Special coronavirus clinic sites kept secret
QUEENSLAND Health is refusing to release a list of hospital "fever clinics'', urging anyone sick with the flu to see a GP unless they've been overseas.
As doctors demanded more masks yesterday, a Queensland Health spokeswoman said the public "should not be alarmed about novel coronavirus, but aware and informed''.
"We are urging anyone who has been overseas in the last 14 days and is feeling unwell to see a doctor immediately," she said.
"The people most at risk of having COVID-19 are those who have been to affected countries in the past 14 days, or where they have come into contact with someone diagnosed with the virus.
"If you haven't done either of these things but you're feeling unwell, it's more likely you'll have a different illness, like a cold or influenza.''
The Courier-Mail asked for a list of hospitals with "fever clinics", where people sick with flu-like symptoms can be tested for coronavirus.
But Queensland Health refused to provide a list, stating that "if an individual does need to go to a fever clinic, their doctor or clinician will direct them to which fever clinic they can attend."
In Brisbane, the Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital, Prince Charles Hospital, Logan Hospital and the Princess Alexandra Hospital confirmed they have already opened fever clinics through their emergency departments.
The Queensland Children's Hospital did not have a fever clinic operational yesterday.
Queensland Health said patients sick with the flu who have travelled overseas in the past fortnight, or been in contact with a coronavirus patient, should phone a doctor or hospital before showing up for treatment.
Australian Medical Association (AMA) Queensland president Dr Dilip Dhupelia yesterday said some GPs were still having trouble sourcing medical masks, as the Federal Government waits for a supply of 54 million more.
"GPs are in the front line of the COVID-19 threat … it is imperative that we ensure our GP members do not fall ill, so that they can look after those who require their expertise and assistance for their illnesses,'' he said.
Queensland's "do not be alarmed'' approach differs from Victoria, where the state Health Department website states that "everyone should now take steps to prepare for the possibility of transmission of the infection in the coming weeks or months''.
"Make a plan on how you and your family (including pets) would have to manage if you needed to stay at home for two to three weeks,'' it says.
"Fill prescriptions of essential medicines so you have enough if you need to stay home.''
Virus hotline: 1800 020 080