Victoria, ACT declare states of emergency to deal with coronavirus crisis



Victoria has declared a four-week state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.

"It'd be very unwise ... to be subject to this quarantine and not do the right thing", Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Monday.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the idea was to do the surgeries now to free up capacity in the hospital system before the number of people with COVID-19 grew.

Andrews said the measures will help Victoria eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health by detaining people, restricting movement, preventing entry to premises, or providing any other direction considered reasonable to protect public health.

From midday, non-essential mass gatherings of over 500 people such as cultural events, sporting events or conferences, are banned in Victoria.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Victoria soared by 14 on Sunday night, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 71 by on Monday morning.

Expanded powers from the state of emergency mean people who don't comply with a directive could receive a fine of up to $20,000, with body corporates could face fines of up to $100,000.

United States wireless carriers pledge to suspend cancellations amid outbreak
For some companies like Comcast and AT&T , the pledge is something they'll do in addition to previous measures they've announced. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, praised the companies adopting the pledge, but said the FCC should do more.

Australia imposed a 14-day self-isolation on global travellers arriving from midnight Sunday and banned cruise ships from foreign ports for 30 days as it intensified its efforts to contain the contagion. However, this does not include public transport, food markets and workplaces.

Mr Andrews said while it was sensible for people to stock up on one or two extra staples when doing their regular food shopping, it was not appropriate to buy weeks and months' worth of supplies.

Morrison said while a state of emergency was declared, it did not mean it was a "state of panic".

"We have got care packages, we will get those to you in the event that you run out of those basics".

Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton warned the public needed to prepare for the possibility of even more drastic measures.

"The individual is a male in his 30s and is now well".

Yesterday, Premier Steven Marshall declared a "public health emergency" in South Australia.

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