Corona & toilet paper

Abalinx 7 March 2020 Peter Adamis

Corona Virus a commonsense approach. Toilet is not the answer, neither is going into panic mode and losing sight of what is important.  We need to take into account  that such virus will come and go and with them mankind will find a vaccine for them.  I say this as the world reels from the onslaught of the new lethal strain of the Corona Virus. Society is reacting like a herd of wild beasts fleeing a predator. Article was previously published under the title: Corona Virus a commonsense approach. A copy of the full article is available by clicking on: TOILET PAPER IS NOT THE ANSWER TO CORONA VIRUS

This is normal expected behaviour based on mankind’s instinct for survival in the absence  of facts.   Going into panic mode and over reacting does nothing more than adding to the media hysteria beat up, adding fear and misery. A responsible attitude is required. Furthermore, additional information and preventive action can be found by visiting the link at:

The Australian Government has acted responsibly and taken measures to reduce risks associated with the Corona Virus.  However trade, overseas educational students , travel and transportation if not monitored and appropriate isolation taken have the potential to spread the effects of Corona virus. Again a Commonsense and a logical approach is required. Universities, schools, religious centres, large events, hospitals, hospitality, food industry, transport hubs, clubs, sporting events, factories and organizations that house large numbers of people will require to implement additional hygiene procedures.

Signage, images, posters and simple hygiene procedures will heighten awareness and assist with the reduction of infection and transmission. The video demonstrated in the link below is a common sense approach, and those at risk need to be made aware and to take normal basic hygiene precautions. Watch the following link for a common sense approach to the Corona virus:       

In addition to the above read the latest information according to the Herald/Sun of today below who have done a marvellous job of researching and collecting the information. It is displayed for readers use.  Trade, travel and some industries may be affected but that does not mean that society must panic and purchase toilet paper. Toilet paper is not a vaccine, and you cannot eat it. I wish people realised the foolishness of their actions.  Life is what it is and we make the most of it.     I keep reminding everyone not to panic but to use logic ,commonsense and carry on with your normal daily  routine.  Toilet paper and panic are not the answers to the new strain of corona virus.

Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum.  He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News.  He holds a Bachelor   of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), and Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: 


Australian Associated Press  March 6, 2020


 * A Year 11 student at Sydney’s Epping Boys High School has tested positive to COVID-19, leading the school to be shut

* Authorities don’t yet know how the boy contracted the disease. The son of a Ryde Hospital healthcare worker, who was in contact with the 53-year-old doctor with corona virus, his parent is not ill.

* Also in NSW, a second aged care worker and a further three residents have been infected at Dorothy Henderson Lodge, where earlier in the week a 95-year-old woman died from the virus.

* Four Australians have been caught up in yet another cruise-ship emergency, this time off the coast of California on the Grand Princess.

* Of the confirmed 58 cases, 22 are reported to have recovered and two have died

* Confirmed cases in NSW have more than doubled to 28


* The estimated health costs of dealing with the virus are $1 billion

* The Morrison government has committed to a 50-50 funding deal with the states and territories to pay half the additional costs incurred by handling the corona virus

* An immediate $100 million advance payment will be delivered, on a population basis, to the states and territories


* Travel bans have been extended to include South Korea, along with China and Iran

* People flying in from Italy will undergo advanced screening for the virus before being allowed entry into Australia


* About 85 countries have been impacted by the virus, which first emerged in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province in December.

* There have been 95,265 confirmed cases, mostly in China, and more than 3350 deaths


* Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath and fatigue. It can produce pneumonia.

* It’s spread by cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person.

* Washing your hands and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze are recommended provisions

* People must self-isolate for 14 days if they’ve been in contact with someone confirmed to have the virus

* If you need to see a doctor, ring ahead and wear a mask to your appointment.


