Australian virus death toll climbs to 116

Australia’s coronavirus death toll has risen to 116 and Victoria has experienced yet another record-breaking day of new infections.

Victoria recorded 428 more cases on Friday, the largest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.

A Victorian man and a woman aged in their 80s, and another man in his 70s, have died in the past 24 hours.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton painted a bleak picture of the state’s “disappointing and concerning” new case numbers.

“We have not turned the corner here,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

“Worse than that, 428 cases does not just represent that we have increasing numbers day on day, there will be dozens of individuals who will require hospitalisation.

“Tragically, there will be several who will require intensive care support and a number of people will die.”

There are 122 people hospitalised in Victoria, including 31 in intensive care.

Victoria is establishing more testing sites in regional centres to tackle the spread of the deadly disease.

Professor Sutton issued a stark reminder that coronavirus was far more serious than the ordinary flu, saying it often took weeks to recover, even after hospitalisation.

“There may well be people who really carry this disability or this chronic condition for years to come,” he said.

NSW recorded eight new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, with 42 cases now linked to the Crossroads Hotel in southwest Sydney.

The state has 101 active cases with one person in intensive care.

NSW will tighten restrictions next week, with a 10-person booking cap at pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Weddings will be capped at 150 people and guests must be seated at all times.

“No dancing, no singing, no mingling,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

Scott Morrison is preparing to introduce another wave of coronavirus economic support with almost one million Australians now out of work.

The prime minister is putting the final touches on the post-JobKeeper package before the details are announced next week.

“It will be there for everyone who needs it, based on the impact on their business and the impact on their employees,” he told the Seven Network.

Mr Morrison said the national measures would “disproportionately benefit” Victoria, where a fresh outbreak has forced millions of Melburnians back into lockdown.

“The reason for that is they’re assessed based on the need and the impact of the virus on people’s businesses,” he said.

“That is clearly going to be greater in Victoria than many other parts of the country.”

JobKeeper wage subsidies and the temporarily doubled JobSeeker dole are due to expire in September.

Mr Morrison declined several invitations to criticise Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for presiding over the state’s coronavirus outbreak.

The prime minister wants the rest of Australia to learn from Victoria’s mistakes, particularly its devastating breach of hotel quarantine.

“That’s a warning to other states and territories, particularly those hiding behind borders.”

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