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Coronavirus pandemic

Today

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Now’s not the time to reduce COVID-19 isolation period: PM

Rebuffing a push to cut isolation periods from seven to five days, the Prime Minister instead said reducing the prevalence of insecure jobs would be on the jobs summit agenda.

  • 1 hr ago
  • Michael Read and Phillip Coorey
Moderna has finalised its application to medical regulators for an omicron-specific vaccine.

Aussies could get omicron-targeted jab earlier than most

Moderna has finalised its application to the medical regulator for an omicron-specific vaccine, with the pharmaceutical giant hopeful of an August rollout.

  • Michael Read
“It is broadly accepted – certainly among independent, objective observers of the Australian economy – that wages aren’t the problem when it comes to the issues that we are confronting,” the Treasurer says.

Budget, economic outlook ‘confronting’: Chalmers

Treasurer Jim Chalmers says world economy ‘a difficult, if not dangerous, place’; PM, NSW, Victoria agree COVID-19 quarantine should not be shortened yet. How the day unfolded.

  • Updated
  • Georgie Moore

Yesterday

Nearly a third of refrigerated containers are stuck in Asia, mostly in China.

No return to ‘normal’ for shipping container costs

With more than a third of refrigerated containers stuck in Asia, mostly in China, container prices are expected to improve slowly before normalising in 2024.

  • Updated
  • Tom Burton
July 18, 2022

Labor learns to live with governing

Labor’s necessary backflip on COVID-19 payments is part of learning to live with governing rather than being stuck in opposition. There will be plenty more tough decisions to come – with less leeway to change course.

  • Jennifer Hewett
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Calls for budget savings to offset COVID-19 payments

Anthony Albanese’s decision to restore the $750 pandemic leave payment before a spike in COVID-19 omicron cases should be offset by budget savings, says economist Chris Richardson.

  • Ronald Mizen

Albanese wedged by his own sledges on budget

After the backflip on pandemic leave, holding its ground on the fuel excise cut expiry is a crucial test of the fiscal strategy of the Labor government.

  • The AFR View

These three immigration solutions could ease worker shortages

Now is the time for the government to act by extending foreign workers’ visas, encouraging international students to return and motiving skilled migrants to call Australia home.

  • Paul Guerra and Daniel Hunter
International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva with Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan at the G20 meeting in Bali.

‘Shock after shock after shock’: IMF will cut growth outlook

The International Monetary Fund’s director for strategy and policy says surging prices, the pandemic and China’s slowdown are making things difficult for policymakers.

  • Yudith Ho and Michelle Jamrisko
The British summer, set to be one of the hottest on record, is offering no relief from COVID-19.

Europe shows latest COVID-19 wave is not just a winter thing

Nearly 3.5 million people in Britain were infected in the first week of July, but the public and politicians are relaxed or indifferent about a new COVID-19 wave sweeping Europe in the middle of summer.

  • Hans van Leeuwen

This Month

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Saturday.

PM to reinstate pandemic leave payments

After facing mounting pressure, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has reinstated pandemic leave payments to address the latest COVID-19 wave.

  • Updated
  • Campbell Kwan
Pressure is growing on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to restore the COVID-19 support payments.

Albanese faces wall of opposition on pandemic cash

The Prime Minister left open a possible reversal on pandemic leave payments as highly infectious new omicron subvariants drive a winter wave of infections.

  • Updated
  • Tom McIlroy, Samantha Hutchinson and David Marin-Guzman
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association secretary Brett Holmes said staff shortages hadn’t even peaked yet and “we’re in a situation that is pretty dire”.

Health absences ramp up as unions urge return of pandemic leave

Unions warn staff shortages due to COVID-19 are climbing and “no manager is freely handing out leave passes”.

  • David Marin-Guzman
Labor’s assistant spokesman for communications and cybersecurity Tim Watts.

‘Many ideas’ to be discussed in snap COVID-19 meeting: Labor MP

Labor MP Tim Watts said there are many issues, not just pandemic payments, that the government has to consider; Independent MP Sophie Scamps has warned no pandemic payments could create another COVID-19 surge. How the day unfolded.

  • Updated
  • Georgie Moore and Campbell Kwan
People run in the street with fighting bulls at the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona.

After a pandemic hiatus, the bulls are running again in Pamplona

Tens of thousands of visitors attended the festival in northern Spain that includes the famous and chaotic races.

  • Derrick Bryson Taylor and Francheska Melendez
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People wear face masks near Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station on Thursday.

‘This is going to be a tough few weeks for Australia’

With about 4500 Australians in hospital with COVID-19 and the country on track for 10,000 deaths, politicians and health experts are asking: where to from here?

  • Tom McIlroy
Israel wants the raw data, not after it’s been cleaned and published, which usually takes time, says Dr Alroy-Preis.

This radar system could discover the next health threat

Israel led the world in some aspects of the pandemic and is now building a new system to keep on top of COVID-19 and other diseases.

  • Jill Margo
BA.4 and BA.5 are already the dominant strains of COVID-19 in states including Victoria and NSW.

Why you’re likely to get reinfected with COVID-19 this winter

The highly transmissible omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 are expected to result in millions of people testing positive more than once to COVID-19.

  • Tom McIlroy
There are currently 105 active COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care homes across Australia.

Aged care on notice over COVID-19 winter threat

A new winter plan to reduce infections and death follows two horror years in homes for elderly and vulnerable people.

  • Tom McIlroy
Scott Morrison

COVID response wasn’t perfect - but it was better than most: Morrison

Former prime minister Scott Morrison says Australia’s relative success fighting the coronavirus was “no fluke” but he paid a political price.

  • Updated
  • Phillip Coorey