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Prime Minister initiates coronavirus ’emergency response plan’

The Prime Minister has upgraded Australia’s response to the coronavirus.

Scott Morrison says it will now be treated as a “pandemic” in Australia, even though the rest of the world is yet to declare it as such.

The move allows the federal government to immediately respond as the disease spreads, including the option of shutting schools if necessary.

As things stand, only eight Australians are being treated for mild cases of the virus.

But Scott Morrison said it’s vital to stay ahead of the curve, in the event things get worse.

“Based on the expert medical advice we’ve received, there’s every indication the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus,” he said.

(Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)