Hobart patient zero's actions labelled as "unacceptable"

HOBART'S first case of coronavirus has been confirmed as a member of the local Nepalese community.

The man in his 20s returned from Nepal on February 26, exhibiting symptoms of the deadly disease the next day.

When he returned to Tasmania he ignored advice from health authorities who told him to self-isolate and went to work at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, and went clubbing at Obar and Cargo.

WORK: Hotel Grand Chancellor where the man in his 20s worked a shift while awaiting coronavirus test results.
WORK: Hotel Grand Chancellor where the man in his 20s worked a shift while awaiting coronavirus test results.

Health Minister Sarah Courtney and Director of Public Health Mark Veitch labelled the man's actions in ignoring the self-isolation directive as unacceptable and disappointing.

The Nepali Society of Tasmania released a statement late last night saying they are in touch with the young man and he is doing well in hospital.

"As we are all aware coronavirus (COVID-19) also has confirmed cases in Tasmania. The latest and second case has been seen within our own Nepali community," the statement read.

"At this time, Nepali Society of Tasmania is requesting everyone to take hygienic precautions necessary, stay aware and look after each other.

"At the same time we are requesting everyone not to panic and be sensitive about the issue. "We also need to be thinking and caring about the community member that has been impacted.

"Nepali Society of Tasmania is in touch with the young man and he is doing well in hospital.

"Likewise, we are also in touch with his housemates who are also well and in self-quarantine as required at home.

"(The) Department of Health is also working closely with everyone. We will also continue to provide support as required.

"To our community and everyone else, we do request you get in touch with us at nepstasi@gmail.com if you have any questions and queries."

Premier Peter Gutwein slammed the young man's actions as "unacceptable" at a press conference yesterday.

Mr Gutwein appealed to people to obey the directions of medical authorities while the health department consider using tough legal powers to fine people who do not obey requests that they self-isolate because of potential coronavirus infection.

The Premier said there had been 126 coronavirus tests carried out in Tasmania as of yesterday morning, with two positive results - one in Launceston and one in Hobart.


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