Aus­tralia’s bor­ders will be closed for a ‘very sig­nif­i­cant’ amount of time: Greg Hunt


Can­berra: Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt says Aus­tralia is an “is­land sanc­tu­ary” and the bor­ders will re­main shut for a “very sig­nif­i­cant” amount of time. Mr Hunt says coro­n­avirus in­fec­tion rates are ac­cel­er­at­ing around the world.

“For the time be­ing we are an is­land sanc­tu­ary,” he told ra­dio on yes­ter­day.

The num­ber of global coro­n­avirus in­fec­tions has ex­ceeded nine mil­lion.

Mr Hunt ap­peared to sug­gest in­ter­na­tional bor­ders would be shut un­til a vac­cine was found.

Aus­tralia’s top med­i­cal ad­viser on the coro­n­avirus pan­demic says there’s a “lot of luck” in­volved in the caseload when com­par­ing Vic­to­ria and NSW.

Vic­to­ria’s ac­tive cases have more than dou­bled in a week, with 16 new in­fec­tions on Mon­day tak­ing the to­tal to 125.

By con­trast, ac­tive cases in NSW have jumped by 22 in the past week, but fallen or re­mained at zero in ev­ery other state. Vic­to­ria’s case num­bers are now the high­est they’ve been in more than two months af­ter six days of dou­ble-digit growth.

The spike caused the West Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment to shelve a plan to open its bor­ders in Au­gust and sparked a warn­ing by NSW against vis­it­ing Mel­bourne.

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