Australia coronavirus live update: Victoria records 23 Covid deaths and 113 new cases, with nine new cases in NSW

Queensland records two new cases, as Labor grills Coalition on aged care and PM discusses foreign relations bill. Follow all the latest news and updates, live

8.00am BST

The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre has just released a short report following its first month of operation.

More than 60 staff from 21 federal and state government and private sector agencies came together to care for aged care residents and support the aged care workforce in Victoria, which has been significantly impacted by the virus.

Executive officer Joe Buffone said “While we recognise that the pandemic is not over, we have experienced a reduction in facilities that require acute intervention”.

7.53am BST

Barnaby Joyce has defended aged care minister Richard Colbeck keeping his ministerial job after pressure from the opposition he should be stripped of the portfolio over his performance during the pandemic.

Previously, Colbeck has been unable to state how many deaths have occurred in aged care since the outbreak of Covid-19.

I think it’s kind of ridiculous to go to a person in parliament and say because they didn’t get a number right therefore they’ve absconded from all responsibilities and all care about aged care. It’s absurd.”

It is not normal times. It is not something that can be predicted like you predict spring coming. It just didn’t work like that. And obviously everybody had to learn as they went along. If we had our chance again, if we knew what we knew now, all of us would do a better job. You show me any political party of any colour that had the script written for a pandemic.

How are you going to provide for these services in the future with this mountain of debt? Who is going to pay the debt back? We’re just going to keep borrowing money over and over again? Of course you’ll need the private sector involved. Because in the future we won’t have the money to just spend on anything we wish as much as we wish to.”

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: Australia coronavirus live update: Victoria records 23 Covid deaths and 113 new cases, with nine new cases in NSW ———

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