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More beds, staff, supplies to fight coronavirus

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The federal government has announced a $1.3 billion deal with private hospitals to provide more beds and staff to alleviate the growing demands of COVID-19.

More beds and staff will be available to care for Australians infected by COVID-19 after the federal government struck a deal with private hospitals to support growing public health demands.

READ MORE: Stay up-to-date with rolling 9News coverage of the coronavirus crisis

The $1.3 billion deal with 657 private hospitals announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt will provide an extra 34,000 beds and more than 100,000 staff covered under the partnership.

Efforts are under way to double the number of ventilated intensive care beds to 4400, as part of an overall target of 7500.

A portable oxygen respirator

Australian manufacturers have intensified their efforts to shore up medical supplies, including producing intensive care ventilators, surgical masks and hand sanitiser.

The federal government's $130 billion JobKeeper package has attracted almost 300,000 business subsidy registrations in the first two days.

READ MORE: Australia's $1500 'Job Keeper' payment explained: How it works

The package will provide businesses with a $1500 fortnightly wage subsidy to be distributed to each employee.

The drastic measure is designed to save six million jobs over the next six months.

More than 4500 cases of coronavirus have been detected across Australia and 19 people have died.

Two Australian Border Force officers – one from NSW and one from Queensland – are reportedly among those who have tested positive.

An elderly man in Tasmania became the latest victim on Tuesday, bringing the state's toll to two deaths in two days.

The daily infection rate has slowed to nine per cent over the past three days, down from a high of 25 to 30 per cent.

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Regulations remain in place despite early signs of the virus infection curve flattening.

READ MORE: Australia's coronavirus social gathering and distancing restrictions extended

These include public gatherings being limited to two people and the closure of non-essential businesses and public spaces.

– Reported with AAP.

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Source: 9News

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