Australian PM calls for calm response to virus outbreak

CANBERRA (XINHUA) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the country to “remain calm” amid a new coronavirus outbreak.

The number of COVID-19 cases linked to the outbreak in Sydney’s Northern Beaches grew to 28 yesterday including one person who travelled to Queensland while infected.

The first cases in the cluster, which were confirmed on Wednesday, ended more than a week of no community transmission of COVID-19 in Australia.

In his comments on the outbreak, Morrison told reporters that he had “full confidence” in the authorities’ ability to respond to the outbreak but acknowledged that new border restrictions would disrupt travel plans ahead of the holidays.

“These things remind us that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, the virus has not gone away,” he said.

Western Australia has closed its borders to New South Wales, while Queensland, Victoria, Northern Territory and Tasmania have declared the Northern Beaches a hotspot, meaning anyone who visited the area since December 11 must get tested and immediately self-isolate.