A six-year-old child has been diagnosed with coronavirus in New South Wales.
Six people are in intensive care with coronavirus in Australia’s biggest state, and NSW has 307 coronavirus patients, almost half the national total of 636.
A total of 129 of NSW cases were acquired overseas.
NSW Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant said today that people are bringing the virus into the state from abroad.
There has been a spike in coronavirus cases in Australia, with six people admitted to intensive care with the deadly illness
‘In recent weeks we’re seeing an increasing trend towards returning travellers from the UK, Europe and also the US,’ she said.
She also warned that an infected person could have spread the illness at a function involving the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland.
The function was held at Sydney University Football Ground on 14 March.
‘All people who attended this event are considered close contacts of a confirmed case and we ask that any attendees immediately self-isolate themselves for 14 days,’ she said.
Dr Chant said she wasn’t sure how many people attended the function.
‘It’s clearly a large function. This is very precautionary. And it occurs in a function where we basically can’t really identify very clearly how groups moved around in a space,’ she said.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was important for people to ‘maintain social distancing’.
Meanwhile, children’s paracetamol will be sold behind pharmacy counters and asthma medication Ventolin limited to one purchase per person to stop coronavirus hoarding.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 636
New South Wales: 307
South Australia: 37
Western Australia: 35
Northern Territory: 1
Australian Capital Territory: 3
TOTAL CASES: 636
Deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly announced the new restrictions after people unnecessarily stockpiled the crucial medications in a panicked response to the pandemic.
‘Please do not buy more than you need for anything, whether that’s food and particularly medicines,’ he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
Dr Chant said the initial precautionary approach of hospitalising all confirmed COVID-19 cases had been abandoned as cases rise.
‘It’s reassuring that many of our cases continue to be mild with currently six patients in intensive care units. Many of our patients are being managed in the community and being managed at home and we are only admitting patients now that require hospital care,’ Dr Chant said.
‘We are following up and we are working in a whole-of-government way to ensure that people are doing the right thing.’
Premier Gladys Berejiklian thanked NSW residents for adhering to new social distancing regulations, alongside the limitation of outdoor gatherings to fewer than 500 people and indoor to fewer than 100.
She said she’d brought a number of agencies into the RFS headquarters – including police, health, transport and education – in order to integrate responses to COVID-19.
‘What you see here is the complete integration of police, health, education, transport, and many other government agencies working together to provide safety to our citizens, but also important information in a timely way,’ Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Thursday.
‘All of our experts in this room are coordinating a whole-of-government response (and) will have that data information at their fingertips.’
There has been a spike in coronavirus cases in Australia, with six people admitted to intensive care with the deadly illness. Pictured: An empty pub in Melbourne’s CBD as people stay away due to the virus
NSW Health on Wednesday said an 86-year-old man previously confirmed to have COVID-19 died on Tuesday night in a Sydney hospital, taking the state’s toll to five.
NSW schools will remain open but there’ll be no assemblies, with strict bans on sick students and teachers. Regular hand washing will be enforced.
Ms Berejiklian says there’s ‘no rationale’ for closing schools, with health experts advising they should remain open.
Splendour in the Grass, Groovin the Moo and the Sydney Film Festival are among events cancelled or postponed this week.
Universities are suspending face-to-face classes and businesses are urging staff to avoid the office. A number of church and mosque services have also been suspended.
NSW Police, meanwhile, is halting major roadside drug and alcohol testing operations over hygiene concerns.