As COVID-19 containment and treatment runs centre to the national media narrative, Australia is in good stead to be able to combat and manage the disease according to the Department of Health.
As of 28 February 2020, we have 23 confirmed case of coronavirus in Australia, while the World Health Organisation has placed global estimates at over 80,000.
15 of these Australian cases are reported to have recovered, and the remaining cases are in a stable condition. Australia also had eight infected citizens that were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship repatriation flight that were placed in quarantine at the Manigurr-ma Village Howard Springs facility near Darwin.
They have all since been returned to their home states for medical treatment.
The Australian Government has issued a health alert primarily as a precaution based on the latest and best medical advice.
The Australian Government has also been applying enhanced border measures at international air and seaports, applying travel restrictions, and continuing with border surveillance.
These mitigating factors have so far proved to be successful in protecting Australia from an escalating international dilemma.
There are important lessons that Australia’s retirement village operators should be beginning to recognise. The prime example being planning for how to react in a timely and appropriate manner if coronavirus takes a greater foothold in Australia.
Preparation is key and having proper planning and procedures in place is an essential part of maintaining that retirement villages are able to succeed in times of uncertainty. There has never been a more critical time for operators to educate their staff and their residents on how to react and appropriately manage plans.