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Prime Minister issues ‘incredibly important’ Easter weekend warning

Australia has been warned it could “completely undo” all of its good work in containing the coronavirus if social distancing measures aren’t followed over the Easter weekend.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was “incredibly important” for people to stay home.

“We must hold the course, we must lock in these gains,” he said.

“It is providing us with much-needed time. We have so far avoided the horror scenarios that we have seen overseas.”

But there’s also concern for those who shouldn’t be staying at home.

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said there’d been a “very concerning” drop in people going to the doctor.

“A lot of people with chronic diseases, conditions other than COVID, are not currently getting medical check ups,” he explained.

“Our doctors are very quiet.

“They don’t mind being quiet, but they’re very worried that people are so frightened (about the coronavirus) that they’re not seeking medical attention.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly echoed his superior, telling Ben Fordham emergency departments are also far less busy than usual, and people aren’t turning up to their outpatient appointments.

“It really does seem like people are delaying coming for their regular check-ups and that sort of thing, and we really discourage that.

“There’s a lot of things we’ve set up to keep people with COVID-19 away from other standard healthcare, so people shouldn’t be concerned about that element.”

The Deputy CMO congratulated Australians for “mostly doing exactly the right thing” to flatten the curve, and hopes a full lockdown will now not be necessary as it’s “not an easy way to live”.

“Let’s do what we need to do, but not more than that.”

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