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Three more cases of coronavirus in Victoria

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Before he was diagnosed, he visited Wine by Sam in Seymour on March 3, arriving at 12.30pm. He took a tour of the winery and had lunch.

On March 5, he attended Cinema Nova in Carlton from 7.30pm -10.30pm, for a private screening of The Amber Light.

Authorities say that for the virus to spread, extended close personal contact is required, this is defined as at least 15 minutes face-to-face or more than two hours in the same room.

There has been no confirmed person-to-person transmission in Victoria.

The second new Victorian patient is a woman in her 20s who returned from Colorado on QF94, via Los Angeles, arriving in Melbourne at 9.40am on Friday March 6. She is also recovering at home in isolation.

The third patient is a woman in her 50s who returned from Tehran via Kuala Lumpur on MH0149, arriving at 9am on Friday March 6.

She became unwell on February 18 in Tehran with cough, fever and shortness of breath and on arrival was driven immediately to hospital and treated for pneumonia. She is in quarantine in hospital in a stable condition.

There was no public exposure for either of the women diagnosed overnight. Authorities are seeking the flight manifests of QF94 and MH0149 to contact anyone who could be affected.

Ms Mikakos said health professionals should stay away from work if they are unwell and that they will be prioritised for testing. The testing capacity is growing, Ms Mikakos said.

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The Health Minister has been under pressure to apologise to Toorak doctor Chris Higgins, after saying she was “flabbergasted” that the general practitioner had continued to treat patients when presenting with “flu-like” symptoms after returning from a trip to the US.

Dr Higgins, the father of singer-songwriter Missy Higgins, decided to care for patients last week after he returned from the US with a mild cold which had almost gone. He did not meet the guidelines for coronavirus screening at the time of his return from overseas, but later tested positive for it.

The Australian Medical Association has joined growing ranks of doctors furious with Ms Mikakos for criticising him.

On Monday, Ms Mikakos said: “[Doctors] can be assured that I have their back”.

“I have a very constructive relationship with the AMA…we don’t agree on everything,” she said.

“I will make no apology for putting the health of Victorians first,” Ms Mikakos said.

“We won’t be apologising for the fact that we had to put out information that identified a clinic…theses are challenging circumstances…this is public health emergency.”

Updated health advice for Australians

The symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath; and
  • Breathing difficulties

If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Five-hundred tests were being carried per day in Victoria, the last time the minister was updated, but that figure may have doubled since then, she said. She said she was not certain how many tests have been done to date.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told reporters Italy might have identified transmission within its community too late.

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