NSW leading Australian recovery from COVID-19 crisis
Harsh border closures and Victoria's horror coronavirus wave are stifling economic recovery, with NSW emerging as the strongest state carrying the rest of the country.
Treasury modelling shows a staggering 315,000 people in NSW without a job or working zero hours have regained employment since the worst of the pandemic in April, even after being isolated by other states.
About 69.4 per cent of the jobs either lost or reduced to no hours across the state during the first lockdown have restarted, while Victoria has clawed back just 44.3 per cent and Queensland only 39.2 per cent.
NSW has carried the country's recovery, with its efforts to reopen the economy contributing 46 per cent of the total jobs returned despite the state only being responsible for 32 per cent of national employment.
The NSW effective unemployment rate - including people who left the workforce or have no hours - has dropped from a peak of 15.8 per cent in April to 8.5 per cent in July.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said there was a "long way to go" through the crisis with data showing job recovery "may be slowing as state border closures have been tightened."
"We know the road to recovery will be bumpy as we have seen with the setback in Victoria," he said.
"However, the jobs recovery across the rest of the country gives cause for optimism that through containing the spread of the virus and reopening the economy we will get through this."
NSW recorded just four new cases of COVID-19 yesterday (SUN) having conducted more than 26,400 tests. Two of the coronavirus cases were returned travellers in hotel quarantine, one person was linked to the Apollo Restaurant cluster and another was a hotel security guard.
Meanwhile in Victoria there were another 17 deaths and 208 positive cases recorded, with 20,747 tests conducted.
The successful easing of restrictions in NSW while maintaining a strong contact tracing system to suppress coronavirus outbreaks has been heralded as the "gold standard" for others to aspire to.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said NSW had been under "the most pressure of any state and territory" but have had "magnificent" results.
"In terms of the hope it gives to Australians, that the suppression strategy can be successful pursued," he said after National Cabinet met last week.
"I think they demonstrate the way forward as to how these things can be managed."
A new report by Deloitte surveying the "sentiment" of Australia's chief financial officers to be released today (MON) has found the coronavirus crisis has wiped out business confidence with the global economic downturn fuelling a "drastic" drop in optimism.
Although 53 per cent of CFOs remained "optimistic" about the future, about three out of four expected their companies' revenues to fall in the second half of 2020 and get even worse in 2021.
Many of those surveyed agreed the pandemic had opened them up to new trends, with 70 per cent more accepting of flexible working arrangements than pre-COVID.
COMMON COLDS SEEN AS COVID HELP
Common colds could prepare the body to mount a faster and stronger response to COVID-19 and explain why some people have a milder form of the disease.
Several recent studies have found between 20 and 50 per cent of healthy people have immune cells, called T cells, able to recognise COVID-19, even though they have never apparently had the virus.
T cells are developed as a defence to viruses, such as a cold, and remain in the body to fight off future bouts.
Professor Alessandro Sette who co-led a study by the La Jolla Institute for Immunology said it had now been proven "some people" have pre-existing T cell memory against the cold that can cross-recognise COVID-19.
"Immune reactivity may translate to different degrees of protection," Prof Sette said.
"Having a strong T cell response, or a better T cell response may give you the opportunity to mount a much quicker and stronger response (to COVID-19)." It is hoped the information could be used to make COVID-19 vaccine candidates more potent.
FAUCI PRAISES AUSTRALIAN COVID RESPONSE
America's top doctor has lauded Australia's response to the coronavirus, saying the country has done "a really good job" in our response to the pandemic.
"When we talk about who did it right, I mean, Australia always comes up as one of the countries that has done it right," Dr Anthony Fauci said in an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes.
"I mean, you have suffered the way many of us have. But when you look, comparatively speaking, you've done a really good job."
He also said that he believed Australia had picked the right vaccine candidate to protect against COVID-19.
Dr Fauci said the potential vaccine secured by the Australian government last week was one of the top candidates for a safe and effective vaccine.
"The candidate that comes out of the UK is now being tested by the British in Brazil and in South Africa," he told 60 Minutes.
He told the news program he was confident there will be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, with recent advances in technology helping to speed up the process of developing a safe and effective vaccine significantly.
"The proof in the pudding, obviously, is going to be what the result of the trial is. But those kinds of inklings makes us have some aspirational hope that by the time we get to the end of the year, we'll have a vaccine.
"I'm right in the middle of what I've trained my entire life for. My message is that we're going to get out of this.
"We're going to end this, guaranteed."
But Dr Fauci said clearly that there would be no cutting of corners in finding a vaccine so important to global health.
"Even though it looks like it's very, very fast, the speed of it is only because of the advances in technology," Dr Fauci said.
"If you just look and say, 'Well, wait a minute. You said this usually takes a few years, and now you did it in a year or less. Did you sacrifice anything that would be troublesome?'
"And the answer, quite frankly, is no."
Dr Fauci also spoke about his, at times, contentious relationship with Donald Trump, saying the pair actually get on well.
"Sometimes, I don't see him for a while, and sometimes, I see him a couple of times a week. But, our personal relationship is good," Dr Fauci said.
"I know you can see in the papers, there's this tension, but in reality, when you get in the same room, and, and, and discuss things, then our relationship is fine. It's, it's a good
Originally published as NSW leading Australian recovery from COVID-19 economic crisis