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PM urges Australians to listen to coronavirus ‘facts rather than opinion’

The Prime Minister says tough measures are needed to slow the spread of coronavirus but is urging Australians to listen to “facts rather than opinion”.

Anyone entering the country will now be forced to self-isolate for 14 days and a ban on all non-essential mass gatherings of more than 500 people has been put in place.

But the PM is urging for calm, telling people not to take action based on opinions but to listen to the facts and advise of the Chief Medical Officer.

“If we manage the spread by doing the sensible things, so no longer shaking hands, practising good hand hygiene, coughing into your elbow, avoiding contact with those who are more vulnerable… do those sensible things then we’ll get through this,” Scott Morrison tells Alan Jones.

At this stage, schools are remaining open and the government is encouraging parents not to withdraw their children.

“It is not the medical advice that they should be closed and in fact, that could create, particularly for schools, more problems than solutions.

“At some point down the track, those sorts of measures may become necessary and we’ll do that on the basis of medical advice. We won’t do it on the basis of media opinion.

“Now is the time for facts rather than opinions and those facts say let’s follow the medical advice, let’s slow the spread of this. That is the best way to protect the elderly and the vulnerable.”

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The Prime Minister also responded to demands from Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys for financial help from the government.

“The NRL is not high on the list at the moment… addressing the health issues, hospitals, aged care facilities, small business and in particular casuals.”


Image: Getty/Brook Mitchell