Coronavirus: Two new cases, 15 hospital staff isolated

FIFTEEN emergency department staff at Brisbane's Mater Hospital have gone into home quarantine for 14 days after "potential exposure" to the new coronavirus.

The move follows a University of Queensland student presenting to the Mater's emergency department on Monday at South Brisbane, where swabs were taken and he was sent home.

When tests confirmed the 20-year-old Chinese student had COVID-19, he was taken by ambulance to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, where he remains in isolation in a stable condition.

The Mater confirmed 15 staff had been placed in quarantine at home "in line with Queensland Health recommendations".

 

They are believed to be the only health workers in Queensland who have gone into home quarantine after assessing a suspected COVID-19 case.

"The actual risk is low, this is a precautionary measure," the Mater said in a statement.

The Courier-Mail understands Mater Hospital emergency department patients who may have had exposure to the infected Chinese student are also being contacted.

Queensland's latest development in the quest to contain the novel coronavirus comes as two new cases were diagnosed - a man, 81, who recently returned to the Sunshine Coast from Thailand and a Brisbane woman, 29, who flew home from London, via Singapore.

The man is listed as stable in the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the woman is in isolation at home, with her condition described as "well".

Queensland Health is tracing contacts of both cases.

The two new cases take the number of people in Queensland known to have had the virus to 13.

The tally includes three passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who tested positive in Darwin before being flown back to Queensland.

Queensland Health is still attempting to contact passengers from Emirates flight EK430 into Brisbane from Dubai on February 26 who sat near a 26-year-old man, diagnosed this week with COVID-19.

Public health officials want to speak to people sitting two rows in front, two rows behind and the two rows sitting beside the man, who is in a stable condition in the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Those passengers will be asked to isolate themselves until the 14-day incubation period is over.

The Logan man had been in Iran, a hotspot for the virus, which has so far infected more than 95,000 people and killed at least 3200.

For more information, phone 13 HEALTH.