Australia announces national COVID-19 coordination commission

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new corporate task-force on Wednesday that will focus on redeploying workers and equipment, and seek to protect critical supply chains during the coronavirus pandemic.

Morrison said that the former chief executive of iron ore miner Fortescue, Neville Power, would lead the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission.

Australia also cancelled elective surgeries from Wednesday to conserve protective gear, Morrison said.

Australian leaders have become increasingly frustrated with breaches of social distancing measures that saw thousands flock to beaches and pubs in recent days before new restrictions were implemented.

Morrison announced new curbs late on Tuesday that will close more non-essential businesses, pushing the country closer to the stricter lockdown measures imposed in parts of Europe.

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