By SAT Newsdesk
MELBOURNE, 5 May 2020: Out of the 6,849 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia of which about 1,000 are active cases, sadly 96 lost their lives. The daily infection rates are low. This is triggering the urge to loosen restrictions and get the country’s economy moving again. The government seems to be moving in that direction but it wants people to download the COVIDSafe app to ensure that Australians can be protected and baseline restrictions reset. Nearly 5 million Australians have already downloaded the COVIDSafe app.
Today’s nationally televised media conference had Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy and the Chair of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission, Mr. Neville Power, apart from Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Many questions from journalists were answered and on one question on the origin of the Coronavirus the PM said, a wildlife wet market most likely is the origin of the Coronavirus but an independent review of the issue is needed.
The National Cabinet agreed to establish a three-step framework to gradually remove baseline restrictions to enable Australians to live in a COVID-19 safe economy. Details will be determined by National Cabinet on Friday 8 May 2020.
Individual states and territories will determine the timeframe for graduating between steps and individual restrictions to remove. This reflects the fact that states and territories are at different stages of the pandemic response, with six of the eight states and territories now recording multiple zero case days.
A media release from the PM’s office says, ” It is National Cabinet’s aim to have a sustainable COVID-19 safe economy in July 2020. This will be subject to strong epidemiology results, testing, tracing and local surge health response capacity. National Cabinet noted that some health measures will need to be in place for a considerable period of time including social distancing, strong hygiene, and international travel restrictions. Some jurisdictions may choose to maintain interstate travel restrictions.”
Today’s National Cabinet welcomed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for a part of today’s meeting to discuss approaches to combating the virus. Answering a journalist’s question the PM said, the ‘Safe travel zone’ with New Zealand is ‘still some time away’.
The Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy provided an update on the measures underway, the latest data and medical advice in relation to COVID-19.
The Chair of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission, Mr. Neville Power, briefed the National Cabinet on the importance of a proactive and consistent approach to supporting businesses and workers to safely return to work – drawing on the National COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles that had been agreed by National Cabinet on 24 April 2020.
National Cabinet agreed that Safework Australia would be the single source of information, which will allow businesses to plan with confidence and consistency. A toolkit is being developed for businesses to use, to help them be work-ready in a COVID-19 safe environment. National Cabinet encouraged businesses to be prepared for reopening, to protect their workers and protect their business.
The next meeting of the National Cabinet is on Friday 8 May 2020 when a decision on which restrictions are to be loosened will be taken.