Coronavirus Australia Update: New Restrictions Imposed As COVID-19 Cases Rise To 4,203

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Scott Morrison
The new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends a news conference in Canberra, Australia. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

Australia has imposed new restrictions to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The country is banning any public gatherings of more than two people.

The new restrictions require Australians to stay at home unless going to supermarkets, exercising, going to work or visiting a doctor. Those 70 years old and above have been required to self isolate, Reuters reported.

“Anyone who doesn’t need to be out of their home should be in the home,” said Brendan Murphy, chief medical officer. “This is radical.”

Australia is seeing a slow growth in its number of COVID-19 confirmed cases. As of 2:14 am Sydney time, there are 4,203 COVID-19 positive cases and 16 deaths in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center. This despite the daily rate of spread being cut in half in recent days.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has instructed states and territories to determine how to limit gatherings and what penalties to impose on those who defy the new rules. Health officials have confirmed that social distancing measures have helped slowdown the outbreak in the Land Down Under.

On Monday, however, 41 coronavirus positive patients from the German cruise ship Artania have been admitted to an Australian hospital.

Earlier last week, Western Australia state premier Mark McGowan demanded that the ship leave Australian waters in fears of it aiding the COVID-19 spread. While over 800 passengers have since left the country via chartered flights to Germany, those who have tested positive for the virus will be treated at Joondalup Health Campus, a private hospital.

“This humanitarian hospital care will be provided in one of the state’s premier facilities, which is fully prepared for and is already treating COVID-19 patients,” Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement, noted USA Today.