Sydney, 13 March, 2020
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Brendan Murphy, today advised the Prime Minister and Premiers to ban the gathering of 500 or more people to help control the spread of Coronavirus infection. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as a result, has announced the ban on such gatherings from Monday (16 March) onwards.
Royal Easter Show has been cancelled. Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) had an international match today without the spectators. Grand Prix has been cancelled. Holi festivals, scheduled for this weekend, have been postponed. Parramasala was postponed yesterday.
This decision to ban gatherings will help Australia to move ahead of the surging curve of the infection. It is likely to help slow down the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) infection. Community transmission must be reduced, while imported infections are diagnosed and isolated, and their close contacts are traced and tested.
Australia has 199 people with Covid-19 infection as of today.
News.com.au says, “A total 199 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed across Australia, with 92 in New South Wales, 36 in Victoria, 35 in Queensland, 16 in South Australia, 14 in Western Australia, four in Tasmania, one in the Northern Territory and one in the ACT.”
Home minister, Peter Dutton, has just been diagnosed. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-13/peter-dutton-diagnosed-with-coronavirus/12055104?pfm=ms
Australia must do everything to slow down the spread of the infection.
We all have a role to play. We must practise the rules of good personal hygiene.
1. Frequent washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an Alcohol-based sanitizer,
2. Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose and mouth because this can lead to introduction of virus into the body, (unless hands have been thoroughly washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds),
3. Covering face and nose with tissue paper or the elbow (not hands), while coughing or sneezing,
4. Keeping a distance of at least 3 feet from others.
There is nothing special about the ban starting on Monday or the crowd of 500 or more.
Just don’t go to any crowd.
Don’t organise any gathering.
In my view, we should stop organizing events, festivals or concerts, including extended family get-togethers from now.
What is social distancing:
1. Have a space of at least 3 feet between you and others,
2. No hugging and hand shaking,
3. Avoiding crowds, concerts, get-togethers, conferences,
4. Avoid going to crowds, meetings, concerts, events etc, if you travelled from overseas in the last 14 days,
5. Self-isolation and use a mask, if you are sick with sneezing, sore throat. cough, and breathing difficulties (seek medical help, if breathless),
6. If you are sick with above symptoms and have to go to a doctor or a hospital, call them first and inform them about your circumstances.
Dr Yadu Singh