The rate of increase in COVID-19 cases in Australia has slowed, the Federal Government has launched a new coronavirus app and will be moving to provide further income support as well as introducing a $1.1 billion package to support mental health, Medicare, domestic violence and emergency food relief services.
Speaking at a press conference earlier today, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the rate of increase in COVID-19 cases in Australia has dropped from around 25-30% a day last week to around 13-15% a day over the past few days.
This has been reflected locally in the ACT, where daily rates of nine new cases per day between 25 and 28 March, slowed to six new cases overnight.
Admitting that these are “still strong rates of increase” nationally, Mr Morrison said the slowing rate showed the social distancing and self-isolation measures were working.
To enable Australians to navigate the latest information and advice about coronavirus in real-time, the Government today launched a Coronavirus Australia app and WhatsApp feature.
And on top of the $3 billion of additional funding going into income support and support for the public hospital, health and aged care sectors announced last Sunday 22 March, the Prime Minister today announced a $1.1 billion support package in four tranches:
- $669 million for Medicare subsidised tele-health services, so people can continue to get access to healthcare at home
- $74 million for mental health support
- $150 million into support for domestic violence initiatives
- $200 million into emergency food relief support
The Prime Minister also said the overnight quarantine arrangements that came into place at midnight for returning travellers have worked “relatively smoothly”.