Coronavirus World Pandemic 'Likely', Victorian Medical Chief Says

Victoria's chief medical officer has warned of the high chances of a global disease spread, saying the state is preparing for it.

The Victorian health department's top medical authority, Doctor Brett Sutton, took to Twitter on Sunday to say the state has been working on its pandemic preparedness for weeks.



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"It's clear that with local transmission in several countries that a pandemic is very likely, if not inevitable," he said.

After outbreaks in Japan and South Korea raised the alarm on whether the World Health Organisation can declare a global pandemic, Sutton wanted to reassure Victorians.

A passenger wearing a protective mask on arrival at Sydney International Airport. Image: AAP

"Victoria and Australia nonetheless remain completely in containment mode - identifying any possible case; isolating those who are infectious, and quarantining contacts," he said.

"Regardless of developments internationally, this gives all of us time and space to plan and prepare."



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Sutton's advice comes after Australia's chief medical officer warned there was no realistic prospect of a vaccine to the deadly coronavirus anytime soon.

"We're hopeful that progress will be made but there is no realistic prospect of a vaccine in the short-term," Professor Brendan Murphy told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.

Peuple wearing face masks against Coronavirus in Paris. Image: AAP

Two people from Victoria were among the seven confirmed cases among the Diamond Princess cruise ship evacuees from Japan.



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Globally, nearly 78,000 people have been infected in 29 countries.