Coronavirus Australia: 452 Confirmed Cases, 4 Deaths In NSW

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Coronavirus COVID 19 USA
Medical workers at Kaiser Permanente French Campus test a patient for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at a drive-thru testing facility in San Francisco, California on March 12, 2020. - Between 70 to 150 million people in the United States could eventually be infected with the novel coronavirus, according to a projection shared with Congress, a lawmaker said March 12, 2020. JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Australia is seeing a rise in the country’s COVID-19 infection as confirmed cases surpass 450. The Australian government has announced sweeping measures to try and curb the spread of the deadly virus. 

The coronavirus pandemic has taken over the world, with confirmed cases across the globe hitting north of 198,000. As of 6:13 p.m. NSW time, the global death toll is at 7,954, per Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. There have been five confirmed deaths in Australia, four being in New South Wales. 

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said at a news conference Wednesday that the government is stepping-up its response to the outbreak. It has added further restrictions to help stop the COVID-19 spread, including banning mass indoor gatherings of 100 or more people. 

The PM, however, confirmed schools will remain open and be exempted from this new ruling. Defending this decision, Morrison said shutting down schools will disrupt the health workforce and force layoffs. 

“The disruption that would occur from the closure of schools around this country, make no mistake, would be severe,” Morrison explained.

“What do I mean by severe? Tens of thousands of jobs could be lost, if not more. [There would be] a 30% impact on the availability of health workers is our advice – that will put peoples’ lives at risk.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs has also announced level-four restrictions on travel, placing a “do not travel” order. Morrison says such disruptions may be in place for “at least six months … it could be much longer.”

"This is a once-in-100 year type event, we haven't seen this sort of thing in Australia since the end of the first World War, but together we are of course up to this challenge," he added. 

He also asked Australians to "stop hoarding", calling the move "not sensible" and "not helpful."