Australian authorities have stopped travel to Iran after a Gold Coast woman returned home with coronavirus.
The National Security Council will increase the warning advice level to four as of tomorrow, which means Australians will not be able to travel to Iran and anyone returning from the Middle Eastern region will be required to stay in quarantine for a minimum 14 days until they are cleared.
It has been confirmed that Iran has the largest reported number of deaths from coronavirus outside of Hubei Province and there are already cases of the virus from Iran to several countries including Australia and New Zealand, despite the absence of direct flights and relatively low travel volumes from Iran to these countries.
It is also believed that the number of reported cases in Iran is underestimated.
Australia's Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy also said anyone who recently travelled to Iran should self-isolate to minimise risk of passing on the infection.
The move comes after a 63-year-old beautician on the Gold Coast was isolated after testing positive to the coronavirus COVID-19.
The woman began feeling unwell at work on Thursday after returning from Iran, where the disease has reached epidemic levels.
She arrived at the Hair Plus salon at the Australia Fair shopping centre, treating between 30 and 40 clients before starting to feel ill. Treatments included massages, facials and manicures.
"To be ultra cautious, I would like any person who attended that salon on Thursday at Australia Fair – so, only that particular beautician's salon – to come forward," said Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young.
"We believe the risk is incredibly low."
Authorities said there is likely a high level of unidentified cases in Iran and this is why these precautions are in place for Australians who have recently travelled there or are yet to return from tomorrow.
A similar travel ban is currently in place for China.
The World Health Organisation has also lifted their advice level for risk of infection to high with more than 50 countries now affected.
The Federal Government confirmed the advice and released the following information:
- The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will raise the level of the travel advisory for Iran from level 3 to level 4 – do not travel;
- Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents of Australia) who are in Iran on or after March 1, 2020, will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days, from the time they have left or transited through Iran;
- Australian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians or dependants only). They will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days from the day they left Iran.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/health/coronavirus-iran-cases-prompt-lifted-advice-level-four/f34daa58-0ecf-45a1-9396-c2c80202bd0f