Australia Says Lockdown an Option in Face of COVID-19

Australias Federal, state and territory leaders will discuss developments in the spread of COVID-19 and the needed response during a phone link-up on Sunday.

The Morrison government has warned all options are on the table to help tackle the spread of the coronavirus, which my include school closures in the future and even a complete lockdown of the country similar to Italy, France, and Spain.

“Everything is up for consideration,” Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy told national broadcaster ABC televisions Insiders Program on Sunday.

The new national cabinet to deal with COVID-19 will come together via a phone hook-up at midday on Sunday.

The weekly gathering was agreed at Fridays Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting and is made up of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the six premiers and two chief ministers, as well as key federal ministers and medical experts like Professor Murphy.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told Insiders the question of school closures will be very much guided by medical advice as the number of virus cases in Australia rises above 250.

Murphy said he did not want to move too early on something like that because of the risk of taking parents out of the workforce to look after their children, particularly if they are in the health and medical sector.

“One of the interesting and positive aspects of this virus is that there have been very few reports of symptomatic infection in children,” he said.

“What we dont know is whether children are getting infected but just dont get symptoms. They can still spread it or theyre not getting infected. The former is probably more likely.”

He felt next weeks federal parliamentary sitting should go ahead after meeting with its presiding officers on Saturday, who are looking at a range of measures to reduce the number of people in the building including staff and visitors.

Australians more broadly are being urged to play their part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus as part of a national campaign.

A letter from Morrison, Hunt, and Murphy ran in newspapers across the country on Sunday, along with the latest information on COVID-19.

It urges people to wash their hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, and dispose of tissues, and avoid contact with others if theyre feeling unwell.

“Australia has one of the best health systems in the world with some of the most dedicated and experienced health professionals,” the letter reads.

“Containing the spread of an infection like COVID-19 comes down to every Australian playing their part by looking after their own hygiene, looking out for each other, and sRead More – Source

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