COVID-19 Special Coverage
Australia announces $1.6 billion health package to counter COVID-19
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Australia announces $1.6 billion health package to counter COVID-19

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the first part of a stimulus plan Wednesday meant to safeguard Australia’s public health and economy against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The plan, worth A $2.4 billion (USD $1.6 billion), proposes opening up to 100 respiratory and fever clinics as the latest demonstration of continued support for the health care system. Morrison told reporters that these clinics will be able to diagnose and treat as many as 75 patients per day over the next six months.

Morrison’s plan is meant to shield people from exposure to infection and provide them with access to care and treatment. Accordingly, the plan includes free audio or video health services for those in self-isolation and quarantine. These consultations will also allow quarantined medical experts to continue practicing while reducing their risk of infecting patients and colleagues. With this plan, Morrison stated, “we’re as well prepared as any country in the world.”

This response comes shortly after Australia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases rose almost 40 percent in a 24-hour period.

On Thursday Morrison will announce an additional multi-billion dollar stimulus plan meant to support small businesses and combat recession speculation. Together, these plans will attempt to bolster the Australian economy and mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19.