COVID-19 pandemic “accelerating” says WHO

WHO says COVID-19 pandemic is “accelerating” with more than 300,000 confirmed cases.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the COVID-19 pandemic is “accelerating”, with more than 300,000 cases now confirmed around the world.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it took 67 days from the first reported of Covid-19 to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000, and just four days for the third 100,000, but said it was still possible to “change the trajectory of this pandemic”.

In New Zealand, there are now more than 200 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The country entered a month-long nationwide lockdown on Wednesday night.  All public venues will close, as will most shops except supermarkets and chemists.

As of 25 March, there have been 2,423 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia. Of the 2,423 confirmed cases, eight have died from COVID-19. More than 169,000 tests have been conducted across Australia. New South Wales has recorded a significant increases this week, with the state’s total currently at 1029.

According to health officials, most confirmed cases are considered to have been acquired overseas although a large proportion are still under investigation to understand the source of infection. The majority of Australian confirmed cases acquired overseas had a recent history of travel to Europe or the Americas.

Australian venues shutdown

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australian venues will have to close their doors from midday Monday in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Prime Minister said the measures will be reviewed on a monthly basis, but are a result of Australians continuing to gather in large groups as normal over the weekend without practicing social distancing.

“We will be living with this virus for at least six months, so social distancing measures to slow this virus down must be sustainable for at least that long to protect Australian lives, allow Australia to keep functioning and keep Australians in jobs,” Morrison said.

“Practicing good hygiene and keeping a healthy physical distance between individuals is our most powerful weapon in fighting this virus and saving lives. The failure of some businesses and members of the public to do this puts people’s lives at risk.

“We need every Australian to do their bit to save the lives of other Australians.

“Leaders thank those members of the public who are adhering to social distancing measures. However, leaders expressed their disappointment at some members of the community who are disregarding social distancing measures and, by doing so, putting the lives of older and vulnerable Australians at risk.

“If we want to slow the spread, everyone must implement appropriate social distancing in accordance with state and territory laws.”

The stage one restrictions on social gatherings are expected to be in place for at least six months, and the following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday local time 23 March 2020:

Across the world there have been more than 300,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 13,900 deaths.

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