Victoria Declares State Of Emergency Over Coronavirus Outbreak
Victoria has declared a four-week state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.
Premier Daniel Andrews says the declaration will allow authorities to put systems in place that will hopefully slow the outbreak of Covid-19 and lessen the burden on health services.
It's a formality that means Doctor Brett Sutton, the state's Chief Health Officer, will now have the power to do whatever is necessary to protect Victorians.
On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 'non-essential' gatherings would be advised to cancel. This new directive for Victoria means they now have the power to outright ban them.
People who refuse to self-isolate or break their quarantine directive can now be fined up to $20,000.
Mr Andrews says they will soon be releasing information about whether to close schools.
More Like This
"The advice is closing schools en masse... could do more harm than good," Mr Andrews said.
He's also advised people not to panic buy or stockpile essential groceries as there is plenty of supply to go around if everyone shops normally.
In a statement released yesterday, the Premier said: "You might have also heard the term 'social distancing' used a bit lately. That means exactly what it sounds like - increasing the distance between people to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
"As you'll be aware, we're a way off this pandemic hitting its peak - so we're using this time here and now to prepare as much as we can.
"Today we announced an elective surgery blitz to get a whole lot of non-emergency procedures done and dusted - allowing our hospitals to focus on the Covid-19 response.
"We're also rolling out 140 new hospital beds - including 12 intensive care beds.
"And we're making sure our front-line health workers have extra protective equipment to keep themselves and their patients safe. That's crucial - and common sense."
Featured Image Credit: Channel 9