Wed, 30 Sep 2020

Roundup: COVID-19 cases surpass 20,000 in Australia

07 Aug 2020, 22:44 GMT+10

CANBERRA, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Australia's COVID-19 cases surpassed 20,000 on Friday, as the country's prime minister called on vaccine to be shared with the world no matter which country finds it.

As of Friday evening, there have been 20,272 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia and 266 deaths from the virus.

It has taken less than a month for the number of cases to grow from 10,000 to 20,000.

By comparison, it took almost half a year for Australia to record its first 10,000 cases after confirming its first case on Jan. 25.

Of the 464 new cases, Victoria state confirmed 450 on Friday. New South Wales confirmed 11 new cases and South Australian authorities diagnosed three new cases.

All 11 of the deaths announced on Friday were in Victoria, seven of which were linked to aged care facilities. It takes the state's death toll to 181.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with the National Cabinet on Friday, which is composed of the prime minister and state and territory leaders, to discuss Australia's response to the coronavirus crisis.

Following the meeting, Morrison told reporters that Australia was in a good position to manufacture and supply a vaccine of COVID-19 when one is developed, and called on the world to share the vaccine, should any country find it.

"Australia is positioning itself well to take advantage and be in a position to be able to manufacture and supply vaccines should they be developed."

He declared that the vaccine will be shared with the world if it is discovered by Australia and urged every world leader to make the same commitment.

Morrison also said t he National Cabinet agreed to keep a cap on international arrivals in Australia in place for "months."

"We...agreed that international travel constraints on inbound arrivals to Australia should be continued in their current form," he said.

"We look forward to, at some point, that that might be able to be altered. But at this point, we are not going to put any further strain on the quarantine arrangements around the country and they will remain in place now for some months."

He was joined by Paul Kelly, Australia's acting Chief Medical Officer, who reminded Australians that COVID-19 is "not just a disease for the elderly."

"The vast majority of cases are in that young age group," Kelly said.

"What are we doing to engage with our youth to make sure that they know that this is not just a disease for elderly people. That might be where we're seeing the deaths and that that's very tragic. But young people are getting infected, young people are transmitting the virus and young people sometimes are also experiencing the severe end of the spectrum of the disease."

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