Update on Coronavirus

Update on Coronavirus

I do apologise for the increased number of posts this week, but there have been quite a lot of serious issues and a huge number of questions being asked to me.

As the Coronavirus is top of the list for queries, with a lot of businesses already suffering as I predicted earlier this week, I thought it important to share this update that I received from the Federal Member for Higgins, Hon Katie Allen MP. This is particularly relevant as there is so much misinformation getting around on social media.

Update on the Novel Coronavirus
Dear Allan,

This week in Parliament, I received a briefing from the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy and Australian Border Force Deputy Commissioner, Mandy Newton APM about the Coronavirus outbreak. 

The World Health Organisation has declared a public health emergency of international concern following the outbreak. Australia is ready to respond.

I congratulate our medical research community and Melbourne’s Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity for being the first to sequence the Novel Coronavirus that will help to develop a vaccine.     
The Australian Government is working across agencies to implement additional measures to manage the risk of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) originating in the region of Wuhan in China.

I commend the Australian Border Force, the Department of Foreign Affairs, consular officials and other organisations and departments for their continued assistance during this time including activating the National Incident Room in a timely manner and ensuring there is a stockpile of protective masks that can be provided if required.

Currently, 15 cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in Australia: two in South Australia, five in Queensland, four in Victoria, and four in New South Wales.

Latest figures show that there have been 636 reported deaths from the virus in China with approximately 31,100 confirmed cases of Coronavirus*.

Measures are underway to detect travellers who are unwell coming into Australia with every flight from China and additional information will be displayed at all major international ports around Australia, with instructions on what to do if travellers have symptoms or if symptoms develop.

Current advice for Australians who have travelled or intend to travel to mainland China is as follows:

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has raised the overall travel advice for mainland China to ‘Level 4 – Do Not Travel’

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (Commonwealth, State and Territory Chief Medical Officers) has updated their medical advice for Australians:

People who have been in contact with confirmed Novel Coronavirus cases must be isolated in their home for 14 days following exposure.

Returned travellers who have been in Hubei Province of China must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province other than for seeking individual medical care.

Importantly Australia’s health emergency response arrangements are flexible and can respond to the evolving situation as more is known about the characteristics of the virus.

I encourage those unaffected by the virus to continue to go about their business as normal, including shopping and eating out at some of the great restaurants Higgins has to offer.

I will continue to keep you updated as this situation evolves.

Kind regards,

Katie Allen MP 
Federal Member for Higgins
*Figures correct at the time of publication

I think we all need to keep on top of this issue as the Governor of the Reserve Bank has advised that his belief is that the economic impact will be greater than that of SARS as the infection rate surges and countries shut their borders.

We are already seeing Chinese suppliers seeking to invoke force majeure clauses. This includes one of the worlds largest liquefied natural gas companies declared force majeure on LNG deliveries – meaning it was unable to process the gas because of the unforeseeable impact of the Coronavirus.

If you think how much comes out of China for the construction, retail, automotive, computer industries, etc., you can see how the trickle down effect has such a potential to hurt the economy.

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