Hollywood actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have been confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus while filming in Australia.
In an Instagram post on March 12, Hanks told followers that they both were feeling unwell and then later tested positive for the virus. They will reportedly be placed in isolation at a Gold Coast hospital.
In Australia for a new movie
According to entertainment company Warner Bros., Hanks was in Australia to film a new movie based on the late rock and roll singer, Elvis Presley, playing the role of Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The company will be contacting those who may have come in close contact with Hanks.
“We are working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual. The health and safety of our company members are always our top priority, and we are taking precautions to protect everyone who works on our productions around the world,” said Warner Bros. in a statement to CNN.
A total of 156 confirmed coronavirus cases were reported in Australia as of March 12, with three deaths so far.
Situation Down Under
Reports of a lack of test kits, confusing processes and conflicting advice on when the public should get tested for the coronavirus have left the healthcare system in Australia in “shambles,” explain some doctors.
Sydney doctors claim they have to spend long hours over the phone advising those concerned about contracting the deadly virus and people who present mild symptoms of flu on whether or not to get tested.
“They were not sick enough to go to the hospital and we don’t want to overload the hospital system, but we still need to know whether these people were OK. That was about 10 a.m. By 10:20 a.m., we got a call to say the first lab was no longer doing the tests as they’d run out the kits. The second one wasn’t even answering the phone and the third was the same,” says an Australian doctor who spoke to the Guardian.
A Melbourne-based doctor spoke with The Millennial Source, saying: “There doesn’t seem to be an issue [with test kits] at the moment. Melbourne still only has very few cases, so it is not causing strain on beds, ICU etc. We don’t have overlap with the regular flu season as yet, which probably helps at the moment. The next few weeks will probably be key in terms of how the situation unfolds: quickly and severely or long and slow.”
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