News Alerts

01 Feb 2020 | 08:11 AM UTC

Australia: Government advises against all travel to China February 1 /update 2

Australia News Alert

Government issues "do not travel" advisory for China on February 1, due to ongoing coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak; further spread of the virus is possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 2/1/2020, 12:00 AM until 3/29/2020, 11:59 PM (Australia/Melbourne). COUNTRY/REGION Australia

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Event

Government officials issued a Level 4 travel advisory on Saturday, February 1, to warn against all travel to China due to the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which originated in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Prime Minister Scott Morrison also announced on Saturday that all travelers from or transiting through China will be barred entry to Australia, except for returning Australian nationals. However, Australian nationals will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Qantas Airways announced on Saturday, that it will suspend services in China from Sunday, February 9. This includes suspending its flights to Beijing and Shanghai from February 9, through Sunday, March 29. Airline representatives said that this will not affect flights to Hong Kong. They also said that the February 9 date of suspension as well as the date of flight resumption may change according to the circumstances.

There are 10 confirmed cases nationwide as of February 1. Further international spread of the 2019-nCoV virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 20 countries and territories worldwide. Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in Germany, Japan, the US, and Vietnam. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

• Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold

• Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)

• Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask

• Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly

• Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments

• Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spread of the disease

 

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