 1m)
  • Spain 15,970 (342 per 1m)
  • France 13,197 (202 per 1m)
  • UK 8,958 (132 per 1m)
  • Iran 4,232 (50 per 1m)
  • China 3,336 (2 per 1m)
  • Germany 2,728 (33 per 1m)
  • Belgium 3,019 (260 per 1m)
  • Netherlands 2,511 (147 per 1m)

So Spain now has the most deaths per 1m population.

New Zealand currently has 1,283 cases and 2 deaths, and for now is ‘flattening the curve’ with daily new cases less than recovered cases.

New confirmed and probable cases over time

Australia has 6,203 confirmed cases and 53 deaths but also seems to be flattening:

This graph shows new cases of COVID-19 in Australia by date of notification. See the Description field on the publication page for a full description

New Zealand doing comparatively well with Covid-19

There is a lot of debate in New Zealand over whether our relatively stringent ‘lockdown’ restrictions are justified or not. There is no way of being sure what our situation would be if we had not clamped down on people movements and business so drastically.

We have to be careful comparing with other countries because of unique conditions and different timing of the virus in different places.

But at this early stage it looks like we have been relatively successful at curbing the spread of the virus, and in particular keeping deaths down (to just one).

Currently we have 1,039 cases (to 9 am Sunday), with 15 people in hospital and 3 in intensive care.

The rate of increase in cases seems to have flattened off despite much more testing.

While cases numbers are difficult to compare we have tested 36,000 people here with a middling rate of 7,509 per million.

Australia has about 5 times our population, about 5 times confirmed cases, nearly twice our testing rate,  but a much higher death rate currently 33.  Australia has less stringent restrictions than us with more businesses still operating.

But there could be other factors.  Ten deaths in Australia are from the Ruby Princess cruise ship that ended up in Sydney. That had been in Napier, and if people had had to disembark there it could have been a major problem here instead on in Australia. Perhaps our earlier ban on cruise ships helped us but not Sydney.

Switzerland has nearly twice our population, 21,000 cases and 715 deaths with a very high 16,256 tests per million. But they border Northern Italy so will have been impacted from the huge outbreak, and they also border badly affected France.

Sweden is separated from Europe, just. They have about twice our population and have had far lighter restrictions. They have tested about half as much as us but have 6,830 cases and 400 deaths.

Scotland is also separated from Europe (just) and a slightly larger population than us. They have recorded 3,345 cases and  218 deaths. Their test statistics are part of the UK which are  low at a third ours.

Ireland has a bit bigger population (6.5 million), nearly five time the cases (about 5,000), a similar test rate and 158 deaths.

Hawaii has a population of about 1.4 million. As of 4 April they had  352 cases (in proportion to ours)  and 4 deaths which is not much different.

From this it looks like comparatively New Zealand is doing ok with Covid-19, so far. But we have a long way to go.