Release date: 4 March 2020

A Victorian who recently returned from Iran was overnight confirmed as the tenth case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria.

The tenth case, a man in his 30s from Victoria, is recovering in isolation at home.

The man became unwell with a mild illness on March 1, four days after returning from Iran on February 26.

He did not display symptoms on his flights to Melbourne and there are no close contacts or casual contacts in the public to follow up at this time.

The man presented to hospital on March 2 where he was immediately isolated and tested for COVID-19 in accordance with recommended infection control procedures.

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 mainland 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.

The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions on visitors from Iran who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents. These restrictions were implemented from 1 March 2020 and did not apply to the new case.

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.

Any Australian citizens or permanent residents who do return from mainland China or Iran are required to self-isolate for 14 days after leaving those countries.

In addition, healthcare workers and residential aged care workers who have returned from South Korea or Italy should not work in a healthcare facility or residential aged care facility for 14 days after returning from these countries.

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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