Darwin Port staff put into isolation after positive COVID case aboard cattle ship



A number of Darwin Port staff have been put into self-isolation after coming into contact with crew of a cattle ship on which a Pakistani crew member later tested positive for COVID-19.

The positive test came after the 25-year-old crew member of the Dimantina livestock carrier became symptomatic on the journey from Indonesia, before being tested when the vessel docked in Darwin, returning a positive result.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles said hose port workers now in self-isolation included the pilot, as well as staff who docked the vessel.

Ms Fyles said Darwin Port workers were wearing appropriate PPE at the time they docked the Diamantina on Sunday evening.

“All members of that crew are all close contacts and are being monitored,” she said.

Ms Fyles said the 25-year-old man who tested positive for the coronavirus did not come into direct contact with Darwin Port staff.

“That person that tested positive is being cared for in Royal Darwin Hospital,” she said.

Crew in quarantine, showing no symptoms

Most of the crew have gone into supervised quarantine in Howard Springs, where they will remain for 14 days in a separate area from interstate arrivals.

NT health authorities say none of the crew had left the vessel before the positive diagnosis, and that strict protocols had been in place for any ships arriving into the NT.

Some of the crew, however, have been ordered to remain on board the ship in accordance with international maritime laws, where they will self-isolate and undergo testing.

The new case takes the number of coronavirus cases diagnosed in the Northern Territory to 75.

That number includes 40 cases among Australians who returned on repatriation flights.



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ALL ABOARD: The full Northern Rivers Rail Trail plan revealed


THE final masterplan for the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is expected to be passed by Richmond Valley Council this week.

The Northern Rivers Rail Trail from Casino to Bentley master is a $7.5 million project, which is being fully funded by the Australian Government’s National Tourism Icons Program.

This document for the 13.4km rail trail section sets out the key elements of the project, including the design concepts for four precincts which represent important features and attractions of the trail.

Map of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

The four key destination points in the plan include:

1. Old Casino Station – also the starting point of the NRRT therefore it will include an information centre and cafe/ amenities, parking and meeting areas.

2. The Primex site provides another parking/ drop off node.

3. The ‘Bat’ tunnel, a point of interest with many opportunities to explore, including the tunnel walk, views from on top, quiet nature sounds from below, and mini train cycle experience. Further bat studies are currently being undertaken to confirm if the tunnel can be used during the warmer months by trail users.

4. Bentley Road area – amenities and a camping ground, playground with rope climb and bridge experience over Back Bridge, also the termination point. Future link to the Lismore Council area.

The plan was put on public exhibition earlier this year and received 78 community submissions.

Part of the proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

Part of the proposed Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

Key feedback included:

  • Distance markers and usage counters to be installed at either end
  • Livestock/machinery access for landholders with property either side of the rail corridor to be considered in future design processes
  • All options to be explored so Naughton’s Gap tunnel can be used as a key attraction
  • Constructed surface should be able to support wheelchair access
  • Additional planting to be considered in the planting palette, with a view to using species commonly found in the area
  • Opportunity to create a significant wildlife corridor which supports existing native wildlife, along with future wildlife needs.
  • Further details to be included in relation to amenities and waste management
  • Opportunities to create a space that acknowledges local Aboriginal history
  • Need to ensure fencing, security and biosecurity is addressed for adjacent landholders
  • Submissions received were for and against dogs and horses on the rail trail. How will this be managed?
  • Acknowledgment of the Old Station sites along the rail trail corridor
  • Thirty submissions were not related to the master plan as they focused on the return of trains to the corridor.

Council staff noted that many of the concerns raised will be addressed in the future concept and detailed design stages, together with further consultation opportunities.

The council will vote on whether to support the master plan at Tuesday’s meeting.





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False positive coronavirus case aboard ‘cruise to nowhere’ in Singapore



A suspected COVID-19 case aboard a “cruise to nowhere” from Singapore was a false alarm, the nation’s Government has said.

On Wednesday, nearly 1,700 passengers on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas ship were held in their cabins for more than 16 hours after an 83-year-old passenger tested positive for COVID-19.

The man had sought medical help for diarrhoea when he was tested.

But Singapore’s health ministry said the man did not have the virus after three subsequent tests on land came back negative.

While authorities praised the response to the incident, tourism experts highlighted concerns for businesses.

They said flaws in testing put a burden on businesses trying to resume operations, even in a country like Singapore that has largely tamed the virus.

“We have to live with less-than-perfect testing kits,” said Michael Chiam, a senior tourism lecturer at Singapore’s Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

“This may be costly to businesses.”

The health ministry said close contacts of the guest would no longer need to quarantine and it would help review testing processes aboard the ship.

Miami-based Royal Caribbean, which had just started offering the trips after it halted global operations in March due to the pandemic, said in a statement it welcomed the news and that it would work to “refine” its protocols.

The cruises-to-nowhere, which sail in waters just off Singapore, were part of Singapore’s efforts to revive a tourism industry which has been battered by the pandemic as borders around the world have closed.

Singapore’s tourism board chief Keith Tan said the cruise incident was a learning experience but also a validation of precautions like pre-departure testing and requirements that guests carry an electronic contact tracing device at all times.

