Australia's coronavirus death toll has risen to four

17 Mars, 2020, 11:38 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Brace Yourselves’ as NSW Coronairus Cases Rise

The spread of the virus has roiled global markets despite pledges of stimulus packages, including Australia's plan to inject A$17.6 billion ($11.4 billion) into its economy.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to meet with his ministers and state and territory leaders on Tuesday evening to discuss escalating the national response to the virus.

The moves, however, did little to calm market jitters, with the local share market falling as much as 7 per cent in morning trading. The index is down 30% since February 20.

The minister also had some sobering news about the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney, warning that a major increase in confirmed infections could be imminent.

Australia's corporate regulator had earlier asked some participants in the equity market to limit the number of trades they execute each day by up to 25% after a huge spike in volumes last week.

Australia's COVID-19 death toll rose to five on Sunday after a 90-year-old female resident of Sydney's Dorothy Henderson Lodge nursing home died after becoming infected.

The proclamations allows the Victoria state and ACT's chief health officers to issue fresh quarantine orders to cover entire suburbs, businesses or professions if deemed necessary.

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Western Australia (WA) Premier Mark McGowan on Monday declared a state of emergency in the state and said it provided the police force and chief health officer with additional powers to enforce "quarantine and self-isolation measures, as was agreed at the National Cabinet meeting between the Prime Minister, state premiers and chief ministers".

"These powers have never been used before", Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria. 'That gives you, I hope, a really clear sense about the unprecedented nature of this public health emergency, this really significant challenge, Andrews said. New South Wales (NSW) reported 37 cases since Sunday, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 171.

It follows the federal government's announcement on Friday that non-essential mass gatherings of 500 people or more should not be held from Monday.

Still, many offices are asking employees to work from home and several leading universities today shuttered for at least a week.

Australia's parliament, which is scheduled to sit next week has also restricted access to visitors, while Morrison said lawmakers will be asked to limit the number of staff members that come to Canberra next week. Both tested positive to the new coronavirus.

Hundreds of Australians have meanwhile begun stockpiling goods, from staples to sanitizers, clearing supermarket shelves.

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