Call for community spirit to face coronavirus

St George residents have been urged to support and help each other in the spirit of mutual assistance in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Georges River Councillor Nancy Liu asked people not to listen to rumours and seek out trusted information sources.

"Everyone should do some homework, turn to the trusted source and find out the facts rather than spreading out the rumors," Cr Liu said.

"There is a recent case related to a local radiology clinic in Hurstville. A message about ten days ago circulated widely on Chinese social media Wechat saying a patient who visited that centre has been diagnosed with COVID19.

"However, as far as I know, there is no source to confirm it."

Cr Liu urged people to support and help each other.

"There were lots of positive stories in our community," she said.

"When someone or families who have been under self-isolation due to COVID19, their friends or people in the community have assisted them on outdoor shopping of daily life essentials.

"Now we need to encourage more of this type of mutual assistance spirit."

"Everyone in the community should do their best, like practicing good individual/family hygiene and social-distancing principles," she said.

Councillor Liu organised the visit on March 2 of NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant to the commercial and shopping district of Forest Road Hurstville which is the largely Chinese populated area.

Dr Chant met with Georges River councillors Sam Elmir, Lou Kanjarski and Cr Liu, the local Chinese Chamber of Commerce, business owners and community members for a briefing and update on the latest efforts of NSW to handle the virus.

Councillor Sam Elmir thanked Dr Chant for her time in coming out to Hurstville and speaking with our community.

"It is most important that we follow recommendations put forth and be aware of the latest developments," Cr Elmir said.

"As Councillors, we are committed to the safety of our community and will be working collaboratively to ensure our council is equipped to deal with the COVID19."

On March 3, NSW Health also held a media conference in Haymarket to provide an update to the Chinese community on COVID19.

An on-site interpreter was present to assist Chinese media who wished to ask Dr Chant questions.

"It was a very effective way to connect and inform the community and interactive channel for government authority to listen to the Chinese community as well," said Councillor Liu who was on the conference organising committee.

Georges River Council was expected to hold a briefing workshop this week to discuss the council's response to the coronavirus health emergency.

Depending on the outcome of the briefing, Cr Liu was planning to ask a Question with Notice at the forthcoming Georges River Council Meeting.

She would call on the General Manager to provide details of Council's actions and planning to date to be fully prepared for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This should include but not limited to: staff safety and working from home options, public events run by council with large attendees, cleaner work places related to council buildings, sports facilities, community centres, council's depots, childcare facilities, public libraries, public transport facilities such as train stations and bus stops.

Some useful Links:

The Department of Health has posted several publications here

NSW Health FAQs

Guidance on Home Isolation

Federal Government Guidance

The World Health Organisation's advice for the public can be found here

The Australian Government has a dedicated COVID-19 Health Information Line, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 020 080.