Maranoa council meets with health experts over COVID-19
STRATEGIES could be put in place at Roma Airport to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 from reaching the southwest, as council urges residents to remain calm.
Ensuring the region is as prepared as it can be against the virus will be the priority of Maranoa Regional Council and Queensland Health, who met today to discuss contingency plans in the event the virus reaches the southwest.
While no cases of COVID-19 have, as of yet, been confirmed in the South West Hospital and Health Services area, a disaster management meeting was deemed essential, after the outbreak was labelled a 'pandemic' by the World Health Organisation.
Mayor Tyson Golder said, at this stage, the best advice was to practice good hygiene, and if any residents were concerned about their health, to call 13 HEALTH.
"The point of this meeting is to ensure the region is prepared and resilient against the virus," he said.
"If we are prepared and we are learning every day from Queensland Health, as they get advice from what is happening in Australia and overseas every day, we can minimise the impact."
Even though there are no confirmed cases in the region, Cr Golder said residents need to practice good hand hygiene and wash your hands more than usual. And if you have been overseas, he echoed state, federal, and international advice that if you can, to self isolate for a period of time.
"All of these cases have come from overseas, so if we can manage it really well, we can reduce the impact on our community," Cr Golder said.
"Probably the biggest thing to highlight is that if anyone has symptoms or is concerned regarding the virus, there's fact sheets on Queensland Health and if you aren't sure you can ring 13 HEALTH and they will point you in the right direction.
"If we can get everyone clued up on what to do, then we can keep everyone safe," he said.
Queensland Health deliberated possible strategies to implement at Roma Airport to reduce the spread of the virus.
"Nothing has been set in stone but we are keeping on top of it - it's really about containing and stopping anyone from getting it," he said.
At this point in time, local events such as the Roma Picnic Races and Easter in the Country won't be cancelled.
"That will be dealt at more of a state government level - it's really just seeing how this plays out but we haven't had any advice yet on what to do," he said.
Due to shoppers stripping supermarkets bare of certain household items and stocking up in response to coronavirus concerns, the mayor is urging residents to just buy what you need.
"I would just like to say as mayor, people not go and buy up big in stores," he said.
"Just buy what you need in a normal period because it's important we don't scare our community.
"The virus doesn't happen overnight, but the feedback we received today is that it's really about containing and stopping anyone from getting it," Cr Golder said.