National virus ad campaign begins today
Two new government TV adverts aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus are about to about to hit our screens.
One of them details the hygiene steps you can take. Another gives advice for people who have recently travelled overseas or come into contact with someone who has the virus.
For those people it states that you should monitor your health, and if you develop flu-like symptoms you should "seek medical advice".
They are part of a $30 million new national communications campaign from the federal government.
It includes full-page newspaper adverts showing a letter written by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy.
"As you will no doubt be aware, COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) has affected many
around the world, including Australians both at home and overseas," the letter reads.
"COVID-19 is a new viral infection that can give people flu or cold-like symptoms, including sore throat, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It can however have serious consequences for a percentage of cases, particularly the elderly and vulnerable."
Mr Morrison then advises people to keep up with the latest advice at health.gov.au.
"The Australian Government has increased screening measures for international arrivals and
banned non-Australian citizens arriving from highly affected countries," he wrote in the joint letter.
"We strongly recommend you reconsider your need to travel overseas and check smartraveller.gov.au for the latest advice."
It says you can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by making sure you:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Cover your cough/sneeze and dispose of tissues
- Avoid contact with others if you're feeling unwell
"At this stage you should only be tested for COVID-19 if you are experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms and have recently returned from overseas, or have been in direct contact with
someone who is known to have contracted coronavirus," the letter continues. "Additional testing may also be appropriate for healthcare workers."
The government's campaign also features radio advertising in multiple languages, outdoor advertising across more than 2200 sites including bus and train stations, inside shopping centres and advertising across digital and social media.
The government says the communications campaign will keep the health and aged care industry informed, including providing up to date clinical guidance, triaging and caring for patients, development of an app and advice to workers in looking after their own safety.
The information will be based on the most up to date medical advice and will be targeted at the entire community as well as high risk groups and in up to 20 languages.