Moneycontrol PRO
you are here: HomeNewsWorld

Australian PM Scott Morrison warns citizens as coronavirus cases cross 1,600

"Australians will be living with this virus for at least the next six months. It could be longer. There is no three or four week shutdown that makes it all goes away. No short term solution to all of this," Scott Morrison said.

March 23, 2020 / 12:04 PM IST

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on March 23 warned the country's citizens that the health crisis due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection could last at least six months as the number of cases has crossed 1,600 in the country which was now wreaking economic havoc.

The cases have crossed 1,640 in the country with 669 in New South Wales, 355 in Victoria, 319 in Queensland, 140 in Western Australia, 100 in South Australia, 22 in Tasmania, 19 in the Australian Capital Territory and five in the Northern Territory.

"Australians will be living with this virus for at least the next six months. It could be longer. There is no three or four week shutdown that makes it all goes away. No short term solution to all of this," Morrison said.

"We have to steel ourselves for the next six months and work together to slow the spread in order to save lives," he said and urged people to respect and follow the healthy social distancing measures set out by the health authorities.

A national Cabinet chaired by Morrison along with all state leaders on March 23 decided to shutdown none essential facilities like pubs, indoor sporting venues, hotels (excluding accommodation), gyms, Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs while restaurants and cafes have been restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more

"No more going to the pub after work. No more going to the gym in the morning. No more sitting down for brunch at a cafe. These changes are vital to slow the spread of this virus to save lives," he said.

Morrison also stressed that the government would not be complacent and may need and were likely to impose further restrictions on daily lives as the virus spread grows further.

He called the pandemic as an unprecedented challenge which was a once in a 100 year event.

The coronavirus was wreaking economic havoc, he said.

"For many, young and old, 2020 will be the toughest year of our lives," he said.

The government has announced limits on the outdoor and indoor mass gatherings, non-essential indoor gatherings to less than one person per four-square metres and where possible, keeping 1.5 metres between each individual.

In Victoria, the state premier Daniel Andrews announced closure of all pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms and places of worship including shutting down schools from Tuesday.

Sixty-one new cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Monday morning bringing the state's total to 355 cases.

The NSW which confirmed 136 new cases has a highest number of confirmed cases at 669 as of today.

Queensland which would join other states - Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory - in taking measures to close its borders recorded surge in new cases.

Total number of cases in Western Australia stood at 140 with a majority of them with a travel history.

Queensland confirmed cases stood at over 319 with 60 new cases while Tasmania had 22 confirmed with no community transmission cases so far.

According to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, the death toll from the virus globally has risen to 14,641 with 336,000 cases reported in 173 countries and territories.
first published: Mar 23, 2020 11:35 am

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark