Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday, August 16, extended Victoria's state of emergency through September 13 in efforts to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The extension comes as Victoria recorded 16 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours and 279 new cases. Although Andrews stated that these figures are positive, the measures have been extended in order to contain a potential worse outbreak.
In Victoria, stay at home restrictions are currently in place in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and people in these areas may not leave their home between 20:00 and 05:00 (local time), unless for work, medical care, or care giving, along with one piece of exercise per day. Throughout Victoria you must wear a face mask when outside of your home, unless you have a lawful reason not to do so.
Each state in Australia has different measures in place, which can be viewed here.
Only Australian citizens, returning permanent residents, and their immediate family members are currently permitted to enter Australia, with few exceptions. All those entering the country are required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a designated facility (typically a hotel) on arrival. Conditions of the quarantine period, including financial obligations, vary depending on the state or territory authority.
As of August 16, there have been 23,288 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia with 396 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China).
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover the mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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