National Cabinet: Anthony Albanese pushes Covid meeting forward

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made the emergency call after being briefed on the growing wave of Covid cases in the country.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called an emergency meeting of the national cabinet to urgently discuss the rise in Covid cases.

After being briefed by Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly about his return to Australia, Mr. Albanese rescheduled the meeting for Saturday.

“Received an afternoon briefing from Chief Medical Officer Prof. Paul Kelly on the COVID BA4/5 wave,” the Prime Minister said Friday evening.

“Tomorrow morning he will report to the national cabinet and we will discuss proposals to ensure the protection of vulnerable groups in the coming weeks.”

During Friday’s briefing, the couple discussed Australia’s current response to Covid-19 and the likely increase in cases in the coming months.

Mr Albanese said the government will continue to fight the pandemic based on the advice of health experts.

“We want to keep the economy open and the key to that is limiting the health impact on Australians,” he said.

Mr. Albanese received an urgent briefing after landing in Australia on Friday afternoon.

The Prime Minister immediately met Professor Kelly upon his return from the Pacific Islands Forum to Fiji.

They discussed the current response to Covid-19 and the likely increase in cases in the coming months ahead of the national cabinet meeting.

Health Secretary Brendan Murphy and Health Secretary Mark Butler also attended the briefing, which was described as Mr Albanese’s “absolute priority” upon his return to Australia.

Mr. Albanese said the government will continue to address issues based on medical advice received.

“We want to keep the economy open and the key to that is limiting the health impact on Australians,” he said.

The night before, Mr. Albanese gave in to pressure from state and territory leaders to call an emergency national cabinet meeting to take action on the spike in Covid-19 cases caused by new Omicron sub-options.

The federal government is gearing up for millions of Australians to contract the virus by the end of winter.

The Albanian government is facing its first major test this week amid backlash over its decision not to renew $750 pandemic benefits for people who contract the virus and are not entitled to sick leave when they miss work.

The under pressure Mr Albanese will face calls from at least some prime ministers to resume payments at their meeting.

New South Wales premier Dominic Perrotte will be among them after telling reporters that governments are “unfair” to limit people’s ability to work without financial support.

Labor Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas of South Australia is expected to join other leaders in other states in advocating an extension of payments.

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Originally published as Emergency National Cabinet Meeting: Albo takes action due to Covid

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