Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday said that he has confidence the country could move ahead with easing restrictions as it can respond and deal with new coronavirus outbreaks.
PM Morrison said, “There will be outbreaks…we can’t go stop-go-stop-go and we can’t flick the light on-and-off-on-and-off-and-on-and-off”.
Earlier, at a meeting of the National Cabinet, Morrison told media that Australia is in a better position than he hoped for when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country in January.
However, he also warned that there was still a high risk of further outbreaks that could undo all of Australia’s progress on preventing the spread of the virus.
The surge in new cases comes just weeks after Australia began easing social distancing restrictions, and authorities believe the increase in new cases stemmed from family get-togethers attended by people with mild symptoms.
Australia has committed to removing the bulk of social distancing restrictions by the end of July, but each state will determine when and how easing takes place.
The reopening of Australia’s states and territories has stirred hopes its economy can avoid a prolonged trough, though it is on course for its first recession in nearly 30 years.
Morrison has said the wage subsidy scheme will end in September, though other targeted stimulus packages could be added, such as a A$250 million package for Australia’s arts sector announced on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the world stand at 93.3 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University CSSE. This figure includes COVID-19 patients who have recovered and the overall global death toll which stands at 4.7 lakh.
(With inputs from agency)