Box Hill Institute continues to take advice on the coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Department of Health, DFAT Smart Traveller, and the World Health Organisation.
As of 11 March 2020, Australia has had 112 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), including 3 deaths:
· 15 of the initially reported cases in Australia all had a direct or indirect travel history to Wuhan, China
· 10 cases, including 1 death, are associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship repatriation flight from Japan
· 18 cases are reported to have had a direct or indirect travel link to Iran
· 39 cases are reported to have had a direct or indirect travel link to countries including the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Italy, Iceland, Singapore, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Nepal, Egypt, Austria, France, Spain, Hong Kong.
· 27 cases, including 2 deaths, do not have a reported history of overseas travel
· 8 of these cases are associated with an aged care facility in NSW. 2 residents of this facility have sadly died
· 2 cases are either directly or indirectly associated with attendance at a workshop
· 17 cases are close contacts of known cases, with further details pending
The likely place of exposure for a further 3 newly reported cases is under investigation. Of the 112 Australian cases reported, 24 of these cases are reported to have recovered.
The majority of cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 have been reported from mainland China.
There have been more than 36,000 cases, including approximately 1,100 deaths, reported from 113 countries and regions outside mainland China. The majority of new cases are reported from Italy, Iran, and the Republic of Korea. The majority of deaths outside mainland China have been in Italy and Iran.
Find out more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to protect yourself. Separate fact from fiction by reading coronavirus myth busters on the World Health Organization website. This includes information about when and how to wear a surgical mask.
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have recently been in in a high risk country/region (mainland China, Iran, Republic of Korea and Italy) and people who have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus. If you have returned from a country or region that is at higher risk for COVID-19, you can not attend work if you work in a setting with vulnerable people.
From previous experience with other coronaviruses, other categories of people at most risk of serious infection are:
· people with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer)
· elderly people
· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness
· people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions
· people in group residential settings
· people in detention facilities
There are travel restrictions for travellers from mainland China, Iran, Republic of Korea and Italy. If you are returning from mainland China or Iran you should isolate yourself for 14 days after leaving mainland China or Iran.
If you are travelling from the Republic of Korea, on or after 5 March, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the time you left the Republic of Korea.
If you have left or transited through Italy on or after 11 March you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the time you left Italy.
The Australian Government considers the following countries to be at moderate risk for COVID-19:
· Hong Kong
If you have recently travelled to these countries, monitor your health for 14 days after leaving that country. If you develop a fever or cough, seek medical advice urgently and isolate yourself.
Everyone can protect against infections by practising good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, or cough into your elbow, dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards. Wash your hands regularly, after using the toilet and before eating.
The Department of Health is delivering more Australian education services online and offshore for international students. To find out more and for support, go to coronavirus updates for international students on the Study in Australia website.
The Australian Government will continue to monitor the emerging information and evidence closely. It will work with jurisdictions, through key committees and other relevant experts, to adapt the COVID-19 Plan as new information becomes available.
We recognise, with the media attention on the situation, this can be a cause for concern. If you require support during this time, please contact Student Life on 9286 9891 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.