Australian capital confirms 1st COVID-19 case-Xinhua

Australian capital confirms 1st COVID-19 case

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-12 14:09:27

CANBERRA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The first COVID-19 case was reported in the Australian capital Canberra on Thursday.

According to Andrew Barr, chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), a man in his 30s became unwell on Tuesday. He presented to the Weston Creek Walk-in Center on the following day, with a positive result confirmed on Thursday.

"I regret to inform Canberrans that we have our first case of COVID-19 in the territory," Barr said at a press conference.

A report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said that the man has not been overseas in the past a couple of weeks.

"We are expecting more in the coming weeks," Barr said, while urging the Canberrans to "minimize the spread of the virus" by practicing good hygiene.

"As this is the first case of novel coronavirus that has been confirmed in the ACT, we understand that there will be a heightened level of anxiety in the community," said ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman, who added that the community can be reassured that there is no risk to the general community from that case.

Nationwide, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia has risen to 126 as of 11 a.m. local time Thursday.

The latest figure, which was released by the Department of Health, represents an increase of 14 from 112 confirmed cases on Wednesday.

The number of deaths related to the virus remains at three, all of which were of patients over the age of 70.

New South Wales (NSW) has more confirmed cases than Australia's seven other states and territories combined with 64 - up from 60 on Wednesday - followed by Victoria with 18 and Queensland with 17.

ABC has reported that one of the new cases in Victoria is a person who attended the Golden Plains music festival from March 7 to 9 with up to 12,000 other people.

La Trobe University on Thursday confirmed that a student who has attended classes within the last week at its largest campus in Melbourne's northern suburbs has tested positive for the virus.

"The University has identified the limited number of locations on campus affected and those areas have been deep cleaned," the university said in a statement.

Also on Thursday, Hollywood star Tom Hanks and his wife, who are in Gold Coast, tested positive for the COVID-19.

"Rita and I are down here in Australia," Hanks wrote on his official Instagram page. "We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too ... We were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive."

"We Hanks' will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires," he wrote.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled a support package on Thursday, one day after Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt announced a 2.4-billion-Australian dollar (1.5-billion-U.S. dollar) medical response to the crisis.

Of that figure, 11 billion Australian dollars (7.1 billion U.S. dollars) will be pumped into the economy before the end of financial year on June 30.


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