28 Feb Australian Government current health alert on COVID-19
With the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern the Australian Government Department of Health has been maintaining a website to issue Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alerts, updated daily:
It contains a number of useful resources including information for the health sector;
- Resources for health professionals/ pathology providers and healthcare managers. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-resources-for-health-professionals-including-pathology-providers-and-healthcare-managers
- 2019-nCoV National Guidelines for Public Health Units. https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cdna-song-novel-coronavirus.htm
- Coronavirus disease weekly epidemiology reports, Australia, 2020. https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/novel_coronavirus_2019_ncov_weekly_epidemiology_reports_australia_2020.htm
- Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus, including an overview of the national plan and operational plan. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/australian-health-sector-emergency-response-plan-for-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
COVID-19 current status in Australia:
As at 06:30 hrs on 27 February 2020, we have 23 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia:
- 8 in Queensland
- 4 in New South Wales
- 7 in Victoria
- 3 in South Australia
- 1 in Western Australia
15 of these cases are reported to have recovered. The remaining cases are in a stable condition.
8 cases are passengers who were on the Diamond Princess repatriation flight from Japan. They were in quarantine at the Manigurr-ma Village Howard Springs facility in Darwin when they tested positive to coronavirus (COVID-19).
All of these people have returned to their home states for medical treatment.
For questions about testing or the welfare of people with the virus, contact your state or territory health authority.
In addition to those who have travelled to (including transit through) mainland China in the 14 days before the onset of illness, it is recommended that clinicians should consider testing people with a clinically compatible illness who travelled to any of the following countries in the 14 days before onset of symptoms:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
If returned travellers from these countries are tested, they should be managed as a suspect case and isolated until the results of testing are known.
Only people who have a travel history to mainland China require quarantine (not Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea or Iran), therefore, if results are negative and they are deemed to no longer be a suspect case, they do not require quarantine.
This list is based on the volume of travel between those countries, Australia and China, and/or the current epidemiology of COVID-19. The recommendation does not apply to passengers who have only been in transit through an airport in these countries.
On 27 February 2020, the Australian Government supported recommendations from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) to maintain current travel restrictions. These will be reviewed again before 6 March 2020. Read the statement from the AHPPC.
COVID-19 across the world:
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advise there is a heightened risk of sustained local transmission or significant outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19) in:
- Northern Italy (several regions, including Lombardia and Veneto)
- South Korea (Daegu and Cheongdo)
Across the world, there have been about 82,704 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) and 2,814 reported deaths. Of confirmed cases reported globally, the case fatality rate is approximately 3.4%. The case fatality rate in countries and regions outside mainland China is 1.4%
The majority of cases of COVID-19 have been reported from mainland China. 4,207 cases have been reported from 49 countries and regions outside mainland China.
Since 27 February there have been 623 new cases and 14 deaths reported outside of mainland China.
The coronavirus is not only having a huge impact on international health/ mortality but an already feeble world economy. The outbreak of COVID-19 came at a particularly vulnerable point in the global business cycle. World output expanded by just 2.9 per cent in 2019 – the slowest pace since the 2008-09 global financial crisis and just 0.4 percentage points above the 2.5 per cent threshold typically associated with global recession.