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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Australian government warns citizens not to let down their guard as restrictions ease

Maya Taylor



Dan Freeman on Unsplash

The Australian government is warning its citizens not to let their guard down as some restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus are lifted. The country has had 98 deaths from around 7,000 cases to date. Given the devastating figures coming from many other parts of the world, Australia (and neighbouring New Zealand) appear to have been relatively successful in managing the pandemic up to date.

However, Thai PBS World reports that Australian PM Scott Morrison and Cabinet Secretary Philip Gaetjens warn of the dangers of complacency, saying dealing with the virus is a “marathon, not a sprint”. As if to illustrate his point, the state of New South Wales recorded zero cases yesterday, but six today. Three of those are believed to be cases of community infections.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian says people must remain alert to any symptoms they develop as parts of the country begin to open up.

“It is important for us to all take precautions because there will be many more people out and about (from Friday), and out and about for recreation as opposed to other reasons. We should feel very fortunate we are in this position as we ease restrictions, but it also means we have to maintain our vigilance and get tested if we have the mildest symptoms.”

Australia is gradually lifting restrictions that have been in place since March, with the aim of seeing nearly a million people return to work in the coming 3 months. The Covid-19 pandemic means the country expects unemployment to double to 10% by June, although the government remains hopeful of a rapid bounce-back once restrictions are fully lifted.

The New Zealand and Australian governments have discussed the probability of a short-medium term “travel bubble” for the two countries to kick off travel and tourism before they allow their citizens to start flying overseas again.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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