The mishap will be closely watched by other firms relying on testing, like event venues and airlines, said Sherri Kimes of the National University of Singapore’s Business School.

The city-state, which has reported only a handful of cases in recent weeks, is rolling out rapid antigen tests for large events such as weddings and business conferences.

Reuters



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Melbourne Cup 2020 form: The best lead-up runs from Australia and aboard, Tiger Moth, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate


Half the battle when it comes to picking the Melbourne Cup winner is lining up formlines from Australia and abroad — and it can get tricky.

We’re here to help, with this in-depth look at some of the best lead-up runs towards the big 3200m handicap.

Watch the Melbourne Cup LIVE on Racing.com, available on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

MELBOURNE CUP DAY LIVE: FOLLOW ALL THE ACTION HERE



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Another magnate flees strict Victorian lockdown aboard superyacht


A second Melbourne multi-millionaire has fled Victoria’s COVID-19 lockdown, this time on a luxury yacht to cross the Queensland border.

Property magnate Mark Simonds has sailed up the east coast in the superyacht Lady Pamela with his family, following Linfox trucking heir Peter Fox on the Gold Coast, Nine Newspapers revealed.

However, in breaking news on Tuesday night, Queensland’s chief health officer revoked the COVID-related exemption granted to the seven who arrived in Queensland on the yacht, one of Australia’s most sumptuous vessels.

Police boarded the yacht – which has its own Instagram page, livery, and uniformed staff – and prepared to disembark all seven, to be taken off for 14 days quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said the state’s Chief Health Officer has “revoked her exemption for seven people aboard the Lady Pamela vessel.”

“All seven people are now required to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 14 days at their own expense.”

“Attempting to bypass or manipulate Queensland’s border direction is unacceptable.”

It’s understood new information provided to Queensland Health indicated the owner was granted the exemption approval based on incomplete information.

There is no suggestion that any of the passengers did anything unlawful. Nobody has been arrested or charged over the incident.

A Current Affair reported that everyone on the yacht was COVID-19 tested on Tuesday afternoon after a mobile health team boarded the vessel.

The TV show filmed Mr Simonds and his glamorous wife Cheryl enjoying drinks with friends on the deck of the Lady Pamela, others jumping off the side for a swim or cruising in an inflatable dinghy during one of the stopovers on the voyage north.

The 30m Italian built marble and gold finished Lady Pamela was just one of several ways rich Victorians were fleeing Victorian lockdown.

It has also been revealed that other rich Victorians are fleeing the state in private jets to avoid Premier Daniel Andrews’ strict COVID-19 lockdown laws.

Daily Mail Australia reported Victoria’s wealthy with private aircraft were even asking pilots to turn off the plane’s transponders to escape detection.

Mr Simonds is the latest of Victoria’s elite wealthy trying to escape masks and COVID-19 restrictions for the Queensland sunshine.

Both he and Mr Fox and their families were granted exemptions for different reasons while Queensland has forbidden the entry of most Victorian visitors.

That was until Queensland Health revoked the exemption for Mr Simonds, one of his children, his wife and one of Mr Fox’s daughters who was travelling on-board.

Channel 9 reported the Lady Pamela stopped at sic ports including Eden, Jervis Bay, Yamba and Coffs Harbour.

RELATED: Premier responds to fury over ‘emergency’

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage

Premier Andrews has been severely criticised for his plan to extend the government’s ability to enforce COVID-19 restrictions by extending Victoria’s state of emergency by 18 months.

Mr Simonds, his glamorous wife Cheryl and one of their sons sailed from a stage four lockdown Melbourne just over two weeks ago.

The Lady Pamela docked on the Gold Coast on Monday morning and passengers and crew were tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to disembark.

On board the boat was Hannah Fox, the daughter of Linfox trucking executive chairman Peter Fox.

Ms Fox is expected to go to the Palm Beach, Queensland, property leased by her family since July 1, while the Simonds will go to their Burleigh Heads home.

A Current Affair reported earlier this month that Mr Fox, his wife Lisa and two other of their children had moved to the Gold Coast under a rule allowing truck drivers to enter the state.

Mr Fox told ACA he had a trucking licence, had brought a truck down to the Gold Coast from Cairns and was now a Queensland resident.

RELATED: ‘Megalomaniac’: Daniel Andrews savaged
RELATED: When Victoria will hit single figures

The family is renting a multi-millionaire dollar waterfront mansion from former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing world champion Mick Doohan where he told Nine he could keep his family “healthy and safe”.

Mr Fox is one of six children of Linfox founder and self made billionaire Lindsay Fox and is Executive Chairman of the Linfox group.

Mr Simonds is one of three sons of Gary Simonds who founded the construction empire Simonds Homes more than 70 years ago.

The ASX-listed company is one of Australia’s largest home builders.

