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  • Scott Morrison is urging Australians not to panic as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread

    Author: AAP

The government has flagged bold new measures to slow the spread of coronavirus after Australia recorded its first two cases of person-to-person transmission.

Some 10,000 people across the country have been tested and there are 38 confirmed cases.

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Twenty-one of those have been cleared of the virus.

The prime minister is urging people to go about their normal lives but use common sense.

"They don't have to, not turn up to the footy, or go out for a Chinese meal or any of these things," he told Nine.


Frontline Health Brisbane
Frontline Health Brisbane

Mr Morrison is expected to announce an economic stimulus package within days, as the virus wreaks havoc on Australian trade, supply chains and businesses across the country.

What we need to do is ensure that with the fiscal response that we will provide and which I flagged last week, that we'd be delivering, that it is very targeted, that it's very measured and it's very scalable," he told the ABC.

"We'll be announcing those soon and we'll be announcing the key areas we will be targeting at that time."

Australia is considering travel bans for South Korea and Italy where coronavirus outbreaks have taken hold.

Mr Morrison has asked for a reassessment of travel and border control arrangements for higher risk groups in those countries.

The prime minister has also consulted with supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths.

He said Kimberly-Clark, which manufactures toilet paper, was opening up their manufacturing lines in South Australia to deal with the shortages.

Biosecurity control orders can direct Australians suspected of carrying the coronavirus to remain in lockdown.

Human health "response zones" can also be declared, banning people from attending places of mass gatherings like schools and shopping centres.

James Kwan, 78, was the first Australian to die from the virus. His wife was also infected and remains in hospital.

Travel bans remain in place for foreign nationals arriving from Iran and China but the government has indicated further travel bans are unlikely to have any effect on the spread of the disease.

Globally there have been more than 88,500 infections and more than 3000 deaths spanning 67 countries and regions.


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