Australia has banned “non-essential” gatherings of greater than 100 individuals in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced sweeping new measures on Wednesday, together with discouraging journey abroad.
However he mentioned faculties, public transport and public squares would stay open, avoiding the type of shutdown seen in some nations.
Australia has recorded over 450 optimistic assessments and 5 deaths, with a pointy rise in instances up to now week.
Nevertheless, the numbers stay decrease than in Europe and North America.
Following a gathering of cupboard officers on Tuesday evening, Mr Morrison mentioned the federal government had declared a “biosecurity emergency”. He described it as a “one in a hundred-year occasion” however urged the general public to stay calm.
“We have not seen this kind of factor in Australia for the reason that finish of the First World Battle. However collectively, we’re as much as this problem,” he mentioned.
As a part of the brand new restrictions, workplaces, prisons and different “important” locations will nonetheless function as regular.
Nevertheless, different occasions akin to spiritual gatherings of greater than 100 individuals and concert events in small venues shall be prohibited.
Mr Morrison mentioned Australians shouldn’t journey overseas anyplace – the primary time such recommendation had been given within the nation’s historical past.
“The largest threat now we have had and the largest incidents of instances now we have had… has been from Australians getting back from abroad,” he mentioned.
On Sunday, Canberra ordered 14-day self-isolation for anybody arriving within the nation. Australians at the moment overseas have been urged to return.
‘Steer clear of one another’
The doubling of Australian case numbers up to now week has sparked public concern, growing debate about whether or not faculties and different locations ought to shut.
Many workplace employees have additionally begun working from house as Australians observe social distancing measures.
What are social distancing and self-isolation?
Whereas public well being officers have inspired this, they are saying they don’t seem to be trying but to implement extra stringent lockdowns – predicting that the disaster may final about six months.
“There isn’t a method that we will lock down society and make everybody keep house after which in a month’s time, undo that, as a result of the virus will simply flare up once more with none actual long-term profit,” Australia’s chief medical officer, Dr Brendan Murphy, informed reporters.
As a substitute, he urged Australians to train warning in social interactions: “Steer clear of one another the place attainable.”
Dr Murphy additionally mentioned the current escalation in instances was “clearly regarding” however famous they have been “largely nonetheless fuelled by imported instances”.
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