Australias Border Minister Backs Countrys Coronavirus Response

The man responsible for Australias borders has defended the national response to the coronavirus.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has been questioned about whether Australia is doing enough to guard against a potential pandemic of the deadly disease.

“We have the worlds best protocols in place,” Dutton told the Nine Network on Friday.

brazil reports coronavirus case
brazil reports coronavirus case
Passengers wear masks to prevent an outbreak of a new coronavirus in a subway station, in Hong Kong on Jan. 22, 2020. (Kin Cheung/AP Photo)

“I think people should recognise that in a country like ours the health services are the best prepared, best able to respond, and they can quarantine people very quickly.”

The first plane load of passengers from Wuhan in China – the epicentre of the virus – touched down in Sydney on Thursday.

Passengers and crew wore face masks and those who flagged concerns about their health had their temperature taken.

NSW Health had doctors and nurses experienced in infection control at the airport working alongside the Australian Border Force. Virology experts were also there.

No ill passengers were found on the flight. However, those exposed to the virus may not display flu-like symptoms for up to a week.

Dutton acknowledged screening was made most difficult by passengers passing through different airports on their way to Australia, or passing through the central Chinese province of Hubei in the past month.

Crossbench senator Rex Patrick questioned why only flights from Wuhan were being screened by biosecurity staff.

“More than 40 direct China flights will arrive in Australia today,” Senator Patrick said on Friday.

“Why arent all direct flights being screened?”

The outbreak has killed 18 people and infected more than 630, as China puts millions of people on lockdown.

Health officials fear the transmission rate could accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad for the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday.

“Biosecurity screening of all flights from China will not prevent but Read More – Source