Reuters  March 6, 2020

DEATHS/INFECTIONS.                 Globally, there have been more than 98,000 cases and more than 3300 deaths, according to a Reuters tally

ASIA·         Mainland China reported 143 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to 80,552. The death toll touched 3042 as of end-Thursday, up by 30 from the previous day.   China’s central province of Hubei, excluding the provincial capital Wuhan, reported zero new cases over 24 hours for the first time during the outbreak. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan planned for early April has been postponed

·         South Korea confirmed 196 new cases and seven more deaths on Friday, taking total infections to 6284, with a death toll of 42. It declared a “special care zone” around the city of Gyeongsan, and the US military confirmed two new cases among relatives of its troops in the country.

·         Confirmed infections in Japan rose to 1,057 on Friday morning.   Japan’s prime minister on Thursday ordered a two-week quarantine for all visitors from China and South Korea, and his government signalled the Olympics would go ahead as planned.       

·         Thailand on Thursday reported four new cases, bringing its total to 47 since January.


·       Colombian President Ivan Duque has tested negative for corona virus after returning from a trip to the United States, the government said on Thursday

·       Brazil has confirmed eight cases of the new corona virus as of Thursday, including the first instances of likely local transmission, as the infectious disease spreads up the coast to tourist hotspot Rio de Janeiro and neighbouring Espirito Santo state.


·         The outbreak has affected almost all of Iran’s provinces, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday. Iran has more than 3,500 confirmed cases with a death toll of 107.

·         Iraq cancelled Friday prayers in the Shi’ite holy city of Kerbala, a day after the country reported its second corona virus death in the capital Baghdad.

·         Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared a 30-day state of emergency on Thursday and Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity was closed following the discovery of seven cases of corona virus in the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

UNITED STATES·         The corona virus outbreak radiated across the United States on Thursday, surfacing in at least four new states and San Francisco as Congress quickly approved more than $8 billion to fight the outbreak.  Google on Thursday joined Amazon, Face book and Microsoft in recommending employees in the Seattle area, the most affected by the virus in the country, to work from home.


·         Australia ordered its first school closure on Friday after a 16-year-old pupil tested positive, as the prime minister warned the public bill for treating infected patients could top $A1 billion


·         South Africa confirmed its first case on Thursday

·         Senegalese authorities reported two new cases of corona virus on Wednesday, bringing the total to four since the first case was confirmed there on Monday


·         The death toll from an outbreak in Italy has risen by 41 in the past 24 hours to 148, with the contagion in Europe’s worst-hit country showing no sign of slowing.

·         Three more people died from corona virus in France on Thursday, taking the total to seven, while the number of confirmed infections rose by 138 to 423.

·         UK recorded its first death of a patient and confirmed cases rose to 115.

·         Germany’s new cases jumped by 109 in a day, to 349 on Thursday.

·         Dutch authorities said on Thursday they planned the imminent return of about 900 students from a skiing trip in the north of Italy.


·         Spain recorded 234 cases across the country and three people have died.

·         The Stockholm region of Sweden reported 28 new confirmed cases of the corona virus on Thursday, taking the total number of cases in the country to 88.


Reuters  March 6, 2020

More than 98,000 people have been infected by the corona virus globally and more than 3300 people have died, according to a Reuters tally. Mainland China accounted for more than 3000 deaths, while the toll in Italy stood at 148.   At current rates on reporting, the virus will surpass 100,000 confirmed cases on Friday.  There are 85 countries outside China reporting infections, with South Africa, Palestine and Bosnia reporting initial cases in the past 24 hours. More than half of those infected have reportedly recovered, including more than 53,000 in mainland China.  The following table shows countries/regions that have reported deaths due to the corona virus and/or more than 10 confirmed cases, as of 1pm AEDT on March 6:


