Australia extends travel ban from critical coronavirus points to decrease spread

SYDNEY: Australia on Thursday banned the arrival of foreigners from South Korea, reinforcing its border controls in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease, as it registered its second death from the disease.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison He also extended existing bans to foreigners arriving from mainland China and Iran and said there would be more difficult detection processes for people arriving from Italy.

It provides the best protection and allows us to reduce the transmission speed, Morrison told reporters in Canberra, as health officials said the models suggest that the worst case scenario is that the virus will spread to millions of people in question. of weeks

Australia was one of the first countries to adopt a hardline approach to address the outbreak of coronavirus, imposing border controls on visitors to the epicenter of the epidemic in China just over a month ago.

Australia has recorded 54 cases of coronavirus, the majority of people who contracted the disease abroad before returning home for treatment.

However, concerns about the likelihood of a faster spread increase because at least five people contracted the disease locally. An eight-month-old boy, who officials believe he contracted his mother's illness when he returned to Australia from Iran, is one of the most recent cases.

Despite official attempts to calm the public's anxiety, the country's main supermarkets reported this week that consumer reservations and social networks were flooded with photographs and videos of overloaded shopping carts.

As a result, several stores imposed strict limits on purchases of items, especially toilet paper.

An elderly woman who became the country's second fatality victim this week contracted a worker's virus in her nursing home, making her death the first by local transmission. Health authorities have confirmed that another resident in the facility tested positive, despite not coming into contact with the infected worker.

The new travel restrictions mean that any foreign traveler who has been in China, Iran and South Korea, all countries that reported major outbreaks of the coronavirus, within two weeks of their arrival in Australia will be rejected. The bans, which include anyone who has traveled through those countries, will be reviewed weekly.

Australian citizens and residents are exempt from the bans, but they must isolate themselves for two weeks upon their return to Australia.

Travelers in Italy will receive temperature controls and must complete a detailed health questionnaire before they are allowed to enter.

ECONOMIC YEARS

The Australian government warned Thursday that the crisis will subtract at least half a percentage point from the country's economic growth in the current quarter.

The Secretary of the Treasury said it was too early to determine the long-term economic cost of the epidemic, but it was clear that it would have immediate and significant effects.

At this stage, we expect the virus to decrease by the last half percentage point of growth in the quarter of March 2020, Kennedy said, adding that the forecast took into account the impact on tourism, international education and some type effects. exchange.

The estimate is in line with that made by the. Treasury had forecast gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.25% at the end of June 2020.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced interest rates to a record low of 0.50%, hoping to give the economy of A $ 2 billion ($ 1.32 billion) enough momentum to continue a record 29 years of growth without recession.

The treasurer said that a stimulus package that will be announced within a few days will be worth billions of dollars and will be targeted at the sectors most affected by the coronavirus.

He's going to have a 'b' in front of that, that's for sure, Frydenberg told Sky News. The shock is very significant.

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