Australia closed internal borders and warned people not to leave their homes due to the upcoming Easter holiday, as authorities are trying to keep the decline in the number of new cases of coronavirus, Reuters reported.
PM Scott Morrison said Australia is embarking on a phase of “suppression” in its fight against a highly contagious disease, but noted that people must continue to comply with restrictions. “We must continue to do this. Doesn’t matter what the temperature is,” Morrison said in a televised media conference. “If it’s a warm day, don’t go on masses down to the beach. A simple instruction that all Australians expect other Australians to abide by.”
Chief physician Brendan Murphy said that the number of new infections has decreased by 5% compared with two weeks earlier. Australia has now reported around 5,200 cases and 28 deaths.
However, Murphy and state leaders have warned that while imported cases in Australia are still the cause of most infections in the country, there is an increasing number of cases of “local transmission” cases where a source could not be determined.
“If we can’t identify the source it means we can’t deal with the spread - that is something we’re worried about,” said Gladys Berejiklian, the premier of New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state.