Australia’s Chief Medical Officer is now recommending anyone who has travelled in the Hubei province should self-isolate for 14 days after leaving the Hubei province.
We rely on advice from health experts when it comes to managing the novel coronavirus – including Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and the World Health Organization.
We always said this advice would change as more information about the novel coronavirus becomes available and we will update as necessary.
Australia’s health experts have met again today to discuss the latest developments with the virus and have revised their medical advice accordingly.
The self-isolation recommendation applies to people of all ages. Adults should not attend work and children should not attend school. Both adults and children should avoid going to shops, restaurants and other public places.
People should also self-isolate if they have a confirmed case of coronavirus or have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
If anyone in these categories develops symptoms, they should seek medical attention and phone ahead to the GP or hospital so appropriate infection control precautions can be undertaken.
Isolating potential carriers of the diseases will be the best way to minimise the spread of infection.
We understand this will have wide-ranging impacts on workplaces and the local economy and it was not an easy decision to request this of Victorians – but we have to follow the advice of medical experts when it comes to containing this disease.
There are still very few cases in Victoria and across Australia and while we aim to keep it that way, we are preparing to see more of this infection within our community.
It’s important to remember that while this is a new virus, we have experience with similar viruses, as well as the pandemic flu and much of that planning and preparation can be applied here.
Our health system is well prepared to manage infectious disease outbreaks like this and all hospitals, health services and GPs are aware of the protocols.
We’re doing everything we can to keep the community safe and will continue providing regular updates to ensure all Victorians have the latest advice on what they can do to stop the spread of this virus.
(Minister for Health, Victoria State Government)