The number of people in hospital with coronavirus has dropped nine-fold since early April.

Health officials revealed on Wednesday there were just 50 people fighting COVID-19 in hospital, well down on the 448 recorded five weeks ago.

As the number of unrecovered cases fell to 700, attention is turning to the mental health fallout from Australians having spent so long in isolation from friends and family.

A new deputy chief medical officer has been appointed to deal with mental health ahead of the national cabinet on Friday approving a plan to improve support services.

Just as the government got “ahead of the curve” with the virus, Health Minister Greg Hunt says former Victorian chief psychiatrist Dr Ruth Vine will play a crucial role in heading off major problems with mental health.

NSW authorities are urging people to be vigilant as restrictions begin to ease, with pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants to open for 10 people at a time from Friday.

WorkSafe is investigating the coronavirus outbreak at a meat processing facility in Melbourne’s west, as another cluster continues to grow in the city’s north.

Three more infections have been linked to McDonald’s Fawkner, bringing the total number of cases linked to the fast-food restaurant to six.

The Queensland government is aiming to buy a stake in Virgin Australia, after the airline went into voluntary administration last month following COVID-19 travel bans.

Australia’s death toll rose to 98 on Wednesday after an 81-year-old passenger from the Ruby Princess died in NSW.

Meanwhile, Labor says the government is putting livelihoods at risk by not expanding the job subsidy program JobSeeker to more people who need it.

The federal opposition argues university and aviation staff should be entitled to it, as both sectors have been hit hard by the virus-driven shutdown.

In addition, shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers has warned the government to “be smart” about cutting off JobKeeper on its six-month deadline of September 27.

“If you need to target it, if you need to taper it, if you need to do different things for different industries or for different kinds of workers, then put something on the table,” Dr Chalmers said.

“But don’t just assume that everything’s going to be fine one day in September.”

A key factor in reopening the economy – the COVIDSafe app – is now doing its tracing work after all states and territories signed up to privacy and security protections.

Five medical practitioners who are also MPs have thrown their weight behind the app, which is now in the pockets of 5.6 million Australians.

David Gillespie, Katie Allen, Mike Freelander, Richard Di Natale and Andrew Laming have jointly called for greater support for the app.