News Coronavirus Coronavirus claims two more lives, lifting national toll to 16

Coronavirus claims two more lives, lifting national toll to 16

Off the plane and straight into quarantine, these travellers arrive at Melbourne's Crown Promenade Hotel. Photo: AAP/Scott Barbour
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The deaths of a woman in Queensland and a man in Victoria take the national coronavirus death toll to 16, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces a $1.1 billion package targeting telehealth services, mental health support and domestic violence initiatives.

The 75-year-old woman, who had been a passenger on board the Ruby Princess cruise ship, died in Queensland, and a man in his 80s died in a Melbourne hospital.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the rate of new coronavirus cases in Australia has fallen from 25-30 per cent last week to 13-15 per cent.

“They are still strong rates of increase, no doubt about that,” Mr Morrison said.

“But because we take the measures we have been taking and put them in place and we have the cooperation from the Australian people, that in turn has an impact on how we are managing the spread of the virus.

“It’s also how that impacts on our health system, on the population, and people’s jobs and livelihoods.”

International travel quarantine  begins

The first busloads of international arrivals have been taken to quarantine hotels across Sydney under new coronavirus rules that came into effect this morning.

Arriving passengers collected their bags before they were escorted to waiting charter buses for the short trip into the city, in a convoy led by federal police.

Some have raised concerns about those passengers with special needs. Andrew Cowling, who arrived to collect his 85-year-old father flying in from the United States, said he was not confident the Government would be able to adequately meet his father’s needs.

“He’s been at his house in lockdown in Philadelphia, he’s not from New York,” Mr Cowling said.

“Unless he’s got it on the plane, we feel as an 85-year-old person with his own health issues, that he needs support of breathing, he’s going to need medication,

“I don’t how any of this is going to be managed by the Government.”