There are serious concerns holidaymakers returning to Australia from Bali could bring with them more cases of coronavirus, as the country continues its battle to contain the potentially deadly outbreak.
Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan raised concerns Friday morning that Indonesia had been underreporting cases, making it difficult to measure the risk of people entering Australia.
“I think we need to take proper advice and potentially take further action on that very soon,” Mr McGowan told reporters.
Australian tourists currently in Bali have reported temperature checks on arrival at Denpasar Airport and random testing at hotels, clubs and some restaurants.
While usually peak season for the resort location, many visitors have reported it being particularly quiet as travellers opt to stay home as fear surrounding the outbreak surges.
This is our WA COVID-19 update for 12 March 2020.
Our regular public updates include up-to-date information, current advice and tips on how to better protect yourself.
For official information regarding COVID-19 in WA, visit https://t.co/gs2JEQYPZPhttps://t.co/Dhf8aDTGBj pic.twitter.com/yK3tK2ZQin
— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) March 12, 2020
Mr McGowan’s comment came as five more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Western Australia, bringing the state's total to 14.
“We believe they've come from overseas but we'll need to check that,” WA chief health officer Andrew Robertson told ABC radio on Friday.
Cases across the nation have continued to rise, with major events being cancelled including the Australian Grand Prix, with other major sporting codes weighing up whether to follow suit.
The Australian government announced it would advise against non-essential mass gatherings of more than 500 people from Monday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said people should also reconsider the need to travel overseas, regardless of your destination, age or health.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is reportedly preparing to announce coronavirus a national public health emergency on Friday.
Mr McGowan called on the prime minister in their Council of Australian Governments meeting on Friday for a guarantee of enough medical supplies and a consistent approach to cancelling mass gatherings.
“This is a difficult issue to resolve. Major events are coming at us every single day and we need to work out what we're all going to do,” he told reporters on his way into the meeting.
Despite Mr McGowans’s concerns Indonesia was ill prepared for COVID-19, director of its leading infectious diseases hospital previously said the county was well equipped in the face of the outbreak.
The resort island is a popular and affordable holiday destination for Australians, with 1.23 million tourists visiting last year, according to WA Today.
Events that have been cancelled
Cricket Australia has banned spectators from Australia's one-day series against New Zealand and will hold the series behind closed doors.
The Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne has been cancelled, and so has the Supercars' Melbourne round which was due to be held this weekend.
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has postponed next week's community forums in northern Tasmania.
Next week's Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hearings in Adelaide and future hearings will be closed to the public until further notice.
The World Surf League has cancelled the opening event of the 2020 Championship Tour – the Corona Open, on the Gold Coast from March 26.
Mr Morrison addressed the nation Thursday evening with an update on the serious nature of the coronavirus and Australia’s “clear plan” for moving forward.
Earlier in the day, the federal government announced a nearly $18 billion economic stimulus package to mitigate against the worst of the economic hit expected from the virus outbreak.