By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - Australia on Friday announced tougher quarantine measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Under the new rules that would apply from Saturday midnight, all arrivals coming into Australia will be quarantined in designated facilities such as hotels for 14 days, said a statement from the prime minister's office.
In a press conference, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he enlisted the Australia Defense Force to help the states and territories ensure "all arrivals from abroad will self-isolate in hotels and other accommodation for two weeks."
Some 3,143 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the world's sixth largest country, according to latest figures by Johns Hopkins University. At least 13 have also died.
Other measures taken to stem the virus in Australia include restricted social and economic activity, and rigorous testing.
Although schools remain open, the National Cabinet has said "it is no longer business as usual".
"We are now in a transition phase until the end of term as schools prepare for a new mode of operation following the school holidays," it said in a statement.
Meanwhile in New Zealand, the number of infections rose to 368 after 85 new cases were found, according to daily New Zealand Herald.
The island country's health chief, Ashley Bloomfield, said they had a capacity of carrying out 2,000 COVID-19 tests per day.
Like many other countries, New Zealand is under a 4-week lockdown since Wednesday midnight, and all non-essential businesses are closed with people forced to stay home.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the virus has spread to at least 175 countries and territories, according to the university's Coronavirus Resource Center.
The U.S. now has more confirmed cases than any other country -- 85,991 positive tests. It has overtaken China (81,828 cases) and Italy (80,589).
More than 537,000 people have tested positive worldwide, with the death toll above 24,000 and over 123,268 recoveries.