Qld sets up fever clinics as part of coronavirus response
FEVER clinics have been set up at public hospitals in Brisbane as part of Queensland Health moves to contain the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 300 people and infected about 14,000, mostly in China.
Four Queensland Health nurses met incoming flights from China at the Brisbane International Airport today to check passengers for signs of the severe respiratory illness and collect their contact details. Passengers were also told to isolate themselves for 14 days.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said all passengers returning to Australia from mainland China were expected to spend a fortnight in quarantine as part of strict new protocols to limit the spread of the virus.
"Those people will receive a phone call from public health staff every single day during that isolation period to make sure that they remain well and that they have what they need," Dr Young told a news conference.
As part of the state's response to the new virus, Health Minister Steven Miles said dedicated fever clinics had also been set up in emergency departments run by the Metro North and Metro South health services, taking in public hospitals in and around Brisbane.
Mr Miles said the move was designed to separate people who feared they may have the novel coronavirus, believed to have started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, from other emergency department patients.
"We expect more of our emergency departments will open those kinds of clinics in coming days," Mr Miles said.
Despite the measures being put in place to contain the virus in Australia, Dr Young said people should not panic.
"We know that there are a lot of people out there who are anxious," she said. "There is no need to be anxious. If you haven't been to mainland China, if you haven't come into contact with a confirmed case, you won't have this novel coronavirus."
She said testing for the new virus could only be done once a person was displaying symptoms.
Australia has had 12 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including two in Queensland.
Both Queensland cases, who were part of a nine-member Chinese tour group, remain in isolation in the Gold Coast University Hospital.