Infections are up but lockdown ‘is working’

Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt have both made a point of mentioning one statistic, which they say is evidence Australia's anti-coronavirus measures are working.

In short, while the number of coronavirus cases across the country is still increasing, it is doing so at a more gradual rate than before.

"This time last week, the rate of increase from cases was up around 25-30 per cent a day. That rate now, over the last few days, has fallen to about 13-15 per cent," the Prime Minister said.

 

"From daily rates of increase a week ago in the 25-30 per cent range, to the latest advice being in the low teens. That is an early positive sign," Mr Hunt added.

 

A member of the Defence Force watches over as returning overseas travellers are ushered towards waiting buses for the beginning of their 14-day quarantine after arriving at Sydney Airport today. Picture: Joel Carrett
A member of the Defence Force watches over as returning overseas travellers are ushered towards waiting buses for the beginning of their 14-day quarantine after arriving at Sydney Airport today. Picture: Joel Carrett

However, Mr Hunt was careful not to give Australians a green light for returning back to normal life.

"We have so much more work to do," he said. "But by people isolating, by people being able to social distance - and they are really doing this - Australians are rising magnificently to this challenge.

"We want to say thank you. And to those who are not, you have to take these measures, because they are about saving lives. They are not about convenience and inconvenience."

Mr Hunt also pointed to Australia's relatively comprehensive amount of coronavirus testing, compared to other countries.

"Part of this has been the testing regime. As of this morning, there are 209,000 tests completed in Australia," he said.

"We have one of the broadest and most reflective testing regimes and this is borne up by the secondary evidence that, at this point in time, our loss of life, as terrible as it is, is well below 1 per cent, below 0.5 per cent of those confirmed."

It comes after strict new measures on international arrivals were introduced at midnight on Saturday.

Anyone arriving in the country will be forcibly quarantined in a hotel or other government-mandated facility.

Only residents and citizens will be allowed to enter Australia now.

Originally published as Infections are up but lockdown 'is working'