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Up to 60 per cent of the country could be infected by COVID-19

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

More than 60 per cent of the country could become infected with coronavirus, with up 150,000 deaths expected under the Morrison government’s worst-case scenario.

More than 60 per cent of the country could become infected with coronavirus, with up 150,000 deaths expected under the Morrison government's worst-case scenario.

It comes as the government considers advice on restricting visits to pubs, cinemas and aged care homes as cases continue to climb.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly estimated infections to reach somewhere between five to 50 million Australians, with the government urging the public to comply with social distancing measures.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly speaks to the media during a press conference at the Australian Department of Health.

"This is an infectious disease," he said last night. "The more we can do to separate people and stop the disease spreading, the better. The death rate is around 1 per cent. You can do the maths."

The best case scenario of a 20 per cent infection rate, predicts 5 million Australians could become infected with COVID, with 50,000 deaths.

A moderate scenario of a 40 per cent infection rate, predicts 10 million infections and 100,000 deaths.

The worst case scenario could see 15 million people infected and 150,000 deaths.

Professor Kelly said elderly people, disabled Australians and those living in remote communities were the most increased risk.

"We need to do what we can to limit the opportunity for the infection to come into aged care," he said.

Australia's chief medical officers attended a six-hour meeting in Canberra on Monday night to debate whether to reduce the 500-person limit for all non-essential mass gatherings for enclosed spaces.

The Prime Minister will today discuss the findings with the state and territory leaders, with potential new measures leading to the closing of pubs, restaurants and cinemas.

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Mr Morrison said the coronavirus was a "one in 100-year event" and slowing the spread of the virus was needed to save lives.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-up-to-60-per-cent-of-the-country-could-be-infected-by-covid19/8be48661-b799-402b-b8b7-df08ca353007

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