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Australians refusing COVID-19 tests could face fines: PM

“And so I thank the New South Wales and Victorian governments for doing that heavy-lifting on behalf of all other states and territories.

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Scott Morrison

Canberra, July 1 : Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned on Wednesday that people could be fined if they refuse to be tested for coronavirus.

He said that the “stick will have to be put about” in order to contain new COVID-19 outbreaks, reports Xinhua news agency.

It comes after the announcement on Tuesday that from 11.59 p.m. Wednesday night, 10 areas linked to new outbreaks in Victoria state will go into local lockdown amid a spike in cases.

These “hot zones” will be required to return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions – until at least July 29.

In making the announcement, Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews revealed that more than a thousand people, when asked, refused to be tested.

“We”re doing this in an Australian way. We”re looking to do it through incentive, through the use of carrot, not stick. But occasionally the stick will have to be put about, whether it”s fines or other sanctions that are in place to ensure that we keep everybody safe,” Morrison told TV program Today on Wednesday.

He said that the uptick in cases in Victoria, which has confirmed more cases of COVID-19 than the rest of the country combined recently, was not “surprising” because Melbourne, along with Sydney, has taken the most recently returned travellers.

“Both of those states have been running those quarantines, they”ve been paying for them themselves, and that means their risks have been greater,” he said.

“And so I thank the New South Wales and Victorian governments for doing that heavy-lifting on behalf of all other states and territories.

“We always knew there would be outbreaks. The issue is not whether they occur, but how you deal with them, and we are dealing with it in concert with the Victorian government.”

Australia has so far reported 7,920 COVID-19 cases, with 104 deaths.

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Chinese mainland reports 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

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Coronavirus

BEIJING, Aug. 10 : Chinese health authority said Monday that it received reports of 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Sunday, including 35 imported cases and 14 locally-transmitted ones.

All the 14 locally-transmitted cases were reported in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

One new suspected COVID-19 case, which was imported from outside the mainland, was reported in Shanghai Municipality.

No deaths related to the disease were reported Sunday.

A total of 64 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery on Sunday, the commission said.

By the end of Sunday, a total of 2,169 imported cases had been reported on the mainland. Of them, 2,037 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 132 remained hospitalized, with one in serious condition. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.

As of Sunday, the overall confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland had reached 84,668, including 802 patients who were still being treated, with 41 in severe conditions.

Altogether 79,232 people had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland, the commission said.

There were still seven suspected COVID-19 cases, it added.

According to the commission, 2,305 close contacts were discharged from medical observation on Sunday, and there were 24,055 close contacts still under medical observation.

Also on Sunday, 31 new asymptomatic cases, including 24 from outside the mainland, were reported, and three asymptomatic cases were re-categorized as confirmed ones.

The commission said 283 asymptomatic cases, including 136 from outside the mainland, were still under medical observation.

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Coronavirus: Covid hits 3,800 central security personnel in northeast

Many Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and National Disaster Response Force personnel have also tested positive for coronavirus.

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BSF Jawan Tripura

Guwahati/Agartala/Aizawl, Aug 10 : As coronavirus spreads across the northeast, nearly 3,800 central security force personnel have so far infected by the disease in almost all the states in the region, officials said on Sunday.

According to the health officials, the eight northeastern states have so far recorded around 75,000 Covid-19 cases, including 57,714 in Assam.

Of the 3,800 Covid cases among the central armed forces personnel, the highest number are in Nagaland, at 1,226, followed by 823 in Manipur, 738 in Arunachal Pradesh, 360 in Tripura, 350 in Mizoram and 300 in Meghalaya. Many of their family members, including children, were also infected.

A significant chunk of the coronavirus patients among the central forces are from the Border Security Force (BSF). Two BSF jawans in Tripura and one in Meghalaya also succumbed to the highly infectious virus.

Many Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and National Disaster Response Force personnel have also tested positive for coronavirus.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga even made a plea to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure suspension of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) movement into the state till August 31, noting that around 70 per cent of Covid-19 positive cases in the state are from the military and paramilitary forces.

A senior BSF official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS that the BSF men and other central force personnel, after completion of their leave period or when they are transferred, have to move by train or by air for their destinations from different parts of the country. “During transit or in their hazardous duties along the borders or various vulnerable places, the jawans come in contact with the dreaded virus,” the official said.

As the eight northeastern states share over 5,000 km of borders with China, Myanmar Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and some are also battling against terrorism, there is a heavy deployment of armed forces as well as central paramilitary forces in the region.

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Union Minister who endorsed ‘papad’ to boost immunity against Covid-19 tests positive

A video of the minister endorsing ‘Bhabhiji papad’, which he called a health supplement, had gone viral on social media.

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Arjun Ram Meghwal

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, who had recently endorsed an indigenous “papad” brand claiming that eating the “papad” will help fight the deadly coronavirus, on Saturday tested positive for Covid-19.

“Meghwal was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at around 10 a.m. after he complained of difficulty in breathing,” a doctor told IANS.

However, his condition is said to be stable now. He is receiving treatment under Neeraj Nishchal, who is a professor at the department of Medicine at AIIMS, as per sources.

Meghwal, who is the Junior Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, recently made headlines after he claimed that a particular brand of the ubiquitous Indian snack, ‘papad’, had a role in boosting the immunity and antibodies that could help cure COVID-19.

A video of the minister endorsing ‘Bhabhiji papad’, which he called a health supplement, had gone viral on social media.

–IANS

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