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.”
India has decided to suspend all visas for travelers from overseas. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13 at the port of departure and will be valid till 15 April 2020. Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders are also included in this policy . There are a few exceptions to this ban.
This is an extraordinary decision. We are in desperate times and every possible step must be taken to stop the spread of this devastating infection.
WHO has yesterday declared this to be a pandemic. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected more than 126000 people and caused 4616 deaths as of today (12/3/20) in more than 100 countries. The latest frontiers are Italy and Iran. Australia has 127 cases with 3 deaths (NSW with a total of 77 and 11 diagnosed yesterday) as of today.
Quoting from Al Jazeera: More than 100,000 people (mostly in China) have been infected and more than 3290 people have died (3,015 deaths in China and 267 fatalities in other parts of the globe, most of them in Italy and Iran). At least 1,200 of the new infections are in Iran in just the past 24 hours, the country’s biggest jump since the outbreak began. Iran’s health ministry on Friday noted that 124 people have died.
In France, 200 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed overnight, while India and South Korea also reported an increase in the number of infections.
Additionally, the death toll in the United States from the coronavirus rose to 12 when King County in the state of Washington reported the latest death on Thursday.
There is no cure or vaccine available.
Prevention is the best approach to restrict its spreading.
WHO recommendation on Corona virus infection:
Protect yourself and others from getting sick
Wash your hands with soap frequently and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Maintain social distancing (1 mitre distance) from others. (Note: some infected people may not have any symptom and yet can infect others). Australian Health Department says: “avoid close contact with others, such as touching”. THIS MAY HAVE AN IMPLICATION FOR THE COMMUNITY EVENTS, in my view.
. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with uncleaned hands, fingers and objects.
. Practice respiratory hygiene.
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately
. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
. Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider.
. Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading Follow the guidance outlined above, Stay at home and seek medical help early if you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing.