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Fears for baby after new coronavirus case recorded in SA


UPDATED | South Australia has recorded its fourth case of coronavirus, with a 40-year-old mother of an infant returning a positive test, health authorities revealed today.

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Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier today revealed the woman, recently returned from Iran, returned a positive test and is stable in isolation at home.

It’s the fourth case of coronavirus in SA since the global outbreak began.

Spurrier said she had been “informed this morning that we do have another positive coronavirus case today – a 40-year-old woman who travelled from Iran [and] arrived in SA via Kuala Lumpur on March 1.”

“My team is now undertaking extensive interviewing of that person, and we will be making every attempt to contact close contacts of this person,” she said.

“I received the result this morning – it’s quite a clear positive result – and we’ll be looking at testing other people… she does have an infant, and it’s obviously important to have that baby tested.”

She said the family lived in metropolitan Adelaide.

Premier Steven Marshall said the State Government was “doing everything we can to contain the spread of this virus”.

He said as of 6am, before the positive test was returned, “there were no active cases of people with coronavirus in SA”.

More people have tested to coronavirus in Australia, as deaths and confirmed cases increased in the US and Spain recorded its first virus fatality.

Six more people have tested positive to the coronavirus in NSW, bringing the total number of those infected in the state to 15 since the outbreak began.

NSW Health is alerting passengers who were on five separate flights from Asia in the past week, after two men in their 30s, a man in his 50s and two women in their 60s tested positive following their arrival in NSW.

The men in their 30s travelled from Iran, the two women flew from Japan and South Korea respectively, and the man in his 50s was returning from Singapore.

Meanwhile a woman in her 50s who hasn’t been out of Australia recently has also tested positive to the coronavirus.

And health authorities are advising passengers who sat near a coronavirus-infected woman on a Doha-to-Sydney flight to immediately isolate themselves at home.

The woman in her 50s who flew into Australia from Iran on February 23 aboard Qatar Airways flight 908 from Doha was in seat 43H.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned the number of cases is likely to go up in the next few days.

“What is scary on this situation is that the vaccine is not yet developed but we ask everybody to stay calm, to go about business and to stay updated the NSW health website is giving our citizens in NSW timely information,” she told Nine’s Today Show on Wednesday.

She said anyone who is feeling unwell should contact their GP or the local hospital and make arrangements to go and get tested.

Around 3000 people in NSW have been tested and cleared of the COVID-19 virus.

Meanwhile, Spain recorded its first death from the virus.

Tests carried out on a man who died in in the Spanish region of Valencia on February 13 showed he died from coronavirus.

Around 150 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Spain, while some 100 health workers in the Basque region have been isolated in their homes after coming into contact with people carrying the virus.

Authorities are monitoring two clusters of the infection in Torrejon de Ardoz, a suburban city close to Madrid with a population of around 130,000, and one in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

In the US, the Washington State Department of Health reported the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 27, including nine deaths – up from 18 cases and six deaths on Monday.

All of the fatalities in the United States from the illness associated with the virus were in the Pacific Northwest state.

In New York, a man in his 50s who lives in a New York City suburb and works at a Manhattan law firm tested positive for the virus, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the state to two, New York officials said.

He has severe pneumonia and is hospitalised, officials said. The patient had not travelled to countries hardest hit in the coronavirus outbreak.

US President Donald Trump told reporters his administration may cut off travel from the United States to areas with high rates of coronavirus, but said officials were not weighing any restrictions on domestic travel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures as of Monday, 108 people were infected – 60 in 12 US states, including presumed cases reported by public health laboratories.

The number of cases among repatriated citizens from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak emerged, and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan was 48, the CDC said.

US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn told Congress that testing kits should be available by the end of the week that would give labs the capacity to perform about 1 million coronavirus tests.

The latest New York patient was in serious condition, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Family members are being quarantined in their home in New Rochelle, New York. They include a child who attends a private high school in the Bronx borough of New York City. The high school has been shut following news of the infection.

The public transportation agency in New York, the most densely populated US city of more than 8 million, said it was deploying “enhanced sanitising procedures” for stations, train cars, buses and certain vehicles.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a MSNBC-TV interview that he expects there will be “dozens and dozens and dozens of cases” in his state eventually. He also said “people are more afraid of this than they need to be … This is a manageable situation.”

Trump said his administration was working with Congress to pass an emergency spending measure, adding that he expects lawmakers to authorise about $US8.5 billion.

Amid concerns about disruptions to supply chains, airlines and other business impacts of the coronavirus, the US Federal Reserve on Tuesday cut interest rates in an emergency move designed to shield the world’s largest economy.

The Fed said it was cutting rates by a half percentage point to a target range of 1.00 per cent to 1.25 per cent.

-with AAP

*This article initially identified a Dubai to Sydney flight. It was in fact from Doha.

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