Australia on Tuesday announced a healthcare sector public-private partnership to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Under the partnership, the Australian government will partner with the private sector to secure 30,000 hospital beds and 105,000 nurses and staff, said a Health Department statement.
Nineteen people have died due to coronavirus in Australia, while 4,558 others have tested positive for the deadly infection since its outbreak.
New South Wales (NSW), where 2,032 cases have been reported, is the worst-affected state.
The department added that the federal government will offer agreements to 657 private and not-for-profit hospitals to ensure their viability, in return for maintenance and capacity during the COVID-19 response.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has banned gatherings of more than two people, while certain classes of older people have been asked to stay home wherever possible for their own protection.
Morrison also announced an AU$130 billion ($79.3 billion) JobKeeper Payment to avoid job losses besides supporting businesses affected by the pandemic.
Nearly 40,000 people have died of the virus globally, with over 803,000 cases confirmed worldwide, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Data shows the virus has spread to 178 countries.
Despite the rising number of cases, most people who get infected suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.