You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

AU News Top Stories

Thousands of masks released from emergency stockpile

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 7/03/2020 Gabrielle Adams

The government will release thousands of surgical masks from its stockpile to assist medical professionals with the spread of coronavirus.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Paul Kelly this afternoon announced 260,000 masks have been distributed to primary medical networks.

The Australian Government will release thousands of surgical masks from its emergency stockpile. © Getty The Australian Government will release thousands of surgical masks from its emergency stockpile.

"The masks are on the move now," Dr Kelly said.

"We've done a ring around of primary networks….GPs and others just need to ask if they need masks and they'll be provided."

There are now 70 confirmed cases coronavirus in Australia, and two people have died from the illness.

Photos: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

It comes as a Victorian doctor treated more than 70 patients after falling ill, and NSW announced an additional six cases of COVID-19 have been discovered.

Victoria

The doctor's diagnosis has prompted concern for those he treated at The Toorak Clinic in Melbourne, who, along with staff, are required to self-isolate.

Two patients he visited in Malvern's Mecwacare nursing home are also being isolated in their rooms.

a store inside of a building: The doctor saw up to 70 patients at a medical clinic in Toorak, Melbourne. © Supplied/9News The doctor saw up to 70 patients at a medical clinic in Toorak, Melbourne.

"I'm absolutely flabbergasted that a doctor who has experienced flu-like symptoms has presented to work," Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

"I understand it was very mild symptoms - perhaps he didn't make the potential link - but we've now got 70 patients that have been contacted so it is incredibly important that all healthcare workers take this matter very seriously."

The doctor in his 70s is believed to have contracted COVID-19 in the US state of Colorado. He began to show symptoms while returning to Melbourne via San Francisco on February 29.

New South Wales

In NSW, Health authorities are seeking to track down passengers on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha after a man in his 70s was among six new cases of the deadly virus diagnosed in the state.

The state government today announced the six new cases of coronavirus, bringing the NSW total number to 34.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Coronavirus fatality rates by age, gender and health status. © 9News / Tara Blancato Coronavirus fatality rates by age, gender and health status.

All of the new cases were close contacts or family members of previously confirmed cases except for a male who contracted the virus after visiting Italy.

In Sydney, Epping Boys High School was shut down yesterday after a 16-year-old male student tested positive.

The education department today said the school will re-open on Monday.

https://twitter.com/NSWEducation/status/1236165946995347462?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

In Sydney's west today, police were called to a Woolworths supermarket in Chullora after three women got into a heated confrontation over toilet paper.

Authorities have stressed that people should not panic and stockpile goods as supermarket shelves are stripped bare of toilet paper, hand sanitiser, canned goods, pasta and rice.

https://twitter.com/BradHazzard/status/1236098068241506304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Coles and Woolworths have both enforced buying restrictions permitting a maximum of four toilet paper packs per customer to cope with the demand.

Queensland

Queensland's disaster management authorities have gone into war mode to prepare for a potential outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

Sessions involving multiple government departments have covered all scenarios, as 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Queensland so far.

A second man who recently returned from Iran has become the state's latest case. The 28-year-old Brisbane man has been taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital.

a screenshot of a cell phone: How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus © Nine How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus

An 81-year-old man who returned from Thailand and a 29-year-old woman who travelled from London with a stopover in Singapore were also confirmed to have COVID-19 on Thursday.

"The way in which we prepare for natural disasters is exactly what we're doing in preparation for a potential coronavirus outbreak," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

"It was a Brisbane-based scenario, a regional based scenario, and we also had a tropical cyclone scenario as well.

"We tested everything today and we have procedures and plans in place just as we would for bushfires and cyclones."

a sign above a store: A look at the differences between outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, plus other key terms, such as coronavirus, used by health authorities dealing with the spread of a virus. A look at the differences between outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, plus other key terms, such as coronavirus, used by health authorities dealing with the spread of a virus.

South Australia

Thirteen people in South Australia are currently awaiting test results for COVID-19, SA Health said today.

There have been seven confirmed cases in the state, including an eight-month-old baby boy, the youngest case in the country.

https://twitter.com/SAHealth/status/1236148449898156033?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Western Australia, Northern Territory, ACT

Three cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in Western Australia, with the state recording the country's first death last week.

There is one case in the Northern Territory, and no cases in the ACT.

Globally

The coronavirus outbreak has hit a milestone, infecting more than 100,000 people worldwide as it gets woven deeper into the daily lives of millions.

At Microsoft News Australia we've partnered with the giving platform Benevity to raise funds for UNICEF: Donate now and help health workers in the battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Coronavirus Health Information Line
Call 1800 020 080 if you are seeking information on novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates Monday–Friday from 8am to 8pm, Saturdays from 8am to 5pm, and Sundays from 9am to 5pm.

More from 9News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon