Police called to enforce coronavirus- prompted self-isolation in NSW


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Police have already been called in to enforce at least one case of coronavirus- prompted self-isolation as the number of cases in NSW jumps by 22 people in 24 hours.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that from midnight all people coming to Australia will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian called for the community to take the directive on board.

Under the state’s Public Health Act both Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott have the power to enforce these self- isolation provisions, Ms Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

“At this stage we believe that the provisions in the Public Health Act satisfy what we need to do,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Mr Hazzard is currently “gazetting” provisions in the act to develop wording which could apply to self-isolation and a ban on mass gatherings of more than 500 people, which will both come into force on Monday.

“We do have enforcement provisions in relation to that self-isolation, but as you can appreciate that will be very difficult to monitor every single situation,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“So there is a degree of having the public really support us in that as well, for people to do the right thing by the community, by their own family, and by their circle.”

Police have already been called in to enforce one case of self-isolation, Ms Berejiklian said.

“Somebody was perhaps infected but not doing the right thing and police were involved to make sure that person did the right thing,” she said.

“So we have already been using police for that purpose where it’s appropriate.”

People line up at a COVID-19 clinic in Perth.
People line up at a COVID-19 clinic in Perth. Credit: The West Australian

The government does not want self-isolation to be an enforcement issue, and wants the public to “do what’s right,” the premier said.

“But if they don’t, they need to know that … our law officers will be there to protect the community because in situations like this, without being dramatic or sounding overly concerned, and I am concerned, is it’s a matter of life and death.”

The government is clarifying its legal position when it comes to police powers, including whether fines can be handed to individuals who flout self-isolation requirements.

Ms Berejiklian also called on workplaces to report if employees have recently returned from overseas and are still coming to work to the government, and to let the employee know their behaviour isn’t acceptable.

It comes as the number of coronavirus cases in NSW has jumped by 22 over 24 hours, taking the total number of infected people in the state to 134.

The spike up to 11am on Sunday follows an increase of 20 in the previous 24 hours.

Somebody was perhaps infected but not doing the right thing and police were involved to make sure that person did the right thing — Gladys Berejiklian

The latest increase includes four men who had recently travelled from the United States, a woman who had recently travelled from the Philippines and and a man who had arrived recently from Singapore.

NSW Health says of the 134 cases, 60 were acquired overseas while 38 were infected after contact with a confirmed case. The remaining are either unknown or under investigation.

A further 1924 cases in NSW are being investigated while more than 20,500 people have been tested and cleared.

“Whilst the number of cases is rising we are at a relatively strong position in terms of managing the spread,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“But we can’t be assured that this will always be the case and that’s why it’s really important to put these extra plans in place to make sure we reduce the spread as much as possible – whilst we have plans in place for all the different scenarios that may eventuate, the best plan we can stick to is reducing the spread.”


The Indian Telegraphhttps://theindiantelegraph.com.au/
Established in 2007, The Indian Telegraph is a multi award winning digital media company based in Australia.

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