There are concerns that hundreds of school children in NSW could have been exposed to coronavirus after a year one student attended class after returning from mainland China.
Despite advice from the NSW state government that students who had recently travelled to mainland China should voluntarily stay home for two weeks, the student attended class at Oran Park Public School within the advised 14-day quarantine period in Sydney’s southwest.
The student was sent home after teachers became aware of the trip.
In a letter to parents, the school’s principal, Donna Shevlin, assured them that the safety of the student’s was a top priority for the school.
“A student who recently returned from China has attended school within the medical advice provided by the NSW Health of 14 days self-isolation for people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus,” the letter read.
“Once aware of this situation, the school immediately excluded the student from school for 14 days, with a return date of 10th February.”
The NSW Department of Education confirmed in a statement the student has not shown symptoms of the coronavirus, and the school is “following the precautionary measures advised by NSW Health”. The department advised the student was at school for four days before being sent home.
“Once aware of this situation, the school immediately excluded this student from school for the 14 days, with a return date of 10 February.
“Parents were informed within 24 hours. The teacher of the class in which the student is normally part of is following recommended hygiene practices, including students regularly washing their hands and covering their mouths if sneezing or coughing.”
According to the school’s latest annual report, there were 1150 students enrolled in the 2018 school year.
Fifth case confirmed in Queensland
A fifth case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Queensland, taking the total number of confirmed cases in Australia to 15.
A 37-year-old Chinese woman travelling in Queensland was confirmed to have the virus on Thursday evening.
The woman was travelling with the same tour group as the previously confirmed cases and is currently isolated in a stable condition at Gold Coast Hospital.
All of the infected people are from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.
Earlier on Thursday, a North Queensland primary school student who recently returned from China with flu-like symptoms was cleared of coronavirus.
Paramedics were called to Berserker Street State School in North Rockhampton about 12.30pm.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles on Thursday rushed a law through state parliament granting health officers three months to force suspected patients into quarantine or isolation, and undergoing medical checks and tests.
This fifth case in the state brings the number of confirmed cases in Australia to 15: five in Queensland, four each in NSW and Victoria and two in South Australia.
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