Few Australia virus cases as UK locks down

Colin Brinsden
·2-min read

The contrast couldn't be more stark.

As the UK enters a second four-week national lockdown after recording daily coronavirus infections of more than 20,000 in recent weeks, new cases in Australia barely registered.

In Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced just one new case of a returned traveller in quarantine, a day after an election win she credited to her government's handling of the pandemic.

Victoria, the recent hotspot of the country, celebrated a second COVID-free day, with no new cases or deaths.

The state recorded no new infections for Saturday after an expert panel reclassified one case as a false positive.

Back-to-back days without adding to Victoria's virus tally coincides with the first weekend of Melbourne's cafes, restaurants and pubs reopening to walk-in customers.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has also hinted Victorian authorities could raise cap limits and density quotas higher than initially planned for some industries.

"What allowances come on November 8 will absolutely be informed by what this week looks like," he said.

"Some of the details might change ... we can always make consideration of what caps might be in certain settings, what density quotients might be in those settings.

Meanwhile, Sydney has chalked up another day of only a single locally transmitted coronavirus case, while four cases were reported in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

Still, the pandemic has left a scar, not only on the Australian economy but also on the mental health of many citizens.

The Morrison government on Sunday launched its "How's Your Head Today?" campaign, which urges people to prioritise their mental health, raises awareness about how to identify when something is wrong, and encourages people to seek help.

The campaign will be launched on TV and radio, in shopping centres and other venues, online and through social media, and will continue through to next year.

"Through this campaign, Australians are encouraged to make their mental health and wellbeing a priority," Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

"We want them to know support is available, when and where they need it."

He said COVID-19 had had a significant effect on the mental health and wellbeing of many people, particularly in his home state of Victoria.

The pandemic has caused isolation, job losses and financial stress for many families, with crisis organisations and suicide prevention services experiencing higher demand.

The campaign will be provided in 15 languages across radio and print including Vietnamese, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Greek, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Punjabi, Hindi, Khmer, Thai, Turkish, Persian and Macedonian.

Lifeline 13 11 14

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