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Anthony Albanese reviews COVID-19 payments as cases rise

The move follows pressure from state governments, health experts & more.

As temperatures drop, Coronavirus cases once again are on the rise - a winter COVID-19 wave is here.

A massive spike in cases, hospitalisations and death is making authorities concerned, coupled with the fact that the new variants, BA4 and BA5 are more contagious than first predicted.

Officials continue to repeat the same message of getting booster shots and wearing face masks, especially indoors, with fears people are becoming complacent.

"I want to make sure that people aren't left behind, that vulnerable people are looked after and that no one is faced with the unenviable choice of not being able to isolate properly without losing an income"

Over 400,000 people have received their 4th dose in the last few days, this what the Prime Minister says is "very positive."

Moments after the PM arrived back from Fiji, he was briefed on the latest situation by the nation’s top health officials, and then called a national cabinet meeting on Saturday, two days before it was scheduled.

New data predicts that millions of Australians will catch COVID-19 over this wave, which is expected to peak in August, to daily case numbers not seen since the beginning of the year.

The department of health and aged care, right now predicts there are over 300,000 active cases and climbing across the country, as of July 16th.

One major topic flagged by state premiers is the return to emergency pandemic payments, a scheme that ended only weeks ago.

But now the government has backflipped on its decision, people who test positive and don’t cannot receive sick leave or if a person needs to stay home to care for a person who has a disability or is under the age of 16 can receive up to $750, starting Wednesday, and backdating to the 1st of July.

The cost of providing these payments will be split 50-50 between the state and federal governments.

Anthony Albanese has said that National Cabinet will now meet every 2-3 weeks, so they can keep updated with the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Watch the full report here.

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