National cabinet to announce ‘clear roadmap’ out of COVID-19, Hunt says

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday May 7, 2020


More than 700,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Australia, federal health minister Greg Hunt announced on Thursday.

He told a press conference more than 6000 Australians have recovered from the virus, leaving only 771 active cases.

Hunt said 40 million masks from the national medical stockpile would soon be made available to aged care and health workers, respiratory clinics, and pharmacists, “on top of the over 34 million masks to date”.

The Black Dog Institute’s online e-health mental health hub has also been made available to health workers.

Despite national cabinet planning to announce a roadmap for easing social restrictions around the country on Friday, the states and territories would make their own decisions, Hunt said.

“And so in particular what [national cabinet] is doing is making sure that there are common standards across the country and then, as any individual state faces their own circumstances, they can determine how ready and willing they are to get to the new stages,” he said.

“What we hope comes out of national cabinet tomorrow, and what I expect, is a clear roadmap out, with clear stages, and then each state will be able to judge and we’ll support each of the states as they make their judgments of their own circumstances and readiness to go to easing restrictions.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian have both signalled state restrictions would not be relaxed any further before Mother’s Day.

Andrews on Thursday said he was proud of how health authorities had responded to the Cedar Meats outbreak, which is currently linked to 62 COVID-19 cases.

Hunt also acknowledged Victoria’s handling of the cluster.

“Victoria has been battling its outbreak and I do want to say that I think that they have been doing a very, very good job in identifying, in contact-tracing, and in helping to contain those outbreaks,” he said.

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