Monday, 23 March 2020
Questions without Notice
I can confirm that as I came into question time today there were 1,609 confirmed cases in Australia; sadly, there have been seven deaths; and 91 persons have recovered from the coronavirus. I can confirm that the rate of escalation of those cases has been concerning, and that has been a keen focus of the AHPPC, the panel of medical experts who are reviewing this issue, as they have been every day since late January, and are providing consistent advice about the measures that need to be taken not just by the federal government but by state governments as well. Those governments have been taking those actions, as has the Commonwealth government.
Earlier today I had a leadership meeting with the Prime Minister of Singapore, the annual leaders' dialogue between Singapore and Australia. That was done, under these unusual circumstances, by telepresence. At that we signed the Digital Economy Agreement. I discussed with the Prime Minister of Singapore, particularly, a lot of the measures that they have been putting in place. The Leader of the Opposition made reference to the work that has been done in South Korea. The work that has been done in Singapore has been a particular guide to the way that the Australian government, as well as the states and territories, have been looking to put measures in place. Those measures in Singapore include the fact that schools remain open in Singapore. Importantly, we had a discussion about how it was so important to ensure that—I couldn't hear over the Leader of the Opposition—