Doctor calls for Sydney lockdown as national coronavirus cases exceed 100

Louise Cheer
News Editor

A Sydney doctor says the entire city should go into self-isolation to stop the spread of coronavirus and give the health system time to deal with the deadly disease.

Dr Cathie Hull, who works in the emergency department at Ryde Hospital, said she and her colleagues were isolated for 14 days after a fellow doctor tested positive to COVID-19.

Fortunately after this period, they all remained well.

During that time, Dr Hull said she was able to reflect on how Sydney could tackle the quick-spreading disease and in her opinion a two-week, city-wide isolation would slow its spread.

"In our community we're still seeing the cases spreading," she told Yahoo News Australia.

There are now more than 100 cases of coronavirus in Australia. Source: Yahoo News Australia

"What we're trying to do from our own experience is to protect them from the spread, and self-isolation for 14 days, if people can stick to that, that seems to contain the spread as it has done overseas.

"From my own perspective, two weeks in isolation isn't too bad if we're prepared for it and the internet is working.

"It's hard to do and expensive, but if it serves the end of buying us some time, we'd all be grateful."

Dr Hull said she understood some people would be resistant to the idea, but she was drawing from her own experience with the disease.

"Health workers are getting sick elsewhere and our colleague is sick here, so it's very personal for us," she said.

"For others they may say it's a mild flu, but that's not our experience."

The locations where coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sydney. Source: Yahoo News Australia

More than 100 cases now confirmed

In NSW there are now 55 cases as of 7am (AEDT) on Tuesday, with one of those being a resident of Victoria.

The most recent cases include a woman in her 20s who had contact with a confirmed case at Ryde Hospital, a woman in her 40s who recently returned from South Korea and a man in his 20s who arrived home from a trip to Hong Kong. 

The total number of cases Australia-wide has jumped to more than 100.

In Victoria, there are now 18 confirmed cases – including a teacher at Melbourne's Carey Baptist Grammar School.

The school's principal Jonathan Walter confirmed to reporters on Tuesday morning the teacher had tested positive overnight after developing symptoms.

Dr Cathie Hull, who works at Ryde Hospital, has proposed the idea of a Sydney-wide isolation period to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Source: Google Maps, file

According to the ABC, the teacher's partner travelled back from the US on the same plane as Missy Higgins' Toorak-based father doctor Chris, who was also confirmed to have the virus.

There are seven people who have tested positive to the virus in South Australia and a sixth case of coronavirus was confirmed in Western Australia after health authorities detailed that state's first person-to-person transmission.

Meanwhile there are 15 confirmed cases in Queensland, two in Tasmania and one in the Northern Territory. No one has tested positive to the disease in the ACT.

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