OPINION

The Informer: COVID-19 cases decrease as weather heats up

Summer is certainly making its imminent arrival felt this weekend, with heatwave conditions sweeping across NSW and bringing temperatures above 40 degrees and prompting total fire bans.

By 3pm, Sydney had exceeded 40 degrees, while the Bureau of Meteorology's weather station at Fowlers Gap, about 77 kilometres north of Broken Hill, returned a reading above 45 degrees.

Now that's hot.

Picture: Shutterstock

Picture: Shutterstock

The conditions have prompted the NSW Rural Fire Service to declare total fire bans for the Far North Coast, North Coast, Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Central Ranges, New England, Norther Slopes and the North Western regions.

Meantime in Victoria, the state marked its 29th day without a new coronavirus case, moving beyond the benchmark for eliminating coronavirus. No cases were identified among more than 9000 tests in the past day.

Health authorities say 28 days with no new infections means the virus has been eliminated from the community, given that period represents two 14-day incubation periods.

And NSW has made it three weeks without recording a new locally transmitted case of COVID-19. In the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday, 12,000 test results were received, all negative.

Timely, then, that the World Health Organisation's technical lead for COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, says countries with falling coronavirus cases need to remain vigilant.

"What we don't want to see is situations where you are moving from lockdown to bringing (the virus) under control to another lockdown," she told a virtual briefing in Geneva.

A Reuters tally shows nearly 61 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 1.4 million have died.

And finally to Wisconsin, where US President Donald Trump's demand for a recount backfired.

Mr Trump's campaign demanded recounts in two of the state's most populous and Democratic-leaning counties after Mr Trump lost the state to his rival, Joe Biden, by a significant margin of more than 20,000 votes.

The Milwaukee County recount saw Mr Biden chalk up a net gain of 132 votes from nearly 40,000 cast. Overall, Mr Biden gained 257 votes to Mr Trump's 125. The other recount, in Dane County, is expected to finish on Sunday.

Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said: "The recount demonstrates what we already know: that elections in Milwaukee County are fair, transparent, accurate and secure."

How much will this exercise cost the Trump campaign? Oh, just $US 3 million, or about $A4.1 million.

How's that for irony?

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This story COVID-19 cases decrease as weather heats up first appeared on The Canberra Times.