Australia (9news)

No jump to ditch restrictions despite promising drop in COVID-19 cases

By June 12, 2020 No Comments
It is “far too early” to ease social distancing measures but the National Cabinet will closely monitor COVID-19 data in the coming weeks, Australia’s chief medical officer has said.
Australia’s coronavirus cases have been steadily reducing in recent days, with just 33 cases reported overnight taking the national total to 6322, with 59 fatalities.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Australia
The number of COVID-19 cases in Australia(9News)
However, the chief medical officer did acknowledge social distancing measures, set up with a six-month time frame in mind, appeared to be working.
“At this time we think it’s too early to do anything, but … we can look at options over the coming weeks,” he said.
Prof. Murphy said the National Cabinet could “potentially consider some switching of the levers” if key data and trend indicators made a strong case.
READ MORE:Can you catch it again? When is it contagious? Your coronavirus questions answered
Last week reports emerged that New South Wales could be considering loosening restrictions on May 1, but that claim was quashed by the premier.
Yesterday NSW reported seven new cases overnight, Victoria three and South Australia zero new transmissions.
“We have said from the outset that measures will need to be in place for the long haul, at least six months,” Prof Murphy said.
But the chief medical officer said that did not mean the measures could be “at the same level as they are now”.
When asked about the NRL wanting to restart its season in late May, Prof Murphy called that ambition “premature”.
“I think it’s a bit too early in the control of this outbreak to be making a call on restarting a major sporting code right now.”
Prof. Murphy was also cautious about when a vaccine for COVID-19 might be developed, saying that breakthrough could be 12-18 months away.
“We don’t really know what the best case scenario for vaccine.
“The coronaviruses are hard to make a vaccine against. There’s huge international effort at the moment going on there.”
In the meantime, Australia social distancing and forced quarantining of returning travellers was working well for Australia, he said.
“We need to not be complacent and continue with the good work we’re doing at the moment.”
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