Gatton coronavirus news special: All you need to know

QUEENSLAND has recorded its youngest case of coronavirus with the state's total soaring to 144.

The number of cases has jumped by 50 in the last 24 hours with health authorities now treating a one-year-old.

There are now four people being treated for coronavirus in the West Moreton Health region, that takes in most of the Somerset and Lockyer Valley regions as well as Ipswich.

The Australian death toll from coronavirus has risen to seven after an 81-year-old woman died in a Sydney hospital last night.

It comes as small communities start to pull together 'response groups' to help locals with day-t0-day tasks, like this group in Coominya in Somerset.

We also spoke to a mum and business owner in Hatton Vale who is demonstrating how to look out for people in need. While her kids are at school at least, Donika Gower has six hours a day to help those in need.

Butchers are not being spared the "manic" panic buying being seen in supermarkets, but it's all good business for them with some selling out as soon as meat is placed in the window.

Concerns around the coronavirus outbreak are beginning to have an impact on individuals, with one Lockyer Valley Year 12 student with an auto-immune disability electing to cut his schooling short this term.

It comes as home delivery grocery services are suspended at Woolworths Plainland.

Elsewhere, parents and caregivers of Toowoomba East State School have been advised that a school family has gone into isolation after recent contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Stanthorpe State High School teacher Julia Bert is on the front line of the COVID-19 war, watching the tragedy unfold right in front of her eyes.

On the Sunshine Coast, a mother is pleading for clearer advice during the coronavirus pandemic as her daughter is currently stranded in a foreign country with no solution to return home.

In local government circles, a former mayor has called on the new council to form a 'war room' to deal with the virus outbreak fallout.

Across Queensland mines, new safety procedures are being brought in to reduce the risk of infection after a scare at one mine.

The virus threat is hitting local charities hard with op shops, including one in Ipswich, forced to close.

Across Australia, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases, based on a tally of numbers provided by health authorities in each state and territory, now stands at 756.

There are 353 in New South Wales, 150 in Victoria, 144 in Queensland, 42 in South Australia, 52 in Western Australia, 10 in Tasmania, four in the Australian Capital Territory and one in the Northern Territory

A key adviser to Prime Minister Scott Morrison credited travel restrictions and social distancing as key to controlling the coronavirus - and added the bans are here to stay until at least October.

And in good news for Queensland small business owners, banks will freeze small business customers' loan repayments for up to six months in response to the cash-flow crunch caused by the coronavirus crisis.

About 6.5 million Australians will get a one off payment as part of the Government's response to the coronavirus, with cash rolling out from March 31.

 

As Aussies try to stay well and stop the spread,  there is outrage as backpackers in Australia are defying social distancing rules, saying they can "handle" the coronavirus because they're young.

And there are hopes that an experimental drug initially designed to treat ebola could cure patients of coronavirus, after a 79-year-old Italian man who had tested positive to COVID-19 was given the all-clear following treatment.

 

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