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Update from the Chief Medical Officer on the Novel Coronavirus

29 January 2020

In the wake of the confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus infection in Australia, the Chief Medical Officer has written to all medical colleges to provide further information and seek our assistance in identifying additional cases.

The critical thing for Australia is early detection to enable diagnosis, isolation and appropriate contact tracing.

If you see someone with relevant symptoms who has come from China (particularly the Hubei province/Wuhan city) in the last 14 days, or who has come into contact with a confirmed case, please contact your State/Territory Public Health Unit/Communicable Disease Branch.

The individual should be isolated and managed in contact/droplet precautions:

  • Place a single-use surgical mask on the patient
  • Isolate the patient in a single room with door closed
  • Any person entering the room should use appropriate droplet and contact precautions personal protective equipment (single-use surgical face mask, eye protection, gown and gloves).

The College will provide any further updates from the Chief Medical Officer as they are received.

For further information on this emerging situation, please visit