PM’s proof new measures are working
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the number of coronavirus cases in Australia show strict new social distancing measures are working.
Speaking after a National Cabinet meeting this afternoon, Mr Morrison said if the cases in Australia had kept growing at the same rate they were 12 days ago, there would now be more than 10,500 confirmed cases across the country.
There are now 5314 cases in Australia, with Mr Morrison saying without the new measures that could be a lot higher.
"There would be over 5000 more cases. In fact, some commissioners doing the maths were suggesting we would have had 8000 cases just as recently as last weekend," the PM told reporters.
"That is a tribute to the work that has been done by Australians in getting around and supporting the very sensible measures that have been put if place all around the country by the state and territory governments."
He said it is important that people continue to abide by these rules.
"We must continue to do this. Doesn't matter what the temperature is. If it's a warm day, don't go on masses down to the beach," he said.
"A simple instruction that all Australians expect other Australians to abide by. Isn't just the government asking you to do this, it's your fellow Australians asking you to do this because by complying with those arrangements, and supporting those arrangements, you're supporting your fellow Australians."
Mr Morrison said social distancing combined with other measures is "absolutely" saving lives and livelihoods.
"What we are looking to do is let Australians know what our next target is and what we are looking to achieve in the weeks ahead," he said.
Chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy says there could be "five to 10 times" as many cases of COVID-19 globally, due to a likely high number of undetected cases.
But he said Australian authorities are "pretty confident" that our nation's undetected rate would be lower.
"In Australia, we're confident our testing has probably been the best in the world, and we're very confident that while there will certainly be some undetected cases, we have a pretty good idea about the size of our outbreak," he said.
"As the Prime Minister has said, the growth rate has been falling. It's about 5 per cent a day at the moment. The broader measures have had good effect."
Prof Murphy maintained community transmissions were the biggest worry, noting they've "been growing and are still growing slowly".
"We're still detecting returned travellers, still detecting contacts of returned detecting contacts of returned travellers, but those numbers are reducing," he said.
"We still have cruise ship people to come home. We still have a lot of issues with people who have contracted the virus from overseas. But we are in control of those issues."
Originally published as PM's proof new measures are working