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Rate of coronavirus growth in Australia ‘very concerning’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, says the rate of coronavirus growth is “very concerning”.

Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, says the rate of coronavirus growth is "very concerning".

"We are very worried about the rate of rise," he said in a press conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrison tonight.

"It is a very, very steep growth and it's very concerning."

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As Mr Morrison revealed a raft of new restrictions to slow the virus in Australia, Prof Murphy said it was crucial to crack down on travellers immediately self-isolating when they arrive in the country.

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"So, people are being told they are a positive case and going into the chemist or the supermarket on the way home," he said.

"If you are isolating because you are a positive case or you're a contact, you go home and you isolate and you obey those rules.

"That is a really, really important part of the control."

Prof Murphy stressed that the COVID-19 virus would "be with us for some time".

"We have to all think about avoiding any unnecessary interactions where you are close to someone and could place them at risk," he said.

"These measures are really draconian. We know that. But if we're going to control community transmission, we have to stop the capacity of this virus from spreading from person to person."

Mr Morrison tonight warned Australia faces one of its toughest years as he extended restrictions on social distancing. Despite the restrictions, the Prime Minister stopped short of school closures, a move Prof Murphy backed.

"There is no evidence we have a major transmission amongst school children," he said.

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"We don't know whether that might occur. We do know that children do not, in general get symptomatic disease.

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"Of course, if there was an outbreak in a school you would close the school until you sorted out the direct contacts and quarantine all of those contacts."

Australia has more than 2000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 420 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Source: 9News

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