Mainland China 3042 80,552

Italy 148 3858

Iran 107 3513

South Korea 42 6284

Japan 12 1066

United States 12 230

France 7 423

Hong Kong 2 105

Iraq 2 35

Spain 3 282

Australia 2 60

Philippines 1 3

Taiwan 1 44

Thailand 1 47

San Marino 1 21

Macau 0 10

Bahrain 0 49

Canada 0 37

Germany 0 400

Kuwait 0 58

Malaysia 0 55

Singapore 0 117

UAE 0 27

United Kingdom 1 116

India* 0 30

Vietnam 0 16

Algeria 0 17

Austria 0 37

Belgium 0 50

Denmark 0 15

Ecuador 0 13

Iceland 0 34

Israel 0 15

Lebanon 0 15

Netherlands 0 82

Norway 0 72

Oman 0 15

Sweden 0 94

Switzerland 1 116

* Including 16 Italian nationals diagnosed in India

Source: Reuters tally based on statements from health ministries and government officials.


Ritvik Carvalho, Reuters  March 6, 2020

Global stock markets have tumbled as disruptions to business from the spreading corona virus epidemic worsened, stoking fears of a prolonged economic slowdown.  European shares opened sharply lower on Friday, with travel stocks bearing the brunt. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 2.4 per cent by 0856 GMT (1956 AEDT).   Germany’s DAX slid 2.4 per cent, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.8 per cent and France’s CAC 40 fell 2.4 per cent.  The MSCI All-Country World Index, which tracks shares across 47 countries, was down 0.72 per cent.

After marking their worst weekly performance since the 2008 financial crisis, global stocks as measured by the index are up 1.7 per cent this week, as sentiment recovered on the back of stimulus from policymakers to combat the economic fallout of the virus.   The US Federal Reserve made an emergency interest rate cut of 50 basis points earlier this week.

The Bank of Canada and the Reserve Bank of Australia also cut rates, with investors expecting other major central banks to soon follow suit.  Officials and companies in Britain, France, Italy and the United States are struggling to deal with a steady rise in virus infections that have in some cases triggered corporate defaults, office evacuations and panic buying of daily necessities.

Yields on US Treasuries fell to a record low and Treasury futures jumped as investors increased bets the Fed will follow this week’s surprise rate cut with further easing.  The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes fell to a record low of 0.7650 per cent on Friday.  Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said late on Thursday the Fed could cut rates further if needed.  

Rapidly falling yields hammered the US dollar, which fell to a six-month low versus the yen and close to a two-year trough against the Swiss franc.  Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield fell to a six-month low within striking distance of last year’s record lows.

Many investors were awaiting the release of US non-farm payrolls later on Friday. Recent US economic data has been encouraging, but concerns about the epidemic are likely to overshadow any signs of a strong labour market.   Earlier in Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 2.1 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index sank 2.94 per cent. Australian shares were down 2.44 per cent.  

Shares in China fell 1.22 per cent, while stocks in Hong Kong, another city hard hit by the virus, fell 2.12 per cent.  Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to a six-month low and was last at 105.77 yen. The greenback also sank to a two-year trough of 0.9410 Swiss franc.

Sterling traded near a one-week high versus the US dollar.  The euro gained 0.3 per cent to trade $USUS1.1271. Markets in the euro zone are pricing in a 93 per cent chance that the European Central Bank will cut its deposit rate, now minus 0.50 per cent, by 10 basis points next week.  The single currency has now reversed its earlier losses for the year, rising from below $USUS1.08 a few weeks ago to above $USUS1.12. 

Oil prices also fell due to worries that non-OPEC oil producers might not agree to output cuts even though global energy demand is weakening.  US crude fell 1.63 per cent to $USUS45.15 a barrel, while Brent fell 1.8 per cent to $USUS49.10, with worries about a decline in global demand due to the virus outbreak and uncertainty about production cuts hurting prices.


Alle McMahon,   March 5, 2020  HERALDSUN

Health experts have issued some simple advice to avoid catching the deadly  corona virus, with two tips involving your wallet and phone.   How does corona virus spread? Can I catch it twice? These are some of the questions Aussies asked Google about corona virus, here are the answers.  Fifty-five medicines in short supply as corona virus bites.  Bali corona virus warning: What to do if you’re going on holiday.

