Government has extended the ban until 29 February, despite pleas from higher education sector
The Ban Extended into its Fourth Week
It is rightly said that desperate times need desperate remedies.
Not willing to take any chances, the Australian government has decided to extend its ban on international arrivals who have traveled through China for a fourth week due to the novel coronavirus crisis.
This extreme step came despite the growing pressure on the economy and the beginning of the university year.
The ban came into force since 1 February and was initially scheduled for 14 days.
According to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, they were compelled to take this step to contain the risk of exposure to the coronavirus,
The Australian government contends that its effort at preventing the spread of the disease has been successful with the number of cases remaining at 15.
Australian Economy Bears the Brunt
The coronavirus scourge continues to throw economies of several countries into a tailspin.
Australia is no exception. Its economy currently faces an estimated $8bn hit due to the coronavirus outbreak, which, according to experts, is expected to cost the global economy US$1.1tn.
Education Sector also Hard Hit
The travel ban has hit where it hurts the most — the higher education sector.
Due to this, an estimated 65,800 international visa-holding students find themselves stranded in China.
Meanwhile, the National Tertiary Education Union has urged the federal government to immediately create a support package for the sector.
According to a report published in The Guardian, Alison Barnes, its president, has said the “consequences of the ban were becoming increasingly serious.”
Who are Exempted from the Ban?
Those who have been exempted from the ban include Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family.
But they have been instructed to self-isolate for 14 days – the incubation period of the virus – on their return to Australia in the event of their being they in mainland China since 1 February.
How many More Cases of Coronavirus have been reported?
Till Thursday, 75,660 cases of Covid-19 were reported worldwide. This includes 62,031 in Hubei province, where the virus emerged. More than 2,000 people have already died.
In Australia, those who were diagnosed with the deadly virus contracted the disease in Wuhan.
Remarkable Recovery among Australian Patients
As per the latest reports, ten Australian patients have recovered from the virus, among them, an eight-year-old boy, a Chinese national from Wuhan. He was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday evening.
As many as 170 Australians who had been aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess returned to Darwin on Thursday morning on a charter flight.
After more than two weeks in quarantine, they will now embark upon a further 14-day quarantine period in a village on the outskirts of Darwin.