Why banning China flights is an ineffective measure
BANNING all flights from China while its borders remain open won't stop travellers from the coronavirus epicentre arriving in Australia, according to Australia's Chief Medical Officer.
Professor Brendan Murphy said the World Health Organisation had "strongly recommended" not banning flights from China.
"Unless you lockdown exit from the country, banning flights, direct flights, doesn't stop people coming from China," he said.
"They could come from all sorts of other ports and at least we know who is coming from China and we can meet and do very intensive border measures for those flights."
He said some airlines had stopped flights from China for "commercial reasons" however no countries were proposing blanket bans while China's borders remained open.
"It seems likely that China is increasingly blocking export of its residents, so they are reducing tour groups coming out of China and if the outbreak in provinces other than Hubei, which is now completely locked down, increase, I believe they will stop exits from China which is a more effective way," he said.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said medical experts in the Health Protection Principal Committee had considered travel bans "on a number of occasions" but consistently recommended against it.
"If their advice does change, we will implement it," he said.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told Channel 9 this morning he was relying on advice from medical experts about travel bans but there were "contingencies ready to go" if the Government needed to take further steps.