Seven coronavirus cases confirmed across three Australian states

·4-min read

A Chinese man has become the seventh case of coronavirus diagnosed in Australia.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Wednesday night the 44-year-old man is currently isolated in Gold Coast University Hospital in Queensland.

“The man, who is from the city of Wuhan (Hubei Province), is stable,” she said.

It is the first confirmed case in Queensland - following four in NSW and two in Victoria.

A Victorian man became the sixth Australian diagnosed with coronavirus earlier on Wednesday.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said the man, who is a Victorian resident and is in his 60s, fell ill last Thursday.

A child, 2, is among 16 possible new cases of coronavirus in NSW. Source: AAP
A child, 2, is among 16 possible new cases of coronavirus in NSW. Source: AAP

Dr Sutton added the man’s friends and family have also been tested for the virus.

“Some have had symptoms but no one has returned a positive test to date,” he said.

Dr Sutton said the man “was mostly at home and had isolated himself” when he became sick but he did go to the House of Delight restaurant in Melbourne’s suburb of Glen Waverley “for a short period of time”.

“That restaurant has been followed up and for those who were there at the same time whose contact details we have, we are following up,” Dr Sutton said.

“But obviously that restaurant is OK to go to now. People don't need to avoid that area.”

The Chinese women's national football team is also in isolation in Brisbane after arriving on Wednesday morning.

The team were in the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on January 22, and will be required to stay at their inner-city hotel until February 5 over fears that members may have the deadly coronavirus.

New restrictions being enforced by the state government require anyone returning from Wuhan to self-isolate for a fortnight after leaving the central Chinese city.

Chinese tourists wearing protective masks wait for their flight at Don Mueang airport in Bangkok, Thailand.
Chinese tourists wear protective masks waiting for a flight in Bangkok. Source: AAP

Toddler undergoes coronavirus testing

A two-year-old child is one of 16 additional people undergoing testing for coronavirus in NSW, according to health authorities.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says the cases under investigation include 10 men and six women aged from two to 66.

All 16 patients are in isolation awaiting test results.

"The fact we have 16 cases under investigation just reflects that we've broadened our testing ... to focus on the Hubei province not just Wuhan, and any contacts of confirmed cases," Dr Chant said in Sydney on Wednesday.

Out of the four confirmed cases in Australia, three people had travelled to Wuhan.

The fourth person had visited another part of China and had close contact with someone who had been to Wuhan and was subsequently diagnosed with the virus.

Dr Chant said the cases in Sydney had been less severe than some of those seen in China.

"We want to get the message out there that even people with low-level symptoms should come forward," Dr Chant said.

"We are taking a very precautionary approach. We want visitors from China and the Hubei province, in particular, to feel very comfortable coming forward to get tested and diagnosed."

Authorities have so far tested "well over" 40 cases in NSW.

Dr Chant said people most at risk from infectious diseases were those who had been in close contact with someone who was ill.

A medical worker checks the drip of a patient in the Intensive Care Unit of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan. Source: AAP
A medical worker checks the drip of a patient in the Intensive Care Unit of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan. Source: AAP

Children urged to stay home from school amid coronavirus outbreak

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday said he supports states making their own decisions after the NSW government advised parents to keep children away from school if they'd visited China in the past 14 days.

The West Australian government has made the same recommendation.

"The decisions made in NSW were not inconsistent with the (federal) advice that is out there, it went beyond the advice, and that's a judgment they're entitled to make," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

The federal government has suggested Australian students who have returned from China can attend school if they are healthy.

It says children should be kept at home only if they've been in contact with somebody with coronavirus or are unwell.

The Berejiklian government says it is being more cautious because four out of the five confirmed cases in Australia are within NSW.

With AAP

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