‘There is a road ahead’: Scott Morrison announces the first coronavirus restrictions to be relaxed as elective surgeries including IVF and dental procedures are allowed to go ahead
Several types of elective surgery will resume next week as Australia begins the road out from coronavirus restrictions.
IVF and screening programs, dental procedures, post cancer procedures such as breast reconstruction, eye procedures, joint replacements and all procedures for children under 18 will all be allowed to go ahead from Monday.
Those procedures represent about 25 per cent of elective surgery and the National Cabinet will review the rules again on May 11 to see if even more procedures can be allowed.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision marked a step towards normal life.
Several types of elective surgery will resume next week as Australia begins the road out from coronavirus restrictions
‘This is an important decision because it marks another step on the way back.
‘There is a road ahead and the decisions that the National Cabinet has taken today is evidence of that.’
Mr Morrison also repeated calls for in independent inquiry into the origins of coronavirus after China said it was not necessary.
‘I think such an inquiry is important and we can respectively have a difference of view from the one that has been put forward by China.’
On Thursday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded that China ‘come clean’ after unsubstantiated reports that coronavirus may have originated in a lab in Wuhan.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Friday demanded that China ‘answer those questions’ before foreign affairs minister Marise Payne called for an inquiry.
A Chinese academic has accused Australia of joining the US on a ‘crusade’ against China. Pictured: An employee spraying disinfectant at a factory in Wuhan on 25 March
Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Centre at the East China Normal University, said Australian politicians were engaged in a ‘smear campaign’ against China.
‘It is deplorable that Australia is joining this anti-China crusade that will further damage the bilateral relations, a consequence that we in both countries don’t want to see,’ he was quoted as saying in the AFR.
Beijing has not officially responded to Ms Payne’s calls for an inquiry but Communist Party politicians normally approve academics’ comments before they are released.
People crowd to buy meat and fish at Khlong Toei wet market in Thailand. The virus is thought to have begun in Wuhan’s wet market and there are calls for wet markets to be banned