Australia will need to “ramp up” efforts to quell the spread of coronavirus in preparation for months ahead where risk factors are expected to reach their peak.
The upcoming months have been predicted to present more of a threat of the deadly disease, according to Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan, who addressed reporters in Perth on Monday.
“The modelling indicates that potentially, in late April or May, there may be greater spread of the illness here in Australia, and at that point in time obviously we would need to ramp up some of our activities,” Mr McGowan said, according to ABC News.
“The peak would then hit us in potentially August, which is obviously not a great month because [it is among] our coldest months with the highest level of flu.”
Reiterating health advice to use hand sanitisers and asking people not to walk the streets with face masks on, Mr McGowan urged WA to get flu vaccines ahead of this year's season.
He also assured Western Australians that hospitals were gearing up in case the situation worsened.
The Premier’s announcement followed the death of James Kwan, 78, who was the first Australian to die from the virus.
“I want to assure every Western Australian that the State Government is taking this virus very seriously. Thankfully, we currently don’t have any local contamination,” he wrote in a post to Facebook following the tragedy.
“We are in lockstep with the Federal Government when it comes to preparing for the virus to impact Australia.
“I have instructed WA Government agencies to cooperate with the Federal Government and start coordinating a full WA-specific health response, if and when it is required. We must ensure we are prepared and we are taking every precaution, but I stress we need to remain calm.”
The man's wife said in a statement that her husband passed away peacefully knowing his family loved him.
She was also diagnosed with the virus a few days ago and is in a stable condition in isolation at the same hospital.
It's not known if the man's wife got the virus from her husband, but both were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Mr McGowan said 400 tests had been conducted in Western Australia and the two cruise passengers were the only individuals to return positive results.
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