As the deadly coronavirus is sweeping the entire globe and has already spread to more than 150 countries, Australia announced on March 15 that anyone arriving into the country will face a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days in a bid to contain COVID-19. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that the citizens will have to get used to “some changes in the way we live our lives” and added that the measure will come into effect from 1300 GMT Sunday. As of March 15, the island country has reported at least 249 confirmed cases of the fatal virus with three deaths while the global death toll has reached 5,839.
In the official release by the Australian Government Department of Health, the authorities have even limited the non-essential gatherings to 500 people along with other meetings among the health care professionals and emergency services. Moreover, the country has launched a national campaign to inform all Australians about coronavirus. In economic response, the Australian government has totalled $17.6 billion across the forward estimates and is also delivering a comprehensive $2.4 billion health package for the citizens' protection.
SUNDAY UPDATE: Coronavirus (#COVID19)— Australian Government Department of Health (@healthgovau) March 15, 2020
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic after the virus spread to more than 152 countries, resulting in the deaths of more than 5,800 people worldwide. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom further even urged all nations to get very serious over the issue and take all necessary measures to contain the virus from spreading at this rate. Tedros said, that the word 'Pandemic' cannot be used lightly or carelessly due to its strong connotation.
However, Tedros also said that the coronavirus outbreak is a "controllable pandemic". According to a statement released by the World Health Organisation, Tedros outlined two main reasons as to why the decision was taken to describe the epidemic as a pandemic. Tedros said that one reason was the speed and scale of transmission and the others was because 'countries are not approaching this threat with the level of political commitment needed to control it'.