Australia eases restrictions on elective surgeries after slowing coronavirus spread

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a state memorial honouring victims of the Australian bushfires at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, February 23, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will relax restrictions on elective surgeries after slowing the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.

Australia had in March banned all non-emergency elective surgeries to free-up hospital beds amid expectations of a surge in coronavirus cases.

But in recent days, Australia has seen growth of less than 1% in new coronavirus cases, allowing Canberra to expand the number of surgeries that are permitted.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Christian Schmollinger