Dirty banknotes could be spreading the corona virus and people should consider switching to contactless payments where possible, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).   Cash can carry “all sorts of bacteria and viruses” and COVID-19 is believed to be able to survive on surfaces for a number of days, the UN health agency says.  “We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face,” a spokesperson told the UK Telegraphon Tuesday.  “When possible it’s a good idea to use contactless payments.”

The World Health Organisation says people should consider using contactless payments when out and about. China began disinfecting its banknotes in February, just a few weeks after the virus was first detected at a seafood market in Wuhan. South Korea then followed suit when the disease started spreading across the world.  In France, the Louvre museum announced on Wednesday it was no longer accepting cash payments in order to protect its employees from potential transmission.  Workers at the Palace of Versailles and Eiffel Tower are also said to be considering banning cash temporarily.  “Money is very dirty and a vector of bacteria,” Andre Sacristin, a union representative at the Louvre said on Wednesday.

“It’s hand-to-hand and there are direct physical contacts.”   “That shows how nervous people are during an epidemic,” French public health historian Patrick Zylberman said.  He said the fear of getting diseases from money stretched all the way back to the Middle Ages.   Back then, banknotes were cleansed with smoke because it was thought their use contributed to the spread of plague, he said. Egypt also smoked banknotes during a 1940s cholera epidemic, he added.  People should also be regularly disinfecting their phone screens, experts say.

DISINFECT YOUR PHONES.     As well as switching to contactless payments, health experts also say people should be disinfecting their mobile phone screens twice a day to avoid catching the virus.   “It is a portable petri dish,” Peter Hall, a professor of public health at Canada’s University of Waterloo, wrote in The Conversation this week.  “Antibacterial wipes are necessary here, as they generally kill viruses as well,” he advised.   “Clean your device at least twice daily, once at lunch and once at dinner time (or linked to another daily routine).   “A recently published study estimates that viruses like COVID-19 may be able to persist for up to nine days on smooth glass and plastic surfaces, like a mobile phone screen.”

Italians have been warned to stand at least a metre apart to avoid catching the corona virus. Italy is among one of the worst affected countries in the world, with over 2,000 people infected.   People in Europe have also been advised to stop greeting each other with kisses and avoid shaking hands.  On Tuesday, a German minister refused to shake chancellor Angela Merkel’s hand, prompting awkward laughter at an event in Berlin.  In Italy, where more than 2,500 people have been infected with the virus and 79 people have died, people have been advised to stand at least a metre apart and avoid sharing drinks in cups and bottles.

One of the best things you can do to protect yourself from the virus, however, is simply to wash your hands, according to the Australian Academy of Science.  “Hand hygiene is one of the most important things you can do,” Raina MacIntyre, the head of the Biosecurity program at the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, said.  “Just soap and water is enough. You don’t need to use hand gel unless you haven’t got running water.”






Candice Marshall March 6,2020

 HOW TO STAY SAFE FROM THE CORONA VIRUS.    Here are simple precautions that can protect you from contracting the rapidly spreading Corona virus.   As the deadly corona virus continues to spread throughout China and around the world, here’s what travellers need to know.   Airports around the world have stepped up their screening procedures to detect passengers displaying symptoms of corona virus.

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS AND WHERE DID IT START?        The novel corona virus is a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). This particular strain has never been seen before, with Chinese authorities identifying the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province as the starting point of the outbreak.   On February 11, the strain was officially named COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says an animal at Wuhan’s seafood and wildlife market was most likely the “primary source” of the outbreak. Since the initial transmission from animal to human, it has been spreading through person to person contact.

WHERE HAS CORONAVIRUS SPREAD?    WHO declared the corona virus outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern” on January 30.  It has spread throughout China, reaching most of the country’s major cities, and Hong Kong. The virus has also spread to other countries, including Australia, USA, France, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Iran, and Italy.

