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Rabu, 22 April 2020

Coronavirus update: Scott Morrison gets emotional about coronavirus bans, Trump impressed with Australia - ABC News

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has become emotional while talking about the harsh coronavirus restrictions his Government has imposed on the number of people who can attend a funeral.

This story is being updated regularly throughout Thursday. You can also stay informed with the latest episode of the Coronacast podcast.

Thursday's key moments

'It's just horrible': PM on the weight of coronavirus measures

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he has struggled with seeing the impacts of some of the unprecedented social distancing restrictions his Government has put in place, including asking older Australians to self-isolate.

"So many hard things," he told Sky News on Wednesday night. "Young kids who can't see their grandparents and vice versa."

But he says he is most troubled by the pandemic restrictions that bar more than 10 people attending a funeral.

"The one that really tears me up though, is how many people have had to deal with loved ones who've passed away and to go through funerals with so few people," Mr Morrison said.

"It's just horrible," he went on, becoming visibly upset.

"Let's look forward to the good days hey mate, they are going to come."

Trump 'pretty impressed' with Australia's COVID-19 response

Mr Morrison also revealed some details of his phone call earlier on Wednesday with US President Donald Trump.

The pair discussed health and economic responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and the role of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Mr Morrison wants the WHO or another new body to have powers similar to those afforded to a weapons inspectors, in an effort to investigate how the outbreaks such as the coronavirus happened.

He floated the idea with a number of world leaders, including the President.

He says Mr Trump has also been watching the way Australia is handling the coronavirus pandemic.

"They've got some very difficult challenges there," Mr Morrison said, speaking about some of the hardest hit parts of America, where 825,000 people have been infected and more than 45,000 people have died.

"We were able to share those experiences and he was pretty impressed with what Australia is doing, I've got to say."

What the experts are saying about coronavirus:

Macron to PM: Now is not the time

While Mr Trump may have been full of praise for the Australian PM, French President Emmanuel Macron was not

Mr Morrison had pitched to world leaders for an international investigation into the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Macron told him the urgency was to beat the pandemic before looking for who was at fault, a French official said.

"He says he agrees that there have been some issues at the start, but that the urgency is for cohesion, that it is no time to talk about this, while reaffirming the need for transparency for all players, not only the WHO," an Elysee official told Reuters on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said there would be a time when Britain will have to look at the lessons to be learned from the crisis, but now is not it.

"There will be a point in the future when there are lessons to be learned, and of course we will want to do that, but for now our focus has to be on dealing with the pandemic and continuing to work to save lives."

Greta Thunberg says coronavirus is a chance to choose a new path on climate

Countries have a chance to choose a new path as societies begin to return to normal after lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, activist Greta Thunberg told an Earth Day event on Wednesday [local time].

"Whether we like it not the world has changed, it looks completely different from how it did a few months ago and it will probably not look the same again and we are going to have to choose a new way forward," Ms Thunberg said.

"If one single virus can destroy economies in a matter of weeks, it shows we are not thinking long term and we are not taking these risks into account."

She was taking part in a streamed event to mark Earth Day, launched 50 years ago to highlight environmental challenges.

"In a crisis you put your differences aside, you act, you go out in the unknown and take decisions that may not make much sense at the moment, but in the long run may be necessary for our common wellbeing," she said.

Your questions on coronavirus answered:

More than 50,000 out of work in Bali

Tens of thousands of Balinese workers have officially lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic devastating the tourism industry there.

Bali has so far escaped the serious outbreak seen in the capital Jakarta, but it is paying a devastating economic toll, with tourists effectively locked out of the country.

Seventy per cent of Balinese rely on tourism for a living but Indonesia has shut its borders to foreigners, triggering a wave of unemployment and leaving some Balinese unable to put food on the table.

Authorities say 53,000 workers are officially out of work. But the figure does not include the high number of Balinese who work as casuals or in unregistered jobs, as street sellers, hawkers, cleaners or self-employed drivers.

Local police report a handful of recent suicides, which they fear could increase if the downturn continues.

"If there's no viable solution then suicides could increase," says Roby Septiadi, the police chief of Badung regency, which covers key tourist areas including Kuta.

One café north of Kuta has been transformed into a 'crisis kitchen' to serve free meals to Balinese who are now without an income.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

Germany approves human trials for vaccine

Germany's has approved live human testing of a potential vaccine against the COVID-19 virus, developed by German biotech company BioNTech.

The trial, only the fourth worldwide of a vaccine targeting the virus, will be initially conducted on 200 healthy people, with more subjects, including some at higher risk from the disease, to be included in a second stage, German vaccines regulator the Paul Ehrlich Institut said.

BioNTech is competing with Germany's CureVac and US biotech firm Moderna in the race to develop messenger-RNA vaccines.

These molecules act as recipes that instruct human cells to produce antigen proteins, which allow the immune system to develop an arsenal against future coronavirus infections.

Moderna started testing its experimental vaccine on humans in March, while two different experimental coronavirus vaccines were approved for human tests by China last week.

ABC/Wires

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2020-04-22 16:03:10Z
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