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What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Friday May 8.

Leaders deciding on our way out of isolation today.

The National Cabinet will meet this morning to discuss easing restrictions in response to the squashing of infection rates across the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will chair the meeting but states get the final say on what measures might be eased.

WATCH: Today’s coronavirus headlines. Post continues after video. 

Video by Today Show

Victoria is retaining the most hardline approach, while NSW has signalled it will also move cautiously, with outbreaks in those two states still active.

Queensland is allowing groups of five to visit other houses from Mother’s Day, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk framing it as a reward for achieving good infection results.

The NT, WA and SA are among the least restrictive jurisdictions, while Tasmania and the ACT are yet to wind rules back significantly.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said state governments would make decisions about relaxing restrictions based on their circumstances.

“What we hope comes out of National Cabinet, and what I expect, is a clear roadmap out, with clear stages,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

The devastating economic impact of coronavirus is being felt across the country, with unemployment soaring, as major sectors bear the brunt of the shutdown.

But there’s also fears of a second infection wave when restrictions are lifted.

The current COVID-19 figures.

Health officials are confident Australia is well placed to handle further outbreaks, along with a strong testing and tracing regime to counter the fresh spread.

Leaders are facing the delicate balance between saving livelihoods and protecting lives.

There have been 97 deaths from coronavirus in Australia. More than 6000 of the 6897 people infected have recovered.

Unemployment rates surpass government expectations.

The number of Australians in unemployment queues has already spiked higher than government estimates, while fewer businesses are taking up the wage subsidy offer.

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Official data pointing to a million people losing their jobs in the month to mid-April suggest unemployment has increased to 11 per cent, said NAB economist Kaixin Owyong.

Treasury had forecast the jobless rate would peak at 10 per cent in June but other forecasts, including from NAB, thought it would be higher.

coronavirus photos
Unemployment rates are even higher than the government anticipated. Image: AAP Image/James Gourley.

ANU professor Matthew Gray estimates Australian household budgets will take a collective $102 billion hit this year.

Labor senator Jenny McAllister said young people tended to suffer the most during periods of high unemployment and they also were most likely to work in the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus restrictions.

"We need to really start stepping through what support will be available for vulnerable populations, as we come out of this," she told ABC.

Morrison part of the "virus champions" club.

Australia has been given a seat at the table of a select group of countries which responded quickly to the COVID-19 outbreak, and are now restoring their economies to normal.

Dubbed the "First Movers COVID Group" by Austria, it also includes Denmark, Norway, Greece, the Czech Republic, Israel and Singapore.

Scott Morrison
The Morrison government has been added to the "virus champions" leadership club. Image: Getty.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison met via videoconference with the group's leaders last night, before today's crucial National Cabinet meeting with Australia's premiers and chief ministers.

Of the group, Greece has recorded the least cases, followed by Australia.

Austria was one of the standout nations in dealing with the virus, being one of the first countries to go into lockdown and then reverse the restrictions.

Independent advisor overseeing Sydney nursing home hotspot.

The operator of a coronavirus-plagued nursing home in Sydney has agreed to new conditions imposed by the federal aged care commissioner, including that it appoint an independent adviser.

The Anglicare-run Newmarch House confirmed, at the final minute before deadline, that it had appointed Andrew Kinkade as an external adviser for three months and agreed to the other demands of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

coronavirus Newmarch House update
An independent advisor has been appointed to investigate Newmarch. Image: Getty.
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"We are very pleased to have Andrew as an adviser at this extremely difficult time," Anglicare chief executive officer Grant Millard said in a statement. "His skills and advice are appreciated."

Anglicare ran the risk of losing its approved aged care provider status if it didn't agree to the conditions by 5pm on Thursday.

16 residents infected with COVID-19 have died at the home, with 32 staff and 37 residents infected.

Trump to be tested daily for the virus.

US President Donald Trump says he'll be tested daily for coronavirus after one of his valets tested positive.

Trump said he'd had "very little personal contact" with the man, a US military member, describing the situation as "a bit strange".

coronavirus
President Donald Trump says he's going from weekly to daily coronavirus tests. Image: Getty.

He also made the comment that testing was "somewhat overrated," because “what happens after somebody takes a test, what’s going on there?”

"What happens in between when you got tested, and just a couple of days later?" he asked.

Close to 76,000 people have died from the virus, and climbing, in the United States.

Around the world.

- The Ruby Princess has sailed into Philippine waters, two weeks after leaving Australia, to bring 214 Filipino crew members on board home.

- Deaths in Italy have climbed by 274 compared to 369 the day before, with a total of 29,900 deaths recorded.

- May 18 is the day Italy is reopening churches, and Greece is reopening ancient monuments, as restrictions in both countries start to ease.

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- The number of daily cases in Russia has risen by a record 11,200, pushing the total beyond 177,000 infections.

- Pakistan's five week coronavirus lockdown is being lifted on Saturday, because the country's large number of poor people simply cannot afford to live under it anymore. Cases are still accelerating, with 564 deaths so far.

- International supermodel Harriet Rose is making headlines for revealing she's working in a UK aged care facility to help residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

One month ago, along with 16 other amazing individuals, I moved into a care home that I’ve recently started working at, for a one month lockdown period in order to ensure the safety of the residents during a peak of the covid-19 pandemic. To say it’s been tough would be an understatement! But with great pleasure I can say that we have been so lucky to have not lost any resident or member of staff OR contracted ANY cases of the coronavirus during this period. The quite literal blood sweat and tears, hundreds of hours on minimal sleep and not giving up, were all worth it! We are all SO blessed and we feel so proud of our huge achievement. We send all our love to all the other care homes and care workers who are continuing to do an amazing job! Stay home! Keep to social distancing and WASH YOUR HANDS. Together we will get through this! Stay smiling and stay positive. ????????????

A post shared by Harriet Rose John (@harriettrosee1) on

- With AAP

Feature image: Getty.

To protect yourself and the community from COVID-19, keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people, regularly wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

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