oronavirus complacency could be hitting home already after reports of crowded shopping malls across Adelaide and in Canberra on Saturday.
Restrictions were eased in those areas over the past week, however South Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Mike Cusack said social distancing and other measures remained vitally important to avoid a surge in the number of virus infections.
“We could well understand after a period of lockdown, that people would want to get out,” Dr Cusack said.
“But clearly the more we have people bunched together the more opportunity the virus has to jump from person to person.
“That effectively increases the risk of further outbreaks in the state,” he said.
The Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has insisted that the states and territories are moving in “one direction” in easing restrictions.
But frictions again emerged between federal Liberal MPs and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.
It comes as Victoria, coronavirus cases have again increased. Another 10 cases of COVID-19 were reported Saturday morning, with four linked to an outbreak at the Cedar Meats facility.
Premier Andrews is expected to make an announcement on lifting restrictions on Monday, but has been careful to say the pandemic is not over.
Meanwhile, Western Australia will establish a multi-million-dollar fund to boost research into the coronavirus and to ramp up the state’s testing regime.
Overseas, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary has the coronavirus, the White House says, making her the second person who works at the White House complex known to test positive for the virus this week.
And in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has banned hugs and visits to mums. Sunday could be the final day of New Zealand’s tough but effective lockdown, credited as one part of a world-leading response to the spread of COVID-19.