Updated March 2020
On 30th January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations of Emergency Committee declared the COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
In Western Australia the Communicable Disease Control Directorate within the WA Department of Health Public and Aboriginal Health Division is leading the response to COVID-19 with the instigation of the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (PHEOC), in collaboration with the State Health Incident Coordination Centre (SHICC), and with support from the Population/Public Health Units and Health Service Providers.
The best way to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 is to practise good hygiene. WA Health does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general community (who have no symptoms of respiratory illness), to prevent the risk of contracting COVID-19.
See our video links and fact sheets below for more information.
Want to know more about Coronavirus? Check out our previous article on Coronavirus – What You Need to Know.
Coronavirus Update for Australia
As of 28th February, there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in WA. Both cases are associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship. An additional 511 people have been tested for COVID-19 in WA have returned a negative result.
There are also 24 confirmed cases detected in Australia 4 cases from NSW, 8 from QLD, 3 from SA, 7 from VIC, and 2 from WA.
Global Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
According to the most recent WHO Report, there have been a total 82,294 confirmed cases, with China reporting 78,630 of these, and 3,664 spread globally. Counties that have reported at least 10 positive cases of Coronavirus as of 28th February 2020 include; South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, Singapore, US, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, Malaysia, Canada, Iraq, Norway, UAE, Netherlands, Austria, Vietnam, Sweden, Lebanon, Israel, and Macau.
Globally, 2,747 deaths have been attributed to the Coronavirus outbreak with highest mortality in China.
Travel Warning for Australians
Commonwealth has extended travel restrictions to China (Level 4 – Do Not Travel), Iran (Level 3 – Reconsider Your Need to Travel), Italy, Japan, South Korea and Mongolia (Level 2 – Exercise a High Degree of Caution). Doctors are being advised to consider clinical testing for people who have travelled to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Italy and Cambodia.
Precautionary Protection Measures
The Department of Health advises travel restrictions to affected areas as a main precautionary approach. Good hygiene practice is the best defence against most viruses. Generally, the public should;
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitisers
- If unwell, avoid contact with others (touching, kissing, hugging and other contact).
When & How to Seek Medical Help?
If you develop a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of travel to an affected area or have had contact with a person with confirmed coronavirus, you should immediately isolate yourself from other people. Contact your GP or your emergency department or call the healthdirect helpline 1800 022 222 and seek medical attention as soon as possible. People who believe they have coronavirus, been in contact with someone who may be affected or have general enquiries can also call 1800 300 243.
Other Helpful Resources
Click Below for More Resources and Information on Coronavirus COVID-19
- Department of Health – Fact Sheet on COVID-19
- Department of Health – Information on Use of Surgical Masks
- Department of Health – Information for Casual Contacts of a Confirmed Case
- Department of Health – Home Isolation Guide
- Department of Health – Home Isolation Guide when Unwell
- World Health Organization – Travel Advice
- World Health Organization – Advice for Public
- 1300 Dr To Me – Coronavirus (COVID-19) – What You Need to Know
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Disclaimer: 1300 Dr To Me provides free health information blogs for the community to increase awareness on health & medical topics. The information in this article is educative and does not constitute diagnosis. Please consult a doctor, or request an urgent after hours GP visit should you or your children experience allergic symptoms.
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