Baby among 29 new NSW cases; $165m lifeline to airlines

 

NSW has reported 29 new cases of COVID-19 overnight, up from 11 the previous day.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also revealed almost 5000 people were tested yesterday.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant has also revealed a seven-week-old baby has tested COVID-positive.

 

Twenty-nine new cases.... NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today.
Twenty-nine new cases.... NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today.

 

Meanwhile, Qantas and Virgin will be able to operate crucial domestic routes after the government extended a lifeline to the ailing carriers.

The federal government will underwrite a range of domestic flights, initially spending $165 million to keep the airlines afloat.

The rescue package will see the commonwealth splash cash to sustain the operation of critical flights to capital cities and the regions such as those for medical staff, returned travellers or freight.

 

 

The domestic routes will continue to operate for the next eight weeks with a review set to determine if more time and funding is needed.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the move would support those in critical need of travel.

"This investment will also help Australians returning from overseas, who find themselves in a different city after 14 days of mandatory quarantine, complete their journey home safely."

 

Australian Deputy Prime Mnister Michael McCormack says the support package will help ensure essential flights continue to operate. Picture: AAP
Australian Deputy Prime Mnister Michael McCormack says the support package will help ensure essential flights continue to operate. Picture: AAP

 

The flights will service Sydney along with the regional areas of Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.

The announcement comes after Virgin launched a desperate plea for a $1.4 billion bailout to stay afloat.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is instead putting pressure on the company's shareholders, saying they have "deep pockets".

"We want to see Virgin continue, we want to see two airlines in the domestic market, but we're not in the business of owning an airline," Mr Frydenberg told ABC radio on Thursday.

Mr Frydenberg said the government was continuing to talk to the company as well as Qantas, having already provided more than $1 billion in relief for the aviation industry.

Virgin on Thursday announced a further seven-day trading halt for its shares to continue talks on financial aid and restructuring alternatives to help it weather the crisis.

The airline didn't identify who the talks are with.

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Baby among 29 new NSW cases; $165m lifeline to Virgin, Qantas