Health Minister warns new lockdown rules

 

Health Minister Greg Hunt has warned more lockdown restrictions are on the way as Australia moves to a "whole-of-population telehealth" service.

My Hunt said the government has always indicated it would move to different stages as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the National Cabinet said, we are currently in stage one.

"It is not the last stage. I think I should be very up-front and honest about that," he said.

"Right as we speak, those next stages are being designed and the timing and the implementation measures for it are being carefully considered."

He said 1.5 million masks have arrived in Australia and they are expecting a further 54 million by the end of April.

30 million of those will be in the country within the next two weeks, ahead of schedule as mask production is being developed locally.

Mr Hunt has also said Australia has stepped up testing of coronavirus, with an additional 150,000 COVID-19 test kits arriving.

 

Health Minister Greg Hunt with Professor Brendan Murphy gave a strong indication the travel ban will be extended beyond Saturday. Picture: Gary Ramage
Health Minister Greg Hunt with Professor Brendan Murphy gave a strong indication the travel ban will be extended beyond Saturday. Picture: Gary Ramage

 

He said there are "disturbing reports" of abuse against health workers and warned those who abuse medical staff including doctors, nurses, and other allied health professionals will be charged.

"Our doctors and our nurses, our receptionists, our health workers, our allied health workers are our heroes for the months to come," he said.

"If we take care of them, they can take care of us."

Mr Hunt also said the government is working on doubling the number of ventilators. There are 2000 in ICU wards.

He said direct text messages are coming, with information on COVID-19 and the government's response.

Australian Government's Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer told Australians if they are sick, "stay at home".

"Do not go out. Get other people to do things for you, but you need to stay at home," she said.

"For everybody else, this means we need to maintain that social distancing."

"Hands - wash your hands frequently, wash them before you eat, wash them after you've been to the bathroom, or use the alcohol hand sanitiser as often as you like.

"Cough etiquette and sneezing - remember - it's really important you cough or sneeze into your elbow. If you use a tissue, throw it away straight away and wash your hands."

"That is that we ask everyone, if you are tested positive, that is the moment you go home, don't go to the pharmacies or anywhere else, the shops - please go straight home and ask others to help you.

"There is a pharmacy system that now will come to you."



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