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‘Many people will die’: Australian doctor’s concerning coronavirus warning

An Australian doctor has issued a troubling warning about the future of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Australia, following the first confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus in the country.

A 53-year-old male health worker from Sydney, and a 41-year-old Sydney woman whose brother had recently visited from Iran, have both tested positive for the virus.

Neither had travelled abroad in the last three months.

A Sydney doctor said now that human-to-human contact within Australia has been detected it is likely the virus will spread quickly.

“It has spread quite quickly around the world so I think it’s inevitable that it will start to spread around Australia,” Dr Brad McKay told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“I think many people will die in Australia, unfortunately.”

Dr McKay urged Australians, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, to take extra precautions.

“Because it’s a new virus we know that there’s nobody in the world who has really built up their immunity to it because nobody has seen it before,” he said.

“We still advocate for using soap and water, that’s going to be working better than the antiseptic gel.”

Health workers have also cautioned against using common greetings such as shaking hands and kissing.

“The virus can get on to surfaces and that includes bench tops and also the skin of your fingers so if somebody has been in contact with it and then shakes you by the hand it’s only a matter of time until you then touch your face and then it can get into your mouth, your nose or even into your eyes,” Dr McKay warned.

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Image: Anadolu Agency / Getty