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Scott Morrison confirms Australia’s plans for mass coronavirus outbreak

More quarantine centres may be set up around Australia as the federal government deals with the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

A second rescue flight to Wuhan is being arranged and will take Australian evacuees to Christmas Island to be quarantined for two weeks.

The borders have been closed to foreign nationals leaving China but Australians citizens and residents are still returning and being asked to “self-isolate” for two weeks.

There are 14 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia and the government is looking at setting up more quarantine centres in case the outbreak worsens.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison tells Alan Jones they’re looking at using isolated mining camps and hotels if Christmas Island reaches capacity.

“The second flight that’s going into Wuhan, that’s being arranged now… we’d be able to cater for that at Christmas Island, that’s the advice I have.

“What we’ve also tasked the Defence Force to do is to identify overflow facilities, and they’ve been going through that process.

“You could expect us, given the evolving nature of the coronavirus and its impact globally, that we’d be seeking to identify contingencies for down the road.”

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The Prime Minister concedes the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak will be “very significant”, warning states and territories to expect a short-term shock.

The tourism industry is losing at least $1 billion a month, the seafood industry is in turmoil after China suspended all live imports and universities are scrambling to offer online courses for foreign students.

Scott Morrison has issued a $76-million support package for the tourism industry, telling Alan Jones the government working to deal with the issue.

“We can’t pretend there’s no impact from a global virus like this.

“I’m not aware of a bigger package of support for the tourism industry, in my memory.

“There is not a lot of good news here… [but] at this stage, it hasn’t demonstrated the same sort of severe outcomes that the previous virus, SARS, did.”

 

Image: Getty/Tracey Nearmy

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