 TRAVEL TO CHINA.    Since February 2, the Australian Government’s travel advice for the whole of China is “do not travel”. The latest information is available at the Smartraveller website.    Travel within China.     Authorities in China have placed strict restrictions on domestic travel, Chinese travel agencies have been told to halt all group tours, and many public events have been cancelled. Hubei Province has been placed on lockdown, with movements restricted, and transport cut in and out of the province.  The corona virus outbreak started in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Overseas travel outside of China.     The Australian Government has upgraded its travel advice for the whole of China (with a “do not travel” warning in place since February 2).

HONG KONG.     The Australian Government’s advice level for Hong Kong was already sitting at “exercise a high degree of caution” due to issues of safety in relation to the city’s ongoing violent protests. The Hong Kong Government has activated its Emergency Response Level in relation to the corona virus. Smartraveller advises that passengers arriving into Hong Kong may undergo temperature screening at all border control points, and any visitor with symptoms may be taken to hospital for further testing. If authorities suspect a traveller is infected, they need to stay in hospital or be quarantined. A dedicated web page has been set up by the Hong Kong Centre for Health and Protection.

ITALY.    On March 1, the Australian Government upgraded its travel advice to “exercise a high degree of caution” across all of Italy.   It advises travellers to “reconsider their need to travel” to 10 small towns in Lombardy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano) and one in Veneto (Vo’ Euganeo), which have been isolated by the Italian authorities.   The Australian Government has upgraded its travel advice to “exercise a high degree of caution” across all of Italy.

JAPAN.     On February 23, the Australian Government upgraded its advice for travellers to Japan and to “exercise a high degree of caution”, based on advice from Australia’s chief medical officer, “due to the heightened risk of sustained local transmission of corona virus”.

SOUTH KOREA.     The travel advice for South Korea has been upgraded to “reconsider your need to travel”, and “do not travel” for the city of Daegu (as at March 5).   Anyone returning to Australia from South Korea, as an Australian citizen or permanent resident, will need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival back to Australia.

MONGOLIA.     On February 27, the advice for Mongolia was upgraded to “exercise a high degree of caution” due to the risk from corona virus. The advice also stresses that “the standard of medical care is poor” in the country.

The latest country-by-country information is available on the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website.

If you are considering travelling to any destination with detected cases of the corona virus, there are precautions to follow to protect against infection.

WILL THE TOKYO OLYMPICS BE CANCELLED?     If you have tickets and a holiday booked for the Tokyo Olympics, you have a nervous wait ahead of you, as authorities decided whether the Games will go ahead, as planned, for July 24 to August 25.    Official organisers insist the Olympics and Paralympics are going ahead, and are in no danger of being scrapped.   However, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee has said if it’s too dangerous to hold the Tokyo Olympics because of corona virus, the event could be cancelled.    

“In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’,” he said.  If the IOC decides the games cannot go forward as scheduled in Tokyo, “you’re probably looking at a cancellation,” he said.  Meanwhile, Japan is already seeing a major drop in international visitors. So much so that Kyoto’s usually extremely popular historical district of Gion, has launched an “empty tourism” campaign to lure tourists back who are staying away due to corona virus fears.IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO BALI?

There was speculation in early February that corona virus may have reached Bali, after a Chinese tourist who spent time there was diagnosed with the virus upon his return to mainland China. However, these concerns were soon quashed by Bali’s Health Agency. On March 2, Indonesia did confirm its first case of corona virus, but the Australian Government has not changed its travel advice for Bali. The advice for Indonesia remains at “exercise a high degree of caution”. This warning is due to the constant “high threat of terrorist attack and violence” in the country. Travellers to Bali should always be diligent when it comes to personal safety and be aware of strict local laws.   However, due to the corona virus outbreak, Indonesian authorities are now denying entry and transit to any foreign nationals who have been in mainland China during the last 14 days. Indonesia has also stopped direct flights to and from mainland China.  Travellers heading to Bali should be aware that if they do fall sick there, medical care facilities are of a generally lower standard than in Australia. More information can be found on the Smartraveller website.

