News digest: World ‘at beginning’ of pandemic; Good news for Vic and Qld may reopen early

Sep 16, 2020
Queensland's chief health officer is reportedly considering reopening to NSW sooner. Source: Getty.

We might be nine months into the pandemic, but an expert from the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an ominous warning this week as he pointed out that, despite the efforts of individual nations to stem the spread, the world is “still at the beginning” of the pandemic.

“It’s much worse than any of the science fiction about pandemics,” Dr David Nabarro told UK MPs on Tuesday, reports The Guardian. “This is really serious – we’re not even in the middle of it yet. We’re still at the beginning of it.

“And we’re beginning to see what damage it’s going to cause the world. And it’s getting nastier as we go into this particular phase in Europe of watching the thing come back again.”

Focusing on Australia’s Covid fight, things are looking good for Melbourne in terms of hitting the targets within Daniel Andrews’ roadmap out of lockdown. For restrictions to be eased on September 28, the capital city’s 14-day average of new cases must fall below 50 – and it crossed the threshold for the first time on Wednesday. Melbourne’s 14-day average now sits at 49.6, after the state recorded 42 new cases and eight further deaths this morning.

It comes after the premier announced that restrictions on regional Victoria would ease from Thursday, meaning people living outside of metropolitan areas will once again be able to sit in restaurants, meet up to 10 people outdoors, travel for holidays and kids will also be able to take part in sport.

However masks will still be mandatory and there will still be restrictions on the number of people who can visit you at home.

Meanwhile in Queensland, it is being reported that the state’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young is considering lowering the bar for reopening the state’s borders to New South Wales residents. At present, NSW must achieve 28 days without community transmission in order to be allowed to enter the Sunshine State.

However, the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting today that Dr Young is toying with the idea of reducing that requirement to 14-days without community transmission instead. it comes as Queensland recorded yet another day of no new cases, with 31 active cases across the state.

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