To help to stop the corona virus from spreading in Australia, governments have imposed tight restrictions on daily lives. This included:
Restrictions have been imposed on the retail sector, and many facilities.
International travel has been banned. However, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. From Mar 28, all returning travelers will be subject to formal supervised quarantine in a facility.
Australia is not Italy, Iran or Spain
The risk is COVID-19 would rear its ugly head again, more aggressive than before.
Unlike countries such as Italy, Spain and Iran, and cities such as Wuhan in China, COVID-19 was out of control and spreading like wildfire. However, Australia has remained ahead of the curve.
Despite the number of cases rising quite quickly in recent weeks, this is not the case in Australia. Australia has one of the best health care systems in the world – and we are very well-prepared for this outbreak.
We have one of the highest rates per population of testing for corona virus in the world. Our response to the outbreak is flexible and scalable, and we are modifying it as the outbreak evolves, and we learn more about the virus.
We are working very hard to source additional corona virus tests and ventilators and have supported the primary health care sector by expanding telehealth services to ensure GPS and other health professionals are able to continue consultations with their patients.
We are well advanced in our planning with the states and territories to deal with an expected surge in demand for the treatment of corona virus cases.
The truth is everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread of this corona virus. There are three key things everyone can do.
Practice good hygiene. Hand hygiene is the single most important way to prevent the spread of infection, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet. Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand rub.
Secondly, all Australians should be practicing social distancing (stay more than 1.5 meters from people, if possible).
Thirdly, it is imperative that people self-isolate for 14 days if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, if they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of the coronavirus or if they have arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March. Those means, simply, stay at home.
Realistically, a vaccine for the corona virus is many months away. In the meantime, Australians can be reassured we are constantly monitoring COVID-19 developments – both domestically and abroad – and adapting what we do to minimize its spread.
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to https://www.health.gov.au/
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