Aus making good progress to contain spread of COVID-19: Morrison


PTI, Apr 23, 2020, 3:33 PM IST

Melbourne Australia is making “good progress” to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus and the country was on the road back to a “COVID-safe economy”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, April 23.

Prime Minister Morrison, while delivering an update on the pandemic, also said that the government is now looking to roll back baseline restrictions in three to four weeks’ time.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed the 6,600-mark and the virus has claimed 76 lives in Australia.

Morrison said that there had been “good progress” to control the virus. “We are one week down and we are making good progress,” he said in Canberra.

“That also involves making good progress on things like testing kits, personal protective equipment, respiratory supplies, the status of those and the supply lines are in place and they are strong and that is enabling us, I think, to make a lot of progress,” he said.

“We are on the road back and that is demonstrated by the measures that we already have taken and we are on the way back to a COVID-safe economy as well, which is what we have to achieve, he said.

Morrison said, “we will be moving on the baseline restrictions after considering this further information from the health advisers and states also are already moving where they have gone beyond the baseline restrictions in scaling that back already and we expect to see more of that in the weeks ahead.”

He, however, added that it was important not to get complacent. On the economic front, the treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that almost 500,000 applications had been approved by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) so far for applicants to access superannuation early which was a total of 3.8 billion Australian dollars.

“Those applications are now with the superannuation funds for their payment over the next five days,” he said.

Morrison also said that each day roughly 50,000 people are enrolling for JobKeeper payments and related programs.

JobSeeker, formerly known as Newstart, was recently boosted to help Australians who lost work because of the novel coronavirus.

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