It is now official. The virus that has gone by the name of Novel Coronavirus has a new name. The World Health Organisation has declared that the official new name for the virus that also formerly went by the names “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV” is now to be known as Covid-19.
This is to differentiate at it from other coronavirus outbreaks that include the the common cold, but also the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) which have previously afflicted the world.
Victorian Minister for Health and for Ambulance Services Jenny Mikakos said: “Australia – Victoria included – is following the advice of the global experts at the WHO and changing from novel coronavirus 2019 to COVID-19.”
“There is work currently underway to translate general COVID-19 health information into 21 community languages, including Greek, and a hand hygiene/cough etiquette poster is also a part of these materials to be translated.”
“We understand there may be anxiety in the community about this virus and while you should see your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms and have recently travelled to China, it is important to remember that in Victoria we’ve only had four cases and all of these patients have been discharged from hospital and are recovering well.”
“Victoria is well prepared and equipped to handle this situation and is taking all necessary steps in line with the advice of health experts to keep Victorians safe.”
She said the best website to find material: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus And the best number to call is 1800 675 398.
In Victoria, if you suspect a Covid-19 infection, you should notify the Department of Health and Human Services on 1300 651 160.
The Victoria Department of Health and Human Services website (www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/news-and-events/HealthAlerts/2019-Novel-Coronavirus-nCoV) provides up-to-date information on what measures to take to protect yourself from the virus, what signs to look for and who to call. On the site you can also ask for email alerts from the department.
There is also a public information hotline provided by Nurse-on-Call on 1800 675 398.
The New South Wales provides a multilingual site for information on the virus on www.health.nsw.gov.au/coronavirus.
The Federal government’s Department of Health website provides a special section on coronavirus on its website at www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
In South Australia you can go to www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/novelcoronavirus for the latest information
In Western Australia go to: ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus
The Tasmania Health Department can be reached on www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/news/2020/coronavirus_update
The Northern Territory government which will be hosting under quarantine 280 Australians who are being evacuated from China. Information can be gained from their website on https://health.nt.gov.au/news/nt-coronavirus-update
All state departments also issue information through social media sites on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
There is an Australia-wide telephone number you can call for information on Covid-19 on 1800 020 080.