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The Informer: The great fried chicken farce and more

How much? Photo: Shutterstock
How much? Photo: Shutterstock

A $26,000 birthday party. Sounds alright, doesn't it?

Great location, happening venue, party pies banished in favour of swank finger food, cutting edge cocktails - oh, imagine.

OR it could have been the fined doled out to a bunch of partygoers from Dandenong busted for breaking Victoria's stay-at-home directive.

Two people ordering about 20 meals at a KFC store at 1.30am aroused the suspicions among ambulance workers at the store. They notified police who followed their chook-lovers' car to a townhouse. It was there police found 16 people - many of whom tried to hide in the backyard, garage and under beds. To no avail.

Hours later Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced 288 new coronavirus cases overnight, the biggest daily spike since the beginning of the pandemic. It brings the state's total to 3397.

NSW also recorded new cases, including two linked to a pub in south-west Sydney. The pub has closed and from 5pm this afternoon there will be pop-up testing in the carpark.

Western Australia won't soften social distancing restrictions as it intended. Phase five was scheduled to begin on July 18, but has been tentatively pushed back to August 1 after Victoria's woes.

Tasmania, too, has delayed reopening its borders.

And if those state-by-state squeezes aren't enough, national cabinet today decided to cut the number of international arrivals it accepts by just over half. The PM, who's off on a working holiday next week, also flagged that all states would move towards charging returning travellers for hotel quarantine.

Meanwhile, the director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus overnight made an emotional plea for the world to unite to fight the pandemic.

With tears in his eyes, Tedros said the true enemy was not the virus itself but "the lack of leadership and solidarity at the global level and national levels."

"How difficult is it for humans to unite to fight a common enemy that's killing people indiscriminately?" he asked at a briefing in Geneva. "Can't we understand that the divisions or the cracks between us actually are to the advantage of the virus?"

His message was not uplfting: "The total number of cases has doubled in the last six weeks."

While frontline workers get on with dealing with that, WHO has set up an independent evaluation committee to determine the lessons learnt from COVID. It will be chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clarke and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

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