Release date: 1 March 2020

A Victorian who recently returned from Iran has today been confirmed as the ninth case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria. 

Seven cases from Victoria have recovered and are no longer in isolation. 

The eighth confirmed case, a man in his 70s and passenger from the Diamond Princess cruise ship was transferred from Howard Springs in the Northern Territory to Melbourne today. He is in a stable condition and is isolated and recovering in hospital.

The ninth case, a woman in her 30s from Victoria who returned from Tehran, is recovering in isolation at home.

The woman became unwell on February 27 while travelling to Melbourne from Tehran, via Kuala Lumpur and Bali. She travelled on Malindo Air on flight number OD177 and landed in Melbourne on 28 February at 6.04am. The Department is following up close contacts on the plane.

She travelled by private car directly home and there are no further public exposure sites.

She presented to hospital on the evening of February 29 where she was immediately isolated and tested for COVID-19 in accordance with recommended infection control procedures. She has been confirmed positive today following a series of tests.

A close contact is being monitored closely and will be tested for COVID-19. The close contact will also self-isolate at home for 14 days. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has established a hotline where any member of the public can call to seek information on COVID-19 on 1800 675 398. Doctors who are reporting a potential case should call 1300 651 160.

For more information visit Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the DHHS website.

Background

The Victorian Government is recommending that people who have travelled to China, Iran, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea or Thailand and become unwell seek medical advice and be tested for COVID-19.

There is no evidence of community transmission in Victoria at this time.

The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions on visitors from Iran who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents. These restrictions were implemented from today.

The seven-day extension to existing travel restrictions for visitors from mainland China remains in place.

Visitors from mainland China and Iran who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents, or their dependents will not be allowed entry into Australia.

The Australian Government has also recommended against Australians travelling to mainland China and Iran at the current time.

Additional cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 are expected in Victoria as this illness continues to spread across the world.

Medical practitioners have been advised to consider testing anyone with compatible illness (fever or respiratory symptoms) who has recently travelled overseas, with a focus on current areas of high risk.

Before visiting your GP or emergency department you should call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and symptoms.

Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water. Respiratory and cough etiquette should be observed at all times. If you feel sick, avoid contact with others.

 

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