Here’s what you need to know today | The Canberra Times


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ACM, the publisher of this website, has journalists in every state and territory in Australia and below we bring you the best of our content from across our network today. We hope it can help you find your path during this strangest period in our lives. Here are some quick links to the key content today: Elective surgery will restart next week, after the Anzac Day long weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday. The national cabinet also called on aged care homes to allow visitors, saying it was “not acceptable, fair or compassionate for any residential aged care facilities to ban visits from carers and families”. And Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that Australia had reached its target of 7500 ventilators. Not all are full “invasive” ventilators for which people are sedated and intubated and the numbers are a little unclear. Mr Hunt said the government had acquired 260 invasive and 3000 non-invasive ventilators from Australian firm ResMed. Australia’s intensive care units have previously reported having 2300 intensive care beds with ventilators with the capacity to more than double that number by harnessing ventilators used in other areas of hospitals. The surgery restart covers all joint replacements, including knee, hips, and shoulders, all cataracts and eye procedures, endoscopy and colonoscopy, and post-cancer reconstruction. All screening programs – which were not supposed to be part of the shutdown – would also restart if they had stopped. The resumption also covers dental and procedures such as fitting dentures, non-high-speed drilling and basic fillings. All procedures for children under the age of 18 are covered. More from the Canberra Times here Home-birthing enquiries and bookings have increased due to COVID-19 with women and their partners looking for other options for birth and pregnancy care. Rachel Bassett from The Centre Midwifery in Dubbo said the coronavirus had definitely caused women to consider the risk of exposure and explore other options. Mrs Bassett said health care providers were doing the best they could to minimise the spread of coronavirus, but encourages women with low-risk pregnancies to consider homebirth as an option. Read more from the Daily Liberal Brass player Dennis Hawkes has played The Last Post at Anzac Day services across town since 1975, he said – his father played it for 30 years before him, and his grandfather before him. The coronavirus pandemic has cancelled all Anzac Day commemorations this year, but Mr Hawkes is undeterred – instead of playing at Sebastopol and Clunes as he usually does, this year he’ll head to the Golden Point lookout near Sovereign Hill and play The Last Post on flugelhorn to the dawn air by himself. Read more from The Courier here We’ve been here before. An enthusiastic South Korean website staffed by North Korean defectors reports that the tyrant in Pyongyang is on his last legs. It is then taken as gospel and reported around the world. Everyone gets very excited. Here’s the Daily Mail this week: “Kim Jong Un, 36, in critical condition as North Korea fights coronavirus: Dictator is ‘in grave danger after heart surgery’ and his sister could be in next line to take control”. Except that nobody actually knows. When it comes to North Korea, there is a history of claims which turn out to be demonstrably untrue. Read more from Steve Evans right here One police sergeant has warned he has run out of patience with people flouting social distancing rules, after two people visited the town at the weekend. Sergeant Darren Wright said police issued two infringement notices after two men breached chief health officer orders. He said more than 10 warnings had been issued for minor breaches and one substantial breach. “We’ve run out of patience,” he said. “Everyone knows and understands what the directives are. Breaches will be viewed more stringently. “This is one of the reasons the first male got a notice – there was no need for him to be there.” Read more on the offences from the Mail-Times Megan Doherty’s cousin, Michael, is a teacher in Spain, and lives there with his son Salvador, who is 10, and daughter, Valentina, who is six. He shares custody of the children with his ex-wife, who is Spanish. The family moved back to Spain from Australia in 2015. We shared many happy childhood memories on holidays at his hometown of Taree or relatives’ place in Tamworth. I keep up with his news on Facebook and I remember one of his posts about schools being shut in Spain from mid-March, due to the coronavirus. Michael’s experience seemed so remote and so unlikely to ever be replicated in Australia: “End of Day 1 ‘working from home’ with two kids. Not been fun or easy but, hey, we made a chocolate cake!” Read more of this Canberra Times article here If you’re looking to stay up to date on COVID-19, but would rather receive the main points direct to your inbox sign up for our twice-daily digest here.

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