Government has power to forcibly detain and decontaminate people with coronavirus | ABC News

Coronavirus patients could be detained against their will, but the Attorney-General says that would be a last resort.

Attorney-General Christian Porter says it is “very likely” never-before-used biosecurity laws will be invoked, after it was revealed Australia had recorded its first cases of human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The nation’s chief health officers will also meet today to consider additional “social distancing” restrictions.

Under biosecurity laws introduced in 2015, the Government has the power to forcibly detain and decontaminate people with the virus, and prevent people from attending mass gatherings.

Mr Porter said it was “very likely these laws will get used on a larger scale”.

Experts say more Australian cases of the virus will be diagnosed, but a mass outbreak is still avoidable.

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In This Story: Australia

Australia, officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area.

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