Aged care facilities could be put into “lockdown” if the COVID-19 threat continues to rise, the prime minister has warned.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told A Current Affair the federal government are working particularly closely with aged care facilities – as they are the most vulnerable community.
“We are able to lock down aged care facilities, if we need to,” Mr Morrison told A Current Affair.
Other preparations the government is making include ensuring hospitals have surge capacities, and special clinics are set up to receive potential patients presenting with symptoms.
The Prime Minister said he understands Australian’s anxiety, but urged the country to remain calm.
“We are managing this at present, but we are not complacent about it,” he said.
“Here in Australia we have got ahead of it early, and we are staying ahead of it,” he added.
Mr Morrison also stressed the importance of relying on approved sources for information, rather than turning to social media.
“There’s all sorts of rubbish flying around out there,” he said.
“The important thing is to go to the right source for information.”
Prime Minister Morrison said it is inevitable the outbreak will have significant impacts on our economy, but he assured business owners the government is working on a package to assist the most deeply affected sectors.
“The government is pulling together a response to support particularly small and medium sized businesses, keeping them in business, keeping people employed, dealing with cash flow, supporting investment,” he said.
He said more details about precisely what those packages will encompass will be released only once they have been finalised.
But Mr Morrison said action would be targeted to particular sectors of the economy and will not be a “cash splash”.
Details of the stimulus plans, he said, will be announced in the “not too distant future”.