SYDNEY – The Australian economy will be operating smoothly from July onward following the setback caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to estimates by country’s government.
Last week, the country started lifting some of the restrictions in place to check the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected 6,869 people in the country, and caused 96 deaths.
The government has decided on three phases for easing restrictions, and the eight different territories in the country will lift restrictions based on the progress made as per the guidelines laid down in this regard.
The cabinet, after analyzing several reports on the crisis, estimates that by July the Australian economy will be operating smoothly, according to a statement issued overnight by the office of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
However, the statement acknowledged that several health measures, including social distancing and travel restrictions abroad, will need to remain in force for much longer.
The pandemic has severely hit the Australian economy, especially tourism and education sectors, and the country is heading towards its first recession in 30 years.
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia estimates, the country’s GDP is expected to fall by 6% in 2020, and unemployment rate could reach 10%.
To prevent an economic collapse, the government has approved several funds amounting to millions of dollars to support businesses and workers.
“We’re looking at just under 100 deaths. And each and every one of those is a terrible outcome for, obviously, those individuals and their families. But compared to overseas, we’ve done well. But we’re now we’ve got to get people back to work,” Morrison said Wednesday in an interview with local broadcaster 2GB.
The prime minister said on the radio broadcast that he is working on a formula to create 1 million jobs and open businesses, while at the same time keeping the health situation under control.
Morrison also revealed that so far more than five million of the country’s 25 million inhabitants had downloaded a tracking app that helps the authorities monitor potential COVID-19 hotspots.