"Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talking meaningfully about one without talking about the other.” Bill Gates.
14 February 2020 

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Coronavirus: Australia Extends Travel Ban
Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced that the Australian government has extended its travel ban on people who have travelled through China by another week.

The ban, initially set for 14 days and due to expire tomorrow, was extended yesterday on the advice of Australia’s health authorities and the national security committee. According to the PM, the ban would be reviewed every week.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family are exempt from the ban, designed to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, now named Covid-19. People who have been outside China for more than 14 days and who show no symptoms of Covid-19 are also allowed to enter Australia. The ban does not apply to people who left China before 1 February. International students who have left China and spent 14 days in a third country before arriving in Australia will be allowed into the country after their 14-day period has elapsed. The travel restrictions apply to the Chinese mainland only: travellers from the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau are not included in the ban.

Overnight, the number of new cases of Covid-19 rose by 14,887 in the Hubei province where it first emerged – a sevenfold increase on the day before. China recorded 245 new deaths, taking the national total to 1,359. Globally, more than 60,000 people have been infected by the virus, and 1,369 have died.

There have been 15 cases of Covid-19 in Australia, with no deaths, and five people have recovered from the virus. There have been no recorded human-to-human transmissions of Covid-19 in the general community in Australia. All cases in Australia contracted the disease while in Wuhan, except for one person who had contact, in China, with a person with the virus.

On Thursday Morrison said "arrangements to protect Australia from coronavirus are working”.

“This afternoon we have agreed to accept the recommendations to maintain the ban on entry restrictions on foreign nationals from mainland China for a further week. This is something we will continue to review on a weekly basis, and consider all the medical evidence on a weekly basis.”

He encouraged Australians to support members of the Chinese Australian community, who have been subject to a range of racist responses to the outbreak. “As we go into the weekend I encourage everyone to support Chinese-Australian businesses ... they are such an integral part of Australian life and it is important that all Australians are putting their arms around them and supporting them, in any way they can.”

All people, including Australian citizens and residents, must isolate themselves for 14 days after they have left China, or if they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Australia’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said the continued expansion of the outbreak outside of the locked-down province of Hubei was the rationale behind extending the travel ban. “We’ve recommended the continuation of the travel ban for an additional week at this time. There has been significant growth in Hubei province, in other provinces in China there has been slower growth, perhaps not at the same rate as we’ve seen previously, but still growth. That is the reason why we would like to maintain the travel ban at the moment,” he said.

The chief medical officer said there had been no new cases detected in Australia, and commended those Australians who’d returned from China and “behaved impeccably” in adhering to self-isolation. There are also no confirmed cases among the 538 Australian citizens and permanent residents currently in quarantine on Christmas Island or Manigurr-Ma work camp in the Northern Territory.

COVID-19 Impact Update
As supply chain disruption, worker shortages, government restrictions, a lack of access to masks and other challenges related to the COVID-19 virus (the novel coronavirus) outbreak weigh down businesses, American Airlines, China Airlines, Shipco Transport, Evergreen, Maersk and Ocean Network Express respond with scheduling and logistics changes.

More blank sailings are scheduled for March as carriers have announced more than 80 blank sailings from Asia to North America. Experts predict further supply chain delays will push the return of normal transpacific cargo flows to late February or early March.

Additionally, many borders in Asia remain closed, and the U.S. Coast Guard continues to restrict entry for vessels that have called on Chinese ports and/or are carrying crew members who have been in China.

With these challenges in mind, we recommend all our clients review their ocean shipping plans through March, as there could be an opportunity to best meet your demands by shifting ocean freight to air freight.