CANBERRA, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Nick Coatsworth has called for all Australians to do the right thing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Coatsworth said on Tuesday morning that Australian authorities were relying on everyone to mitigate the spread of the virus by abiding by quarantine guidelines after travelling interstate.
"We are relying on the whole community," he told Nine network television.
"What can we do when people don't obey the rules? Well, you know, there are significant penalties. People end up with a criminal record. They could end up in jail."
"So anybody who's contemplating that sort of thing, you just got to ask yourself, is it really worth it both for you personally and for the whole of the Australian community?"
As of Tuesday noon there had been 18,729 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in the last 24 hours was 452, said Coatsworth later in a press conference.
The death toll has climbed from 221 to 232. Of the new cases, 439 were confirmed in Victoria and the 11 new deaths were also in the state.
"All of the 11 new deaths are linked to known outbreaks in aged care facilities. To date, 147 people have died from coronavirus in Victoria," said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria on Tuesday.
Coatsworth also said that the basic reproductive number in Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, for COVID-19 was about one, meaning that each infected person was passing the virus to one other person on average, which he said was far too high.
He said that the strict lockdown that has been imposed across Victoria was the way to bring the number back down.
"It's just the way the virus works."
"And what we need to do now is over the next one to two weeks getting some runs on the board for Victorians."