Medical professionals are urging the Morrison Government to ban large public gatherings in response to COVID-19, as organisers of the Australian Grand Prix agree to call off the event. West Australian president of the Australian Medical Association, Andrew Miller, said the Federal Government needed to announce details on when events will be banned. “It's beyond time for the government to tell us what the plan is, what date they're going to do this, depending on how many cases they see,” he said. Health Minister Greg Hunt said he was following the advice of Australia’s chief medical officer in holding off on a ban. The call comes as a majority of teams involved in the Melbourne Grand Prix decided in meetings overnight that they did not want to continue with the race and organisers reportedly agreeing to cancel, with the entire Formula 1 season now in doubt. North America’s National Hockey League is the latest major competition to suspend its season, following in the footsteps of the National Basketball Association.
First wave: NSW authorities are preparing for as many as 1.5 million people in the state to be infected in the first wave of COVID-19, noting that although the majority of cases will be mild the health system will come under significant strain. Guardian Australia reports that homelessness advocacy organisations in Victoria and New South Wales are calling for more temporary housing, with people without secure housing ‘“particularly vulnerable”. On Thursday evening Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged Australians to remain calm in his address to the nation, saying “we all have a role to play”.
Stock market crash: Global stimulus efforts have failed to arrest a worsening stock market crash, with Wall Street halting trade twice in the same day. Airlines were left reeling after United States President Donald Trump’s announcement of a ban on travel between the US and Europe. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is self-quarantining “out of an abundance of caution” with his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau undergoing testing for the virus. Meanwhile, China claims the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in the country has passed, reporting the lowest number of new infections in seven weeks.
Woolworths underpayments: A Retail and Fast Food Workers Union submission alleges Woolworths “deliberately” provided rosters to the Fair Work Commission that disguised how workers would be significantly underpaid under a proposed new pay deal. The Age reports that the deal left tens of thousands of workers underpaid by as much as $1 billion. A Woolworths spokesperson said the allegations are “unsubstantiated and we reject them.”