Hoaxers issue racist health alert warning Australians to stay away from suburbs ‘populated with Chinese nationals’ due to coronavirus fears
- Fake health alert told Australians to stay away from areas with Chinese nationals
- The illegitimate release told residents to avoid a number of Brisbane suburbs
- The fraudulent alert was issued amid coronavirus fears
- There are no confirmed cases of the deadly virus in Queensland, authorities said
A fake and racist health alert has warned Australians to stay away from suburbs populated with Chinese nationals amid heightened anxiety about the deadly coronavirus.
The illegitimate media release – which bears the Queensland Health logo – claimed residents should avoid visiting Brisbane suburbs Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hill, Runcorn and Eight Mile Plains.
The ‘level 3 health warning for coronavirus’ also says Queenslanders should avoid ‘all populated areas with Chinese nationals of a ratio of one to three non-Chinese Australians’.
Member for Stretton Duncan Pegg took to Twitter to stop the spread of the misleading health alert.
A fake health alert has warned Australians to stay away from suburbs populated with Chinese nationals amid heightened anxiety about the deadly coronavirus
Pictured: Passengers arrive at Sydney Airport from Wuhan on January 23. There are four confirmed cases in New South Wales
‘This media release is 100 per cent FAKE!!! FAKE!!! FAKE!!!’ the Labor MP said on Monday.
‘I don’t normally like to give any credence to people who seek to malign our community but wanted to make things clear this time.
‘To get latest updates go to the Queensland Health website and Facebook page. Any questions call 13HEALTH.’
CORONAVIRUS IN AUSTRALIA
- Australia’s first confirmed case of coronavirus is a Chinese national in his 50s who tested positive in Melbourne on Saturday morning, after arriving on a flight from Guangzhou on January 19.
- Three more cases were confirmed on Saturday in NSW, with two people in isolation at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital.
- A fifth person, from Sydney, tested positive to ‘probable’ coronavirus after initial swabs.
- The patient was identified as a 21-year-old female student at UNSW who travelled from Wuhan to Sydney last Thursday, January 23.
- Australia has raised the travel alert level to ‘do not travel’ for the city of Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak – and for the entire Hubei province.
- Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says unless people have contact with someone who is unwell and has come from that part of China, there is no need for current concern.
In a Facebook update on Monday evening, Queensland Health said there were no confirmed cases of the virus in the state.
‘There are currently no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Queensland,’ the update said.
Queensland Health urged the community to visit their official website for ‘accurate and current information’ and ‘to avoid misinformation’.
‘Anyone who has developed any respiratory symptoms within 14 days of travel to China should see their GP immediately,’ Queensland Health said.
‘People should call ahead and advise the clinic of their symptoms so precautions can be taken.’
The virus, which experts fear will ‘highly likely’ continue to spread in Australia, has so far killed 80 people in China and infected more than 2,000 worldwide.
Since the outbreak at the end of December, Chinese authorities have placed 56 million people in lockdown – including more than 100 Australian children aged between six months and 16 years old.
Member for Stretton Duncan Pegg took to Twitter to stop the spread of the misleading health alert