Coronavirus live news: WHO reports record global case rise as Sydney tightens overseas arrivals

8.20pm EDT20:20

Global deaths pass 600,000

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8.15pm EDT20:15

In Australia, some Melbourne childcare centres say they may have to close within weeks without more government support, thanks to a combination of the Covid-19 lockdown and changes to federal subsidies.

Mandy Kelly, who runs the Melbourne University Family Club Co-operative, says she could lose about $12,000 a fortnight as families unenrol or choose not to send their children during the lockdown.

“It looks like we will be dipping into any reserve we have got left,” she says.

“It looks like six weeks is the maximum we could go for and following that will have to think about closing. It makes me feel terrible. We have been here for 55 years.”

8.11pm EDT20:11

8.06pm EDT20:06

Israelis protest against government’s handling of coronavirus crisis

8.01pm EDT20:01

Restrictions tightened in Barcelona, Spain

7.55pm EDT19:55

Hard lockdown ends in Victorian public housing towers

Still in Australia, public housing residents in North Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, will be released from a two-week ‘hard’ lockdown after the Covid-19 outbreak in Victoria prompted the state government to enforce a dramatic lockdown of a number of residential towers in the city.

The enforced shut-in of public housing residents at 33 Alfred Street since 4 July ended late Saturday night, meaning they can now leave their homes for food, medicine, exercise, study and work – like the rest of Melbourne.

A coronavirus testing sign is seen on the fence outside a government commission tower in Melbourne, Australia.

A coronavirus testing sign is seen on the fence outside a government commission tower in Melbourne, Australia. Photograph: David Crosling/EPA

However, up to one third of the tower’s residents, who either have the virus or are a close contact of someone who does, will be required to remain in their units until they’re cleared.

The hard lockdown of public housing tenants in Melbourne was the subject of harsh criticism of the state’s premier, Daniel Andrews, and Victoria’s ombudsman is investigating the treatment of people across the Alfred Street tower and eight other towers that were shut down for five days in July.

Karen Percy

A quiet morning in North Melbourne as the folks in the public housing tower at 33 Alfred St wake up to freer movement. After two weeks of a hard lockdown they now subject to Stage 3 restrictions like the rest of Metro Melb and Mitchell Shire.

July 18, 2020

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7.50pm EDT19:50

Australia’s two largest states will hope Sunday brings good news as both Victoria and New South Wales grapple with Covid-19 outbreaks.

On Saturday Victoria, which is in the grips of a second-wave outbreak, recorded 217 new cases of the virus well down from the record 428 the previous day. Victoria’s capital, Melbourne, is currently in a six-week lockdown as it attempts to get the caseload under control.

In NSW the state government is sweating on the status of a few recent outbreaks which have seen cases increase in recent days. The original cluster, at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula in Sydney’s south-west, is now above 40 cases. But the state’s health officials are scrambling to establish links between that outbreak and other recent cases including at a Thai restaurant in western Sydney.

NSW recorded 16 new cases on Saturday, including five which have not yet been linked to any known outbreak. On Saturday the NSW deputy chief medical officer Jeremy McAnulty said authorities remained “really concerned” by the cases with no known source of community transmission.

“The good news is the majority of cases have been able to be linked together,” he said. “We are still investigating those five cases from yesterday. We are hopeful a link will emerge between all those cases, we haven’t given up doing that.”

7.45pm EDT19:45

Sydney to limit overseas arrivals to 350 per day from Monday

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