26.03.20. Former prime minister Tony Abbott says Australia is “much better prepared that we otherwise would have been” to battle the coronavirus outbreak because of the work which was “done back then in my day as health minister”. In a speech to a Infectious Diseases Conference on May 2, 2005 the then health minister Tony Abbott outlined measures the Australian government would have to take in order to successfully curb the spread of a deadly virus. Mr Abbott advocated for increased border security measures which would then require all incoming passengers to “make a health declaration” while also suggesting the establishment of quarantine centres. Mr Abbott told Sky News hosts Alan Jones and Peta Credlin Australia is “probably three weeks behind Italy, and probably two weeks behind Spain”.
Source: Sky News
He said in order to prevent Australia following those two countries, “what we got to do desperately is shut things down in the short term”. “If we do manage to lock things down hard for four weeks or six weeks then we’ll be in a better position to start to think about whether we can relax things”. The former prime minister said the government is now moving towards a “set of arrangements” where the government is having to “put the economy, as it were, into a coma, an induced coma to try and avoid a health crisis”.