Lifestyle

'We are looking good' in handling virus

'We are looking good' in handling virus

Deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth remains upbeat about Australia's handling of the coronavirus, even as the country clocked up another death at a aged care facility in NSW.

Australia has now recorded 94 deaths, the latest at the Anglicare-run nursing home in western Sydney, bringing the fatalities in the Newmarch House aged care home to 14.

However, that toll is relatively small by international standards, as is the number of reported cases at 6787, a rise of 14 in the previous 24 hours.

"We are looking good," Dr Coatsworth told Sky News on Sunday.

He said the concept of elimination of COVID-19 in Australia would be "magnificent to achieve" but challenging to sustain.

"Which is why we have taken a position of suppression," he said.

He said that was why there was extra testing for the virus, the COVIDSafe app to assist contact tracing and increased public health resources.

"All those things are designed so that if there are small flares of coronavirus, spot fires if you will, that they can be suppressed very, very quickly," Dr Coatsworth said.

"That offers the best balance of getting society back on its feet, confidence back into our society and living with coronavirus until a vaccine arrives."

Some states have already started to ease restrictions and the national cabinet will on Friday consider lifting some broader curbs.

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said relaxing restrictions would depend on Australians signing up for COVIDSafe app, which uses Bluetooth connections to determine who infected people came into close contact with.

Some four million people have registered for the app but the government wants to see millions more by next Friday, a target that Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd believes is "realistic".

But he also admitted the app is not yet live and won't up and running until next week,.

Health officials can not use the data but will be able to trace back from the time when someone first downloaded the app.

Meanwhile, Queensland police were forced to issue more than 30 infringement notices for breaches of COVID-19 restrictions on the first day of easing such curbs.

From Saturday, residents in the state could travel up to 50km from their home to shop, visit a park or even go to the drive-in.