Victoria’s second wave coronavirus outbreak which saw daily cases soar above 700 a few weeks ago now appears to be on an overall downward trend, with 148 new cases on Tuesday, slightly up on the 116 new cases on Monday.

candace.sutton@news.com.au



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The president of Emirates says passengers will never again be as comfortable as they have been aboard the enormous, discontinued Airbus A380


Emirates Airbus A380

Emirates

  • Emirates, the glitzy Gulf airline, plans to operate passenger flights using Airbus A380s for the first time since the pandemic led the airline to ground the fleet.

  • The airline plans to replace the aging A380 fleet with Boeing 777X aircraft, the first of which is expected to be delivered in 2022.

  • However, Sir Tim Clark, the airline’s president, told Business Insider that nothing will measure up to the passenger experience on board the A380.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As airlines around the world ground their Airbus A380 fleets during the global coronavirus pandemic — some permanently — one airline stands in stark contrast: Emirates.

With a price tag of $445.6 million and room for up to 800 passengers, the four-engine, two-deck behemoth is the largest passenger plane ever built. The first unit entered service in 2007, which some observers have said was decades too late.

Airbus has said it will halt production of the A380 in 2021, with just 251 delivered.

For Emirates, however, the A380 has been the perfect aircraft. As other carriers move to a smaller, nimbler point-to-point system, Emirates has made the “superjumbo” jet a staple of its global long-haul hub-and-spoke system, carrying up to about 600 passengers at a time split between three cabins.

Emirates has also taken advantage of the plane’s enormous size to build its brand as an ultra-glamourous luxury airline.

“It defined us, in many respects,” Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates, said in an interview with Business Insider. “We’ve spent an inordinate amount on product, both in-flight and on the ground, and that’s really paid off.”

Emirates Tim Clark
Emirates Tim Clark

AP

Clark, who has worked in the airline business since the early 1970s, helped found Emirates in 1985 as its head of planning.

In addition to its 115 A380s, the airline has more than 130 Boeing 777s in its fleet.

However, the A380 is a major part of what helped Emirates earn its current market share and reputation.

Among other features, Emirates introduced walk-up bars for first- and business-class passengers, enclosed first class suites, and even a shower that first class passengers could use during the flight.

Although the A380 is currently grounded due to the pandemic, Clark said that the airline plans to bring them back into service — the first A380s will begin flying this week — and keep them in use for as long as possible.

“Hopefully, we’ll see them flying for at least another 10 years,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s not being produced. So there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ll keep it going as long as we can.”

For after that, Emirates has orders for about 115 of Boeing’s next-generation wide-body jet, the 777X, primarily the larger 777-9X. as well as smaller 787 Dreamliners. 

An onboard bar of an Airbus A380 is pictured during a delivery ceremony of Emirates' 100th Airbus A380
An onboard bar of an Airbus A380 is pictured during a delivery ceremony of Emirates’ 100th Airbus A380

REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Despite the new plane’s technology and efficiency advancements, Clark says it simply won’t measure up to the A380 from the passenger’s perspective.

“We will have some very good products on the -9X,” Clark said. “But to be quite honest, nothing is going to be as good.”

“How could it be as good as the A380 on the upper deck, or as good as it is in economy with 10-abreast seating on the main deck,” he added. “It’s palatial. And people absolutely love it. They still go out of their way to get on the 380.”

Clark said that the 777X will feature updated first class suites — the airline unveiled the new suites in 2019 — as well as a new business class product, and some kind of walk-up bar.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not to say the other aircraft will not be good, but I don’t think they’ll be as good as the A380.”

Emirates Airbus A380 First class
Emirates Airbus A380 First class

AP

Development of the 777X has faced multiple delays. Although Emirates was originally scheduled to receive its first deliveries this year, Boeing deferred to 2021 due to issues with the engines and a failed pressure test in 2019. Emirates chief operating officer Adel Al Redha told Bloomberg last week that the airline now expects that to slide to 2022.

“In some respects, that is okay with us,” Clark said. “If next year is a difficult year, we’ll have to make adjustments to our program of aircraft deliveries.

Read the original article on Business Insider



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21 injured in fire aboard ship at Naval Base San Diego


SAN DIEGO —
Twenty-one people suffered minor injuries in an explosion and fire Sunday on board a ship at Naval Base San Diego, military officials said.

The blaze was reported shortly before 9 a.m. on USS Bonhomme Richard, said Mike Raney, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet.

Seventeen sailors and four civilians were hospitalized with “non-life threatening injuries,” Raney said in a brief statement. He didn’t provide additional details.

Previously officials said at least one person was treated for smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. It wasn’t immediately known where on the 840-foot (255-meter) amphibious assault vessel the blast and the fire occurred.

The flames sent up a huge plume of dark smoke visible around San Diego.

San Diego is the Bonhomme Richard’s home port, and it was undergoing routine maintenance at the time of the fire.

About 160 sailors and officers were on board, Raney said — far fewer than the thousand typically on the ship when it’s on active duty.

All crew members were accounted for, said Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.

“We are grateful for the quick and immediate response of local, base, and shipboard firefighters aboard USS Bonhomme Richard,” Gilday said in a statement.

The ship has the capacity to deploy and land helicopters, smaller boats and amphibious vehicles.

Two other docked ships, USS Fitzgerald and USS Russell, were moved to berths away from the fire, Raney said.



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