The world is grappling with COVID-19 – different countries trying out different things to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus. Italy is in lockdown. France first closed schools and universities and now has also closed cafes to avoid people gathering for “unessential” things. What we need is ‘self-isolation’ and self-quarantine and not gatherings which only provide extra potential for the virus to spread.
And our neighbors over the Tasman Sea last week announced all New Zealanders arriving back from overseas must ‘self-isolate’ for 14 days to avoid any chances of spreading the infection, should they be infected when entering New Zealand.
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And now, our Prime Minister Scott Morrison has followed New Zealand’s lead and announced today, Sunday 15 March that anyone arriving from overseas must self-isolate to avoid transmitting the coronavirus.
The announcement came after the cabinet met today to discuss the latest situation and evaluate measures required to arrest the spread. The self-isolation measure applies all travelers who arrive in Australia after midnight Sunday, March 15.
“The national cabinet today and we resolved to do the following things – to help stay ahead of this curve, we will impose ahead of this curve, we will impose a universal … (14-day) self-isolation requirement on all arrivals to Australia and is effective from midnight tonight,” Mr Morrison said.
“The Australian Government will also abandon cruise ships from foreign ports from arriving to Australian ports from arriving to Australian ports for an initial 30 days and that will go forward on a rolling basis.
“The national Cabinet also endorses the advice of the HP PC today to introduce social distancing measures.
“I just want to be clear about the travel restrictions I have just announced.
“All people coming to Australia will be required, will be required, I stress, to self isolate for 14 days. This is very important. ”
As would be expected by Australians, further measures are also on the table. According to Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, that locking down cities is on the table. Locking down entire cities is being advised to stop potential inter-city spread of the virus.
Another measure announced this afternoon includes banning all cruise ships from Australian ports for 30 days. As with all measures, a review will follow after that period.
In the absence of unless a solid reason to do so, Prime Minister Morrison has come out against closing schools for now.