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Non-compliance with mandatory face mask orders 'disgusting': Australian PM

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-08-05 10:54
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FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison [Photo/Agencies]

CANBERRA -- Australia's prime minister (PM) has called for Australians refusing to comply with mandatory face mask orders to "get real."

Scott Morrison said on Wednesday morning that he was "disgusted" by an alleged assault of a police officer in Victoria by a woman who refused to wear a mask.

"I think the report that I saw of a Victorian police officer being assaulted by someone pretending to do this in the name of liberty was just disgusting," Morrison told Today, an Australian breakfast television program.

"I mean, people have got to get real, too."

Face masks have been made mandatory outside of the house in Victoria in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. They have also been strongly recommended in New South Wales (NSW).

A 38-year-old Victorian woman who refused to wear a mask has been charged with nine offences including two counts of assaulting an emergency worker after she allegedly smashed the head of a 26-year-old female police officer into the ground, causing significant injuries.

"I know it's hard to understand and it's confusing. I understand all that. But we've got to make this work and we've got to push through that and I know there's going to be things that really test people's patience," Morrison said.

As of Tuesday noon there had been 18,729 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in the last 24 hours was 452, according to Department of Health.

The death toll has climbed from 221 to 232. Of the new cases, 439 were confirmed in Victoria and the 11 new deaths were also in the state.

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