The Informer: Change of fortune in the tale of two states

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant shared some alarming details.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant shared some alarming details.

The comparison could not have been more stark: one state extending a lockdown, the other lifting restrictions.

And yes, happily for Victoria, its glass was half-full this time and NSW's half empty.

Mask-wearing and other rules will be eased in Melbourne after a week with no new local virus cases.

Melbourne will deal with the same restrictions as regional Victoria for the next 14 days. All those guidelines can be found here.

And while news of greater Sydney's lockdown (which if straight-lined from north to south is more than 200km long) was magically leaked in the early hours of this morning, an extra week's languishing at home was not a surprise.

And even less of a shock when the state's Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant began detailing some of the new cases: 37 people hospitalised; seven in ICU and two are being ventilated.

Even more eye-opening were their ages: 14 are under the age of 55; eight are under the age of 35; and of the seven in ICU, one is in their 30s. Yes, 30s.

Dr Chant insisted the current outbreak needs to be taken more seriously - and used these numbers as a prime example. Covid-19 is not she said a routinely a mild disease.

"It can be mild in some, but for many it can lead to hospitalisation and death," she said.

Meanwhile NSW received a "thanks for the feedback" style of response from federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg after asking for JobKeeper reinstated.

That said, the federal government will provide NSW with "the same support" Victoria received a few weeks ago through the Covid-19 Disaster Payment.

"The payments of $500 and $325 are available," Mr Frydenberg said.

The treasurer was busy bumping elbows with business leaders as the government continues to work out how it can turn the vaccination rollout into something that is actually moving.

"It was agreed by all members present that businesses will write to all the workers about the importance of being vaccinated, and in some cases will reach out to the customer base," Mr Frydenberg said.

"The Commonwealth will work with the business community about that particular message."

OK. Perhaps the business community, as accustomed as it is to getting things done (for it's own benefit, granted), should just get on and do it themselves?

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