TRAVELLERS COMING BACK INTO AUSTRALIA.     Under Australian law, airlines must report to officials any passengers showing signs of infection. According to the Smartraveller website, “planes reporting ill travellers are met on arrival by Biosecurity officers who make an assessment and take necessary actions, such as isolation and referral to hospital where required”.  The Australian Government has told anyone returning from China to self-isolate for 14 days.  Anyone returning from the following countries are also being asked by NSW Health to monitor themselves for respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath).

·         Cambodia

·         Hong Kong

·         Indonesia

·         Iran

·         Italy

·         Japan

·         Singapore

·         South Korea

·         Thailand

“If symptoms develop, immediately isolate yourself and call your doctor or healthdirect 1800 022 222 for an assessment,” says NSW chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant.

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL WITHIN AUSTRALIA?    As corona virus continues to spread around the world there are many uncertainties when it comes to travel and booking holidays for the year ahead. But when it comes to travelling within Australia, the overwhelming message is that holidaying at home is “business as usual.”  In fact, there’s never been a better time for a domestic holiday. Not only is it a safe option (the chances of an outbreak in Australia are very low), but looking to the year ahead, it’s set to be a very affordable option, too, as airlines and tourism operators release deals and discounts to encourage domestic travel at a time when – due recent bushfires, as well as the corona virus – tourist numbers have the potential to plummet.

AUSTRALIAN DOMESTIC FLIGHTS.      It was announced on February 26 that Tiger air would cut five of its domestic routes: 

·         Melbourne – Coffs Harbour

·         Sydney – Coffs Harbour

·         Sydney – Cairns

·         Adelaide – Sydney

·         Hobart – Gold Coast


In a statement, Virgin Australia (which owns Tiger air), said the domestic route cuts were due to corona virus having a “weakening effect on international and domestic demand”.  Qantas and Jet star domestic services will also be reduced in response to weaker demand due to the corona virus outbreak.

FLIGHTS TO MAINLAND CHINA.   Qantas has suspended its two direct services to mainland China (Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai) until further notice.

QANTAS, JETSTAR, VIRGIN FLIGHTS TO ASIA.   Qantas has reduced its flights to Asia, including Hong Kong and Singapore, by 16 per cent until at least May, in response to a reduction in demand for flights.   The airline also announced on Friday it will reduce its frequency of flights to Japan in the coming weeks.  Jet star will also cut its flights to Asia by 14 per cent, affecting flights to Japan and Thailand.  “We know demand into Asia will rebound. And we’ll be ready to ramp back up when it does,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce in a statement.  Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has cancelled all its Hong Kong flight routes.

Late last year the airline announced the suspension of its Melbourne-Hong Kong service due to protests and civil unrest (effective from February 11), but it has now also cancelled its Sydney-Hong Kong service (effective from March 2).  “With a decline in demand following ongoing civil unrest, and growing concerns over the corona virus outbreak in the wider region, we have made the decision to withdraw services,” saya Virgin Australia Group chief commercial officer, John MacLeod. 

He added “the decision to withdraw from the Hong Kong market has been a difficult one”.  Many international airlines have also cancelled flights in and out of China. Travellers should contact their airline or travel company for information about changes to particular flight services.

JETSTAR CANCELS FLIGHT TO SOUTH KOREA..   Jet star will temporarily suspend its flights from Australia to South Korea.   At this stage, its Seoul-Gold Coast flight route will be suspended from March 8 until June 30.   “We’ve made this decision in response to Corona virus (COVID-19) and the Australian Government’s recent travel advice for South Korea and the subsequent drop in demand,” the airline said in a statement on February 27.

