Australia’s epicentre of deadly virus
Seven people have been diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus in what's becoming the Australian epicentre of the infection - Sydney.
The latest is a 16-year-old student at Epping Boys High School, adding to the cluster of cases in the city's north.
A university professor, two hospital doctors, two nursing home residents and a carer have all been diagnosed with the infection.
A childcare centre in the area was also shutdown as 17 kids were tested over coronavirus fears.
The children from Banksia Cottage had visited the Dorothy Henderson Lodge at Macquarie Park where a 95-year-old resident had died.
Banksia Cottage is within metres of the facility where a nurse was confirmed to have contracted the virus.
Two male residents, aged 82 and 70, are also infected.
The childcare centre is also within the Macquarie University campus.
At this stage no children have presented with symptoms of COVID-19.
The children visited the aged care centre on February 24, but the nurse who has the virus was not working that day.
NSW Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant has warned more residents at the facility could be diagnosed with the virus.
Dr Chant also told aged care facilities to stop hosting children from child care centres to reduce the risk of infection for Australia's most elderly and frail.
Meanwhile, the high school is closed today to allow the school community and health officials to "work through a contact and containment strategy".
The closure will affect approximately 1100 students.
Staff and students are being told to self-isolate across the weekend.
"Our first concern is for the health of the school's students and it was decided that until we learned more about this specific case, the school should be closed as a precaution," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the ill student was "not bad, but he is not well".
The latest case brings the total number of confirmed virus cases in NSW to 25.
The number of cases for the state has more than doubled in a week.
The other new case was in a Goulburn man who returned from Singapore and travelled to Darwin. Nine of the 25 cases were a result of local person-to-person transmission.
In the cluster area, a Macquarie University lecturer tested positive for the virus after returning from Iran.
Two Sydney doctors also diagnosed went to a conference that was attended by 77 medical practitioners and professionals.
A 53-year-old doctor working at Ryde Hospital and a female doctor working at Liverpool Hospital attended the gathering on February 18.
Mr Hazzard told the Today show this morning efforts to contain the virus "probably" wouldn't work.
"It's going to get more people," he said.
"I think we have nine now who have actually been infected on our soil rather than coming in from overseas and that means that we are getting an increasing number of people who are passing it on.
"It's likely to unfortunately become not a containment issue but how do we manage this as it rolls out.
"Having said that, can I also say this - this is not a time for panic. 80 per cent of all people who get this virus get it very, very mildly. Just like a very mild cold or flu. So don't panic. Don't be unnecessarily worried about it. Just be cautious."
There are 53 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country and there has been two deaths.
The Northern Territory confirmed its first case, believed to be a NSW man who travelled to Singapore, yesterday as Queensland recorded another two cases and 15 medical staff at Brisbane's Mater Hospital self-quarantined at home after coming into contact with an infected Chinese student.
Western Australia confirmed its third case and announced temporary precautions in Catholic churches that will result in holy water being removed and drinking from the chalice banned.
Tasmania in the meantime has opened a dedicated coronavirus clinic in the state's north, where a man tested positive to the virus earlier this week.
South Australian authorities also yesterday confirmed a baby boy had contracted the infection after his 40-year-old mother had tested positive.
Australia's travel ban has now been extended to South Korea, as well as China and Iran, while travellers from Italy will be subject to stringent checks.