Tips on how to prevent coronavirus

March 12, 2020 BY

Empty streets of Rua do Cunha, one of the most bustling tourist locations of Taipa Island, Macau.

THREE new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed on Sunday, bringing the total number of infected Victorians to 15.

The Department of Health and Human Services has revealed two of the most recent sufferers are returned travellers from the United States of America and one from Iran.

There have been some instances of panic buying from the public, but the state government has said there is no evidence to support the need to self-quarantine all Victorians, with people who are not feeling ill advised to go about their daily activities as normal.

Ways to reduce your risk of coronavirus include:
• Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer
• Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow
• Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication, ensure you have adequate supplies
• Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do
• Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline 137 848
• Don’t wear a face mask if you are well
• Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol
• Get the flu shot (available in April)
• Shaking hands is optional.

Anyone who has been in Iran, mainland China or South Korea in the past 14 days or is a close or casual contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 is at the highest risk of infection.

At this stage, only returning travellers from Iran, South Korea and China should self-isolate.

If you have returned from international travel in the last 14 days and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness, phone the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.

This is a rapidly changing situation, with advice on what to do changing daily.

This article was written on Tuesday, March 10. For updates, head to dhhs.vic.gov.au.

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