Three further cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed last night – bringing the total number of cases in Victoria to 18.

The 16th case is a man in his 70s who returned to Melbourne from Singapore on March 6 at 12.15 am on flight EK404.

The flight manifest of EK404 is being obtained to begin contact tracing of passengers in the same and adjacent rows. He had earlier travelled to Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Singapore.

The man became unwell on February 27 in Egypt with a runny nose, cough and sore throat. He is now recovering in home isolation.

Prior to being diagnosed he visited the South Melbourne Market on March 6 between 8.30 am and 10 am. 

The following day he attended a function at The Albert Park Hotel between 6 pm and 10 pm. 

The 17th case is a household contact of a confirmed Victorian case of COVID-19 who returned on the February 29 flight UA60 from the United States. As the woman has not travelled overseas this is understood to be the first documented case of patient to patient transmission in Victoria. 

The woman, in her 50s, is recovering at home in isolation and has reported the illness is mild.

Prior to being diagnosed she attended the Under 16 final between Boroondara Cricket Club and Balwyn Cricket Club in Balwyn North on Sunday March 8 between 10 am and 4 pm.

The 18th case, a man in his 70s, arrived home in Melbourne from Los Angeles on March 8 on flight VA24 arriving at 7:30 am and presented to hospital for testing immediately.

He is isolated at home with one household contact.

The flight manifest of VA24 is being obtained to begin contact tracing of passengers in the same and adjacent rows. 

The department is continuing to work through the flight manifests of three earlier international flights which arrived in Melbourne on February 29 and March 6 to inform other passengers and provide them with health information about COVID-19.

Support is being provided to all the cases who are now in home isolation – including relief supplies of food and consumables, should they be needed.

For the virus to spread, extended close personal contact is required. But visitors to locations where cases have been should be aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Close personal contact is at least 15 minutes face-to-face or more than 2 hours in the same room.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398. Large numbers of calls will result in some delays and we ask Victorians for their patience as we work to manage the volume. 

Further information is also available at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus

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