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CORONAVIRUS TREATED AT WESTMEAD Featured
04 March 2020 Posted by 

CORONAVIRUS TREATED AT WESTMEAD

Be cautious not alarmed, says Minister
ELIZABETH FRIAS
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has confirmed nine new cases of coronavirus in NSW, two being treated at Westmead Hospital, including a 53-year-old male health worker in Western Sydney.

Four of the new persons diagnosed with coronavirus symptoms have arrived in Sydney from Iran over the weekend and one of them, a 43-year-old male, has likely transmitted the virus to a female family member who is now under observation and quarantined at Westmead Hospital.
 
“I can confirm a possible case of [human-to-human] transmission in NSW and we are now determining the contact he has had with people which is why are taking extra precautionary approach,” Mr Hazzard said in a recorded media conference posted on Facebook .
 
Mr Hazzard said NSW Health is thoroughly investigating how the health worker may have contracted the virus and also determining the contacts he had with hospital patients and other people outside of the hospital. The health worker is receiving treatment while quarantined at Westmead Hospital.
 
Mr Hazzard has urged the public “to be cautious but not alarmed” by the current situation on the coronavirus in Sydney and NSW and recommended that customary handshaking and kissing be avoided and instead “give each other a pat on the back” for care and caution while no vaccine is yet available to stop the spread of coronavirus that emanated from Wuhan, China.
 
NSW chief medical officer Kerry Chant has reassured the public that patients with flu symptoms at Westmead Hospital are also being simultaneously tested for coronavirus as another precautionary measure and many people have been voluntarily coming forward to undergo testing.
 
“Our key focus is to contact staff or patients who may have been in contact with the health worker,” Ms Chant said, adding that there may be possible cases that health authorities have missed because they have yet to know how the health worker who has not travelled overseas in the last six months became infected with coronavirus.
 
In Canberra, Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to the family of 78-year-old James Kwan of Perth who died from coronavirus in the weekend, the first fatality so far as the number of cases in Australia reached 29 on Monday, March 2.
 
Health Minister Greg Hunt also expressed his deep sadness on Mr Kwan’s passing due to the virus and to those affected particularly the four new cases from Iran, one in Queensland, two in NSW, and one in Victoria. Ten Australians affected with coronavirus while in Japan on board the Diamond Princess are receiving continuing treatment and quarantine at Howard Springs in Darwin.
 
“All have been isolated, all are under treatment, and most significantly, contact tracing has been started by the states and territories,” Mr Hunt said in a media conference in Canberra on Monday, March 2.
 
On the coronavirus cases in Queensland, Mr Hunt said, a clinic had been set up to test those people who may have been in contact with the person who arrived from Iran.
 
The latest global situation report on the coronavirus by the World Health Organisation has confirmed 87,137 cases in 67 countries with the addition of new countries with cases of the virus such as Azerbajian, Ecuador, Ireland, Monaco, Qatar, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic and Luxembourg.
 
In China where the outbreak started in December, WHO reported the confirmed cases reached 79,968 and 579 are new cases. The death toll has risen to 2,873 and 35 deaths were recent.
 
Minister Hunt said Australia has raised to Level Two the travel ban for Italy following the increase in travel advisory to Iran. Level two means travellers must have a high degree of awareness, and level three is to reconsider the travel.


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