A new case of novel coronavirus has been confirmed in Victoria, taking the state total to four.
- The latest case in Victoria takes the national total to 10
- There are no public exposure sites and no-one has been identified as having close contact with the woman
- Monash University has announced it will delay classes on campus as some staff and students will not be back in time
A woman in her 20s, a resident of Melbourne, is recovering at home.
She returned from Wuhan, Hubei Provence, on January 25 and became unwell two days later.
She was seen by doctors in a Melbourne hospital on January 30 in accordance with infection control procedures and was assessed as well enough to stay at home.
Health authorities say she was not considered infectious on the flight and she has remained isolated since being tested.
There are no public exposure sites and no-one has been identified as having close contact with the woman.
The latest case takes the total in Victoria to four, on top of 13 people pending results and 149 negative results. The national total is now 10.
It comes as Qantas announced it would suspend its two direct services to mainland China (Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai) from February 9 until March 29 due to logistical issues.
The airline said in a statement that the decision to halt flights was a reaction to restrictions imposed by countries including Singapore and the United States that had impacted “the movement of crew” across the airline.
Melbourne’s Monash University also announced it would delay the start of on-campus classes for a fortnight amid concerns over the international outbreak.
The university was worried students and staff may be delayed by measures to stop the virus and will not be back in time for the start of classes.
Monash is Australia’s largest university with more than 80,000 students.
“The novel coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation where some of our community of students and staff will not make it back in time from affected areas or isolation in time for the commencement of semester 1, 2020,” the university said in a statement.
The death toll from the virus has reached 259 and the World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency,
Authorities said 252 people have recovered from the virus.
Government advises China travellers self-isolate
Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said last week that more than 600 Australians had registered as being in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital.
Millions of people in Hubei have been locked down as the Chinese Government fights to contain the spread of the virus.
Australians in Hubei will be flown to Christmas Island for quarantine.
The Centre for Disease Control and the WHO said there had been reports of the virus spreading from an infected patient with no symptoms to others in close contact, but more information was needed to confirm asymptomatic transmission.
Anyone who has travelled in China’s Hubei province should self-isolate for 14 days after leaving, other than when seeking medical care.
Given the lower number of cases in China reported outside of Hubei province, the Victorian Government is recommending people who have recently travelled in other parts of China or other countries do not have to self-isolate at this time.
Queensland Premier wants all flights from China halted
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she wants all flights to Australia from China to be halted until the coronavirus epidemic is contained.
“I don’t often agree with Donald Trump, but I do agree with the US authorities on this occasion that I think we should take every measure possible to combat this virus,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
She said she wanted “further data” from the Federal Government about people flying into Queensland from China.
“We would like to know where they are so we can actually make sure they are getting the messages and they are self-isolating. I think that is really, really important and I think that’s not just a state issue, I think that’s a national issue,” she said.
What to do if you are worried
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has established a coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
Anyone who develops symptoms of fever and breathing difficulty or cough or who have had direct contact with a confirmed case should seek medical help immediately.
Before visiting a GP or emergency department, they are advised to call ahead to advise about recent travel and symptoms.
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