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Australia many weeks away from lifting COVID-19 restrictions: PM

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Canberra, April 14 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday said that the country was still “many weeks away” from easing COVID-19 restrictions.

The National Cabinet, established on March 13, which comprises Morrison and state and territory leaders, is scheduled to meet this week to “look at the sort of prerequisites”, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, Morrison said on Tuesday morning that measures introduced to slow the spread of the virus, including mandatory quarantine periods, social distancing rules and business closures, would not be repealed for “many weeks.”

“We are doing a lot of work over the last week or so in particular to look at the sort of prerequisites, the things that need to happen, before you can start considering that,” he told the media.

“You’ve seen in places like Singapore and Sweden and other parts of the world where the virus has just taken off again. We can’t have those sort of things happen here in Australia.

“The immediate response capacity to outbreaks, wherever they might come, we’ve got to be able to slap down on these things very hard if we’re to look at easing of restrictions.

“So we are looking at how that can be achieved. But I wouldn’t want to mislead people. We’re still many weeks to go on this,” the Prime Minister added.

The spread of the COVID-19 in Australia has slowed significantly in April.

The daily increase of confirmed cases has fallen below 2 per cent compared to more than 20 per cent throughout much of March.

Morrison said that federal, state and territory governments would work to bolster Australia’s health care system before any restrictions are eased.

Australia has so far reported 6,494 confirmed coronavirus cases with 61 deaths.



(This story has not been edited by Newsd staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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