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Coronavirus steals away a son's final farewell

Coronavirus steals away a son's final farewell

Mathew Kenna wanted to say goodbye to his dad, Robert, who died of a heart attack last week. Nope.

Just as he was about to leave the ACT on Sunday to attend his dad's funeral, he learnt his application for an exemption from quarantine, based on compassionate grounds, was rejected.

Mr Kenna booked the trip before Tasmania's border restrictions were even announced. Any leeway there? Nope.

Instead, he had to make do with a live stream of the service.

It is a scenario which, unfortunately, may be played out times over as the coronavirus pandemic grips Australia. And, as restrictions are further tightened.

As Prime Minister Scott Morrison explained last night as he introduced next level measures, attendance at funerals will be capped - along with most other gathering you could imagine.

A funeral director in Busselton, WA, said: "I think people are beginning to understand the seriousness of the potential this pandemic holds for us - even here in the South West.

"We really need to think of ways we can minimise the amount of staff we have at funerals so we can maximise the family's attendance, because we are included in that number of 10."

Meanwhile, the world and his wife, including Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram, tries to work out just how coronavirus-infected passengers were allowed to leave the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney last week. Count deputy PM Michael McCormack in that tally as he answered questions about cruise ship passenger arrivals in Wagga today.

While the cruise ship "he said-she said" debate rages, the nation's COVID-19-affected tally continues to rise, worryingly so.

New cases have been revealed in NSW's Hunter New England Health district, Bendigo, Griffith and the Illawarra in NSW as well as well as South Australia's Limestone Coast to name but a few places.

And with testing criteria now expanded to include people with symptoms in high-risk settings - such as prisons, aged care,boarding schools and remote communities, those statistics are likely to keep climbing for some time yet.

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