Australia's COVID-19 cases rise to 59 with 1 bln AUD needed to fight virus

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/3/6 15:09:09

A woman wearing mask walks on street in Sydney, Australia, on March 2, 2020. Australia's first person-to-person transmissions of COVID-19 were confirmed in the State of New South Wales (NSW) on Monday, with two people contracting the disease while on Australian soil. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)

The number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Australia has risen to 59.

According to the latest data from the Department of Health, 59 people have been diagnosed with the virus as of Friday morning, an increase from 52 on Thursday, and the number of deaths remains at two.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that the state and federal governments will split the cost of tackling the disease, which he said could be as high as 1 billion Australian dollars (660 million US dollars), 50:50.

On executing those agreements, the government will immediately put 100 million Australian dollars (66 million US dollars) down as an advance through the normal distribution mechanism to the states, to ensure that they are in a position to immediately meet those costs, he said.

"But we are estimating, based on the advice that we have at the moment, this could be as about a billion dollars, 500 million AUD (330.2 million USD) each, that we would at least have to be allowing for."

"I hope it's not that much. It could be more. But we, at least I think, have to enter into these arrangements having some sense of the scale of what we're dealing with here."

Two more people were diagnosed with coronavirus in South Australia (SA) on Thursday, including the baby of a woman who was diagnosed on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old woman returned to SA from Iran via Kuala Lumpur and is in a stable condition with her eight-month-old son at Flinders Medical Center.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases in SA to six, the equal third most of any Australian state or territory.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory (NT) are the only jurisdictions with zero confirmed cases of the COVID-19. The NT case from March 5 is now being counted as one of 25 cases in New South Wales (NSW).


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