Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference in Canberra. File/AFP
Australia will keep in place restrictions implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus for at least four more weeks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, despite signs that Canberra has been succcesful in slowing infection rates.
Morrison said Australia will over the next month expand testing, improve its capacity to trace contacts of known coronavirus cases, and plan a response to any further local outbreaks.
A commuter wearing a face mask sits in a train in Sydney, Australia. Reuters
Morrison said these three steps will be finished within four weeks, and Australia will then review the restrictions that include curtailing the movements of residents, and the closures of schools, restaurants and pubs.
As greater Melbourne passed the halfway point of a lockdown initially intended to last six weeks, Premier Daniel Andrews said the state would be stuck in "limbo" unless it could cut the infection rate.
Federal authorities have left details of the plan's implementation up to the country's diverse states and territories, meaning coronavirus restrictions will remain in place for weeks or months longer in areas hardest hit by the disease.
They also talked about beating the COVID-19 pandemic, combating climate change and working together to hold those responsible for the coup in Myanmar, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
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