Australia

ACT's first coronavirus case confirmed

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A man in his 30s has become the first person in the ACT to test positive to the coronavirus.

Health authorities are seeking out close contacts of an ACT man who has been confirmed as the national capital's first case of coronavirus.

The man in his 30s was tested for COVID-19 at the Weston Creek Walk-in Centre on Wednesday, with the positive result confirmed on Thursday.

Health authorities say the person is being taken to Canberra Hospital and precautions are being taken to ensure the ongoing safety of staff and the broader community.

ACT chief minister Andrew Barr says more cases are expected in coming weeks.

"This, however, is not cause for alarm," he told reporters.

"We're asking Canberrans to work with us to minimise the spread of the virus."

The public is being urged to maintain proper hygiene such as washing hands, and stay at home if unwell.

Chief medical officer ACT Kerryn Coleman said the man had been overseas, but outside of the 14-day window, however, he has been interstate.

"We need to spend a little bit of time looking at this person's movements in the 14 days prior to when he first became unwell, to see whether we can identify any linkages with any other cases," Dr Coleman said.

"I think it's most likely he has been in contact with someone domestically."

The man first felt unwell on Tuesday with a fever and fatigue.

Every state and territory now has at least one case of the coronavirus, which has been declared a global pandemic.

Nationally, there have been three deaths, with many of the more than 120 confirmed cases already recovered.

"We have been practising and preparing for this for many weeks now," Dr Coleman said.

"I can reassure everyone that the hospital and our health staff are very well prepared."

Dr Coleman said there had been 441 negative coronavirus tests in the territory.

Separately, Universities Australia has told people who attended a conference in Canberra in the last week of February that a delegate later tested positive for the virus.

The person returned to their home state after the conference ended on 27 February.

Universities Australia has told delegates to seek medical attention by Friday if they have a fever, cough, sore throat, headache or muscle aches.

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