The Seoul – Gold Coast flights only began in December.

CORONAVIRUS AND CRUISE SHIPS.                        The corona virus outbreak has disrupted cruises around the world, as countries close their ports to cruise ships, trying to prevent the deadly virus reaching their shores. These port closures, as well as the uncertainty around further travel restrictions, have major cruise lines cancelling scheduled Asia cruises, changing their itineraries, and deploying their ships elsewhere around the world, including Australia.

Meanwhile, passengers of the Diamond Princess have returned home after being quarantined on board for 14 days in early February. The ship was docked at the Port of Yokohama in Japan and placed into lockdown after a corona virus outbreak was confirmed by the ship’s operator, Princess Cruises. Despite the quarantine efforts, hundreds of passengers contracted the virus, making the ship the largest concentration of the virus outside China at the time. A 78-year-old Australian man who was infected on the ship died on March 1 after returning home to Perth.   Passengers have now been evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship after being quarantined on-board in early February.

DOES TRAVEL INSURANCE COVER CORONAVIRUS?     Yes and no. What it mostly comes down to is the date the holiday bookings were made and whether they were booked before or after the corona virus outbreak occurred. While most travel insurance providers are reviewing the individual circumstances of each customer, here’s some general advice to consider.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS AND HOW IS IT TREATED?     Symptoms of corona virus include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache, fever, and difficulty breathing. For those with weakened immune systems there’s a chance the virus could cause a lower, and much more serious, respiratory tract illness like pneumonia or bronchitis.

The WHO advises that anyone experiencing any of these should seek medical care early and share their previous travel history with their health care provider.   Australia’s Smartraveller website also advises to ring ahead of time to explain the situation, so doctors are aware of what to expect. There is no vaccine for this corona virus strain and no umbrella treatment. instead, symptoms are treated individually.

DO SURGICAL MASKS PROTECT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS?      The Smartraveller website states “it is not known whether wearing a face mask will reduce your risk of exposure to the novel corona virus”.    Macquarie University health systems professor Janaki Amin has also said the masks do not protect from the virus. “Masks used for the spread of infectious diseases are to stop infected people spreading it to others, not to protect you from infection yourself,” Dr Amin told AAP.   There is no evidence that wearing surgical masks prevents the spread of infection. Picture: AFP 

WHO says transmission of the corona virus can be reduced by following this advice:   

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow.
  • Throw tissue into a closed bin directly after use
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals.
  • Wash hands after: coughing or sneezing, when being in contact with a sick person, before, during and after food preparation, before eating, after toilet use, when hands are visibly dirty, and after handling animals or animal waste
  • In areas experiencing outbreaks, consume only thoroughly cooked animal products.
  • When visiting markets: Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, avoid contact with spoiled meat, and avoid contact with stray animals, waste, and fluids.

The Smartraveller website also advises travellers to monitor their health closely, to follow local advice, and to see a health care professional immediately if feeling unwell.


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Paul Osborne, Australian Associated Press   March 6, 2020


  • The federal government has committed to a 50-50 shared health funding deal with the states and territories to deal with the corona virus outbreak.
  • Half of the additional costs incurred by state and territory health services as a result of the diagnosis and treatment of patients with COVID-19 will be covered by the Commonwealth.
  • It will be uncapped and demand-driven, costing a total of around $1 billion.
  • An immediate $100 million advance payment will be delivered, on a population basis, to the states and territories.


  • Health services provided by state or territory governments in public hospitals, primary care and aged care, and community health spending (such as health-related activities in childcare centres).


  • The agreement is backdated to January 21, the date that the “human corona virus with pandemic potential” was identified as a listed human disease under the Biosecurity Act.


  • The Commonwealth will meet 100 per cent of the costs of additional Medicare services in areas such as Medicare Telehealth or home visits, increased Medicare pathology services, and the national medical stockpile.


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