NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has warned Australians to “exercise some degree of caution” in who you kiss amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a press conference on Monday afternoon, Hazzard confirmed three new cases in NSW, including two cases that are “highly likely” to be the result of human-to-human transmission in Australia.
The victims in question include a 53-year-old health worker who has not travelled overseas for many months, but recently treated a woman who returned from Iran to Sydney last week.
A 41-year-old woman is also believed to have contracted the virus after coming into contact with her brother who returned to Australia recently.
The two cases are believed to be the first cases contracted in people who have not left Australia since the outbreak began.
Hazzard previously suggested some helpful tips to avoid contracting the virus.
“The most important thing you can actually do is either use a handwash or simply use soap and water. Constantly be washing your hands in the next few months would help us all.”
“If you’ve been out in a public place or if you’ve been somewhere that you might have touched some other publicly available banisters or doors or been in trains, wash your hands. It’s all you’ve got to do. Soap and water is going to make a huge difference to how we actually approach both the flu season and the coronavirus.”
In this afternoon’s press conference, Hazzard added some more extreme precautions he would suggest. He asserted that “it is a case of just being cautious but not alarmed,” but
“It’s a very Australian thing to do, put your hand out to shake hands,” he said.
“I would be suggesting that it’s time Aussies gave each other a pat on the back for the time being,” Hazzard said. “It would be sensible not to be handshaking … it’s very automatic but don’t do it.”
“Exercise a degree of care and caution with who you decide to kiss … commonsense should prevail.”
Basically, the NSW Health Minister suggests to “exercise some degree of caution” in who you kiss and to avoid shaking hands with your coworkers. But please, do not give me a friendly pat on the back.