Coronavirus victim in ‘more serious condition’ in WA


Speaking on 2GB this morning, the Prime Minister noted there are 15 cases of the potentially deadly virus in Australia, and a further eight from the Diamond Princess cruise.

“One of these is in a more serious condition in WA, we learnt today,” he said. “But in the rest of the community we can go about our business.”

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The Prime Minister said Australia is “not immune” from the virus, but is “well-prepared”.

“This is not like SARS and MERS which happened some time ago — it’s behaving in a very different way,” the PM said. “How it transmits between people is much more prolific than what we saw. The virus itself is not as severe as SARS, it’s taking more lives. We’re not immune from it, but we are well-prepared.”

He noted the virus is more severe than the flu when it comes to its rate of mortality, but urged Australians to follow the “normal processes”.

Yesterday Mr Morrison warned Australians to prepare for a coronavirus “pandemic” as the Government implements its emergency response plan.

He told reporters there is “every indication the world will soon enter the pandemic phase of the virus”.

He said the Government had moved ahead of the World Health Organisation and was now effectively operating on the basis a pandemic had been declared.

“In the last 24 hours … the data regarding the rate of transmission of the virus outside of China is fundamentally changing the way we need to now look at how this issue is being managed here in Australia,” he said.

“We believe the risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us and as a result as a government we need to take the steps necessary to prepare for such a pandemic.”

The plan includes preparations for extra controls at airports and ports, further quarantine measures and detailing how schools should react to any widespread outbreak.

Australia’s travel ban on people coming from China will also be extended for another week.

The decision to implement the emergency response came after the government received new data showing the rate of cases being confirmed outside China was growing faster than those inside China.



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