Virus travel ban set to be extended
Feb. 12, 2020
THE two-week China travel ban was all but certain to be extended beyond Saturday, Health Minister Greg Hunt warned, as he condemned any racial discrimination against Chinese Australians over the coronavirus.
The international death toll has now topped 1000 people, all but two within China, while the virus is continuing to rapidly spread within the country and to a lesser extent abroad.
Mr Hunt used his strongest language yet to warn the travel ban, due to expire at the weekend, would likely be extended when a decision was made at the end of the week.
"We don't want to set a false expectation that is likely to change yet at this point," he said.
"We're going to have a very serious consideration of that at the end of this week."
He said the travel advice for Australians regarding China remained "do not travel", but would not be drawn on for how long the ban for entrance to Australia from China would be extended.
"We follow the medical advice … everybody understands the huge implications of these travel bans, and if there's any reason or basis for relaxing them, that advice will come as soon as it's there," Mr Hunt said.
Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy acknowledged the Chinese Australian community had suffered a backlash, saying he was concerned over xenophobia and racial profiling.
"Our risk population is people who have come from China from 1 February. Not people of Chinese background, people who have come from China, whatever their background is," he said.
"There is no reason for people to be wearing masks. There's no reason for people to avoid anybody of any particular background or appearance." Mr Hunt said he denounced any discrimination of the Chinese Australian community.
"The shopping centres are safe and if there are shopping centres in areas that have particularly strong concentrations of people with Chinese-Australian background, there is no reason not to be there," he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been reaching out to the Chinese community within Australia via Chinese social media platform WeChat.
Queensland Chinese Forum honorary president Dr Kee Cheung OAM has previously said the Brisbane Chinese community was being unfairly discriminated against and that "malicious messages" were circulating the community.
There were more than 42,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus world wide yesterday evening, including 1013 deaths.
There have been 15 cases confirmed within Australia, all people who had recently travelled from the virus epicentre in Wuhan or had direct contact with someone who had.
Five of those cases have now recovered and have been cleared of the disease, while the others are stabled and recovering.
premium_icon Queensland's top 50 rugby union players: Part three
A Rockhampton young gun that’s leaving the code, a bloke who wasn’t even in the top 50 ten days ago, and a junior Wallabies skipper on the road to glory.
premium_icon ’We can’t lay him to rest’: Widow’s six years of pain
Danica Weeks, widow of MH370 victim Paul, still can't get closure six years after the crash. Now her young children are asking questions she can't answer.
premium_icon Body corp slams council secrecy over ‘bungled rates’
A former head of a leading Sunshine Coast ratepayers’ group, and body corporate manager, has questioned the council’s silence over a rates bill bungle.
premium_icon State consider laws to protect Coast’s World Surfing Reserve
The Gold Coast’s world-famous surf breaks could be protected by new laws, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed at an international surfing conference.
premium_icon ‘Low-life scum’ steal charity van
‘Low-life’ and ‘scum’ are some of the terms a furious community has used to describe thieves who snuck onto a family’s property and stole a charity coffee van.
premium_icon Ultimatum: Broncos prepared to axe club’s $1m man
Brisbane bosses have delivered a ruthless ultimatum to Anthony Milford, who will face major consequences if he fails to ignite the Broncos’ offence in 2020
premium_icon Swim teacher abuse accused says cops are delaying case
Lawyers for Kyle Daniels, the swim teacher accused of sexually touching his students, say police are delaying the case by failing to serve evidence on time.
premium_icon DRUG BUST: Police arrest 35 over ice distribution
POLICE seized a haul of drugs and guns in raids across the city late last week, including rifles, silenced weapons, shotguns, ice and LSD.
premium_icon Vital change that could win war against no-balls
Repeated front-foot no-balls going unpunished, until one gets a wicket, could become a thing of past after a call by the ICC ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup.
premium_icon Marnus legend knows no bounds
Subbed in to the Ashes, Marnus Labuschagne has joined a list of Aussie greats by taking out a much sought-after award.
premium_icon Stop sickie-shaming. Office sickos are the worst
The coronavirus is already a tragedy on an epic scale, but if it helps convince office coughers and splutterers to stay home, that’s a good thing, writes David...
premium_icon Goodbye curls, hello cure
Oliver Pioch’s hair gets than its share of attention, but shaving it off will give plenty of people a reason to smile.
premium_icon Heston axed from MasterChef after wages scandal
Network 10 has long held Heston Blumenthal as part of its MasterChef family, but now its loyalty has waned, just weeks after his wages woes were revealed.
premium_icon Tragedy of Graziella: Murder victim unable to escape abuse
Graziella Dailler, beaten, abused and murdered by her de facto Dion Muir, was a victim of the 'sad reality' of the cycle of domestic violence, says coroner.
premium_icon Prosecution presents 12 reasons to convict accused murderer
MOHAMMED Khan would have had to be naked, or have a second set of clothes, to have been the killer the crown prosecutor claimed he was, Mr Khan’s defence team said.
premium_icon Deloitte flags QLD jobless risks
Queensland is facing an increasingly challenging economic future with drought and other natural disasters, along with a stubbornly high jobless rate, hitting the...
premium_icon We should all learn from the Abdallah family
The strength the Abdallah family have gained from a senseless and avoidable tragedy is a powerful thing for so many of us to see, and spurs on so many, writes Claire...
premium_icon ‘Stay with us’: SBW says Wolfpack win not far away
Even with Sonny Bill Williams in their ranks, the Super League newcomers aren’t going to find wins easy to come by this season.
premium_icon EpiPen shortage putting children’s lives at risk
It is a lifesaving drug that can halt a deadly anaphylactic allergy reaction, but parents are being forced to use expired EpiPens on kids due to a shortage.
premium_icon The rise and fall of Mr Death
Mass murderer Dennis Allen made a visit to a newsroom, strutting bare-chested, displaying the gunshot wounds across his torso.
premium_icon Margot’s Oscars chances revealed
Apart from the red carpet, the Oscars are expected to be quite a predictable affair. So does Aussie golden girl Margot Robbie stand a chance in a tough field?
premium_icon Miracle 40,320-1 chance lobs in greyhound race
It was the one-in-40,320 miracle chance that came off at Bendigo greyhounds. But, if you were a punter, it wasn’t worth a red cent
premium_icon Mike Colman: 'Rugby’s castle is turning into sand'
Rugby’s image, finances and on-field performances have taken a hit since CEO Raelene Castle took charge and the problems are continuing, writes Mike Colman.
premium_icon The crazy ways Krispy Kreme ‘paid’ its workers
A Krispy Kreme HR staffer has revealed details of the “enhanced benefits” staff were offered to “compensate for other things, including free doughnuts, whether they...
Jaywon says no man wants to marry a woman who can't cookCheck out these 5 President's Day Microsoft Surface dealsPast Remarks Are Challenging for Bloomberg, and Fair Game for RivalsMUST SEE! Nigerian Celebrities Who Started Off As Kid StarsMurder Of Sven-Year-Old Girl Intensifies Scares Of Femicide In Mexico