How a coronavirus pandemic would force closure of schools, prohibit sports competitions in Australia
Schools would be closed and mass public meetings would be banned if the coronavirus escalated into a pandemic, experts in infectious diseases say.
Instead of commuting to work, Australians should also work at home.
Hospitals would also have difficulty coping with an influx of patients – with models predicting a huge shortage of ‘coronavirus beds’.
In a worst-case scenario, professor Raina MacIntyre – the head of biosafety at the Kirby Institute of the University of New South Wales – said that mass gatherings such as sporting events and concerts would be banned if children stay home from school.
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Schools would be closed and mass public meetings would be banned if coronavirus escalated into a pandemic, experts in infectious diseases say
Measures to deal with a coronavirus pandemic
Mass meetings canceled
Source: Heath’s Federal Department Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza, May 2019
“School closure is standard, but can be implemented differently in different states,” she told Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has highlighted the possible cancellation of sporting events such as AFL and rugby league games.
“The possibility is always there, but that’s a last resort,” he told reporters.
Offices would also be empty, whereby the pandemic plan of the federal government recommends closing the workplace.
“Companies must start working from home,” said Professor MacIntyre.
The infectious disease researcher also feared that hospitals would be overwhelmed, forcing the postponement of elective surgery and the expansion of intensive care units.
She has released models that show that tens of thousands of intensive care beds are needed to cope.
Professor Raina MacIntyre, head of biosafety at the Kirby Institute of the University of New South Wales, said that in a worst-case scenario mass meetings such as sporting events and concerts would be banned because children stay home from school
Professor Raina MacIntyre, head of biosafety at the Kirby Institute of the University of New South Wales, has also released models that exhibit a huge shortage of “coronavirus beds”
“The health system would need peak capacity and fallback plans if existing beds and resources cannot be provided,” said Professor MacIntyre.
“If hospital beds run out, it would be reasonable to let people with a mild infection stay at home.
“We would probably see elective surgery postponed or rescheduled and acute care re-ritualized”
Health authorities in every state are very alert after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the corona virus was worse than previously feared.
“Current global conditions suggest that it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic,” said Dr. Deputy Chief. Anne Schuchat to reporters on Tuesday evening.
If a pandemic occurs, the federal health ministry of Australia warned that hospitals were likely to be flooded.
“The demand for primary health care will also increase, exacerbated by the need to care for patients affected by changes in the availability of services in hospitals,” it said in its pandemic influenza management plan last year.
A coronavirus pandemic would also require measures to prevent outbreaks of diseases in retirement homes and prisons.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has highlighted the possible cancellation of sporting events, such as AFL and rugby league games. Pictured are AFL Hawthorn Hawks supporters in Melbourne
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has infected 80,000 people worldwide since it originated in December in an animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
This includes 23 people now in Australia, starting on Wednesday.
Then there are seven Australians who flew from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama in Japan to a quarantine center near Darwin, where they tested positive.
Coronavirus has killed more than 2,600 people worldwide and can cause serious lung damage and multiple organ failure, especially in the elderly or vulnerable.
Australia is still at the corona virus inclusion stage, with most cases of infection still in China.
Professor Sharon Lewin, director of the Doherty Institute at the University of Melbourne, said a pandemic occurred when “there was a long-term transfer from person to person in several countries.”
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has infected 80,000 people worldwide since it originated in December in an animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. This includes 23 people now in Australia, starting on Wednesday.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA
NEW SOUTH WALES: 4
- Three men, 43, 53 and 35 years old who had recently traveled to China, have confirmed that they have contracted the disease.
- Two flew in from Wuhan, while the other arrived in Sydney from Shenzhen, South China.
- They were treated isolated at Westmead Hospital
- A 21-year-old woman is identified as the fourth person who tested positive for the disease in NSW.
- The woman, a student at UNSW, flew on flight MU749 to Sydney International Airport on January 23 and presented 24 hours later to the emergency department after developing flu-like symptoms.
- A Chinese citizen aged fifty will be the first confirmed case of the corona virus in Australia.
- The man flew from Wuhan via Guangzhou to Melbourne on January 19 on the Southern Southern flight CZ321.
- He was quarantined at the Monash Hospital in Clayton in the east of Melbourne.
- A Victorian man in his sixties is diagnosed with the corona virus.
- He became unwell on January 23 – two days after his return from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
- The man was confirmed as positive on January 29 and was subsequently seen by doctors at the Monash Medical Center.
- A woman in her forties has a corona virus.
- She was visiting from China and mainly spent time with her family.
- She is being treated at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
- A woman in her twenties in Melbourne appears to have the virus
- Two passengers left positively from the Diamond Princess cruise ship test
- Third passenger takes off the cruise ship test positive
QUEEN COUNTRY: 8
- Queensland confirms its first case after the virus was diagnosed with a 44-year-old Chinese national. He is being treated at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
- A 42-year-old Chinese woman who traveled in the same Wuhan travel group as the 44-year-old man tested positive. She is in stable condition at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
- The corona virus has been diagnosed in an eight-year-old boy. He also comes from the travel group where the other Queensland cases came from
- The case was found in a 37-year-old man who was a member of a group of nine Chinese tourists in quarantine on the Gold Coast
- A 37-year-old woman was diagnosed with the corona virus of the same travel group that flew from Melbourne to Queensland on January 27
- Two Queensland women, 54 and 55 years old, tested positive for COVID-19 and are flown to Brisbane for further treatment.
- A 57-year-old woman from Queensland also tests positive for the virus
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 3
- A Chinese couple in their 60s who arrived in Adelaide from Wuhan to visit relatives have been confirmed to have a corona virus.
- A 24-year-old woman from South Australia has been transferred to Royal Adelaide Hospital
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 1
- A 78-year-old man from Western Australia was transferred to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth
JAPAN / DARWIN: 22
- 15 Australians were among 219 confirmed coronavirus cases contracted aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama.
- Seven passengers aboard the Diamond Princess then tested positive for the corona virus after arriving at the facility at Manigurr-ma Village Howard Springs in Darwin