Australia "many weeks" away from lifting COVID-19 restrictions: PM

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-14 12:16:17|Editor: zyl
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CANBERRA, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared that Australia is still "many weeks away" from easing COVID-19 restrictions.

The National Cabinet, established on March 13, which is comprised of Morrison and state and territory leaders, is scheduled to meet this week to "look at the sort of prerequisites."

However, Morrison said on Tuesday morning that measures introduced to slow the spread of the virus, including mandatory quarantine periods, social distancing rules and business closures, would not be repealed for "many weeks."

"We are doing a lot of work over the last week or so in particular to look at the sort of prerequisites, the things that need to happen, before you can start considering that," he told Nine Network television.

"You've seen in places like Singapore and Sweden and other parts of the world where the virus has just taken off again. We can't have those sort of things happen here in Australia."

"The immediate response capacity to outbreaks, wherever they might come, we've got to be able to slap down on these things very hard if we're to look at easing of restrictions."

"So we are looking at how that can be achieved. But I wouldn't want to mislead people. We're still many weeks to go on this," the prime minister said.

The spread of the COVID-19 in Australia has slowed significantly in April.

The daily increase of confirmed cases has fallen below 2 percent compared to more than 20 percent throughout much of March.

Morrison said that federal, state and territory governments would work to bolster Australia's health care system before any restrictions are eased.