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Australian Government Says Public Gatherings Of More Than 500 People Should Be Cancelled Due To Coronavirus

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Australian Government Says Public Gatherings Of More Than 500 People Should Be Cancelled Due To Coronavirus

The Australian government is advising public gatherings of more than 500 people to be cancelled to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the measures during a press conference at Bank West Stadium in Parramatta, Sydney.

The advice will come into effect on Monday and specifically targets 'non-essential, organised gatherings of people of 500 or more', according to Mr Morrison.

That means things like sporting matches, concerts and large-scale events could be suspended until further notice.

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However, it doesn't affect gatherings like schools, universities, public transport and airports.

The decision comes after the country's Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy recommended it would be beneficial to prevent more cases of Covid-19.

The Australian Formula One Grand Prix was cancelled this morning in Melbourne after a team member from the McLaren Racing group tested positive for the virus.

However, Mr Morrison said despite the risk of coronavirus, he will still be attending a NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

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Victorian Australian Medical Association (AMA) President Julian Rait said events like these need to be cancelled so that people are put at risk of developing the virus.

"History indicates in the acceleration of an epidemic if large public gatherings are contained, it's more likely you'll be able to reduce the spread of infection and the consequent fatality rate," Associate Professor Rait said.

"The unfortunate lessons of history are such while it's all very well to believe things are contained in the context of viral outbreaks, often things behave very differently."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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