Prime Minister Scott Morrison is calling for calm over the coronavirus outbreak, since January 2020, as people strip supermarket shelves of food and toilet paper.
“In Australia, it’s 38 cases — 21 of those who have had the virus have passed through the virus now and are back in the community. We’ve got ahead of it at the start and are working hard to stay ahead of it,” Mr Morrison said.
Sydney’s Hope 103.2 News director Anita Savage reported:
“Woolworths said its been forced to limit the sale to four packs of toilet paper per customer while manufacturer Kimberly-Clark is increasing production in South Australia to help deal with the shortages.
“Scott Morrison says he understands people are anxious but there’s no need for hysteria.
“Dozens of health staff who came in contact with a coronavirus-affected doctor at Ryde Hospital have been placed in isolation. Six new cases of the virus have been confirmed in NSW in the last 24 hours.”
In Brisbane a 20-year-old male from China has been confirmed with coronavirus (COVID-19).
The man is currently in a stable condition in isolation in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
The man had travelled to Dubai for at least 14 days before entering Australia, via Brisbane on 23 February 2020. He became unwell on 25 February 2020.
Dr Jeannette Young, Queensland Chief Health Officer, said authorities are looking into where the man may have contracted the disease.
“The male has recently returned to Brisbane and we are working closely with relevant authorities to undertake contact tracing.” Dr Young said.
“The male lived with one other housemate in Toowong. We are in contact with the male’s housemate, who is undergoing assessment.”
Our contact tracing methods are tried and trusted and we will take every opportunity to raise awareness of this case in the community if there has been any community exposure.”
“I want to thank Metro North Health for their quick response.”
There have now been ten people in Queensland with COVID-19, including the three people from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.
The most recent case, a 63-year-old woman, remains in isolation in a stable condition at Gold Coast University Hospital.
The other eight patients have been clinically cleared by their treating team and discharged from hospital.
Dr Young said Queensland was well prepared to respond to COVID-19 and that the safety of Queenslanders is our number one priority.
“Our health system is working to keep Queenslanders safe from the virus, but the best weapon the community can deploy against the virus is hand-washing.”
“Washing your hands is the gold standard of health advice as far as coronavirus goes,” Dr Young said.
“Washing your hands properly and often means that you can help prevent viruses from entering your body.”
If you have been overseas in the last 14 days and feel unwell please call 13HEALTH, your GP or local hospital to arrange an assessment. Calling ahead to the GP surgery or hospital to let them know your symptoms and travel history helps them prepare for your arrival.
Anyone with concerns can call 13 HEALTH.
Coronavirus Health Information Line
Call this line if you are seeking information on novel coronavirus. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
1800 020 080
Australian Department of Health
Visit their dedicated ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert‘ page that offers the following key information:
- Current status in Australia, in the news, and across the world
- Why there is an alert
- Who is at risk and what to do if you are
- Fact sheets in a number of different languages
- Health sector resources including emergency response plans
- Information for travellers and visitors including international students
We are monitoring a respiratory illness outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19). We update this alert every day with the latest medical advice and official reports.
The Department of Health said “Australia is well prepared” and is responding in the following way:
- Australian Government agencies and state and territory governments are working together to coordinate an evidence-based response. This includes:
- providing information in English and Chinese based on the latest medical advice, including through Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, WeChat and Chinese newspapers
- applying a 14-day isolation period to people at risk of getting coronavirus
- applying travel restrictions to reduce the number of travellers from mainland China and Iran
- tracing coronavirus cases
- continuing to screen travellers who arrive in Australia
- continuing with border surveillance
- applying enhanced border measures at international air and sea ports, including announcements and signs
A total of over 1.4 million P2 and surgical masks have been made available from the National Medical Stockpile as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19. The Government is also investigating further sources of supply for personal protective equipment, both internationally and domestically.
State and territory health authorities are:
- testing anyone who shows symptoms of the virus
- monitoring close contacts of confirmed cases every day