A 20-year-old University of Queensland student from China is the latest case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Queensland.
- The student, who is from China, travelled to Dubai for at least two weeks last month
- His housemate, who is also a UQ student, is being tested as a precaution but is feeling well
- The Department of Health says Queensland has now recorded 10 cases of COVID-19
A statement from the Department of Health said the man was in a stable condition and in isolation in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
The man had travelled to Dubai for at least two weeks before entering Australia, via Brisbane, on February 23 and becoming unwell two days later.
Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said authorities were looking into where the man may have contracted the disease.
“The male has recently returned to Brisbane and we are working closely with relevant authorities to undertake contact tracing,” Dr Young said.
“The male lived with one other housemate in Toowong.
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“Our contact tracing methods are tried and trusted and we will take every opportunity to raise awareness of this case in the community if there has been any community exposure.”
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said the man became unwell a week ago but only presented to hospital two nights ago.
“Our understanding is that he has not attended campus at all and so that means the risk of person-to-person transmission is very low,” he said.
“He does however have a housemate who is currently being tested and we expect those results in late tonight.
“The public health unit is currently doing contact tracing with him [the patient] and they are very experienced in that work.”
In a statement, the University of Queensland said it was providing support to the student.
“We extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery,” the statement said.
“At this time, authorities do not believe that the student had visited any UQ campuses after arriving in Australia.
“We understand the student complied with the Federal Government’s travel requirements.
“A flatmate and fellow student is understood to be feeling well, and has been tested for the virus as a precaution.
“The university is in contact with Queensland Health and is working swiftly to assist with any measures necessary.
“All staff and students are advised to practice healthy hygiene habits in line with government advice, including frequent handwashing and staying home if unwell.”
In an email to staff, Metro North’s executive director of medical services Dr Elizabeth Rushbrook said the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital had admitted a patient with COVID-19, along with another person who had been in close contact with him.
“This is not a cause for alarm,” she said.
“As healthcare providers, we are trained to manage these situations and have the experience and knowledge to do it in a calm and professional manner.”
She also urged staff to continue to wash their hands and remember their “cough and sneeze etiquette”.
The Department of Health said Queensland had now recorded 10 cases of COVID-19, including the three people from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.
The previous person diagnosed, a 63-year-old woman, remains in isolation in a stable condition at Gold Coast University Hospital.
The other eight patients have been cleared and discharged from hospital.
The Queensland Government urged anyone who had been overseas in the last 14 days and felt unwell to call 13HEALTH, or present to a GP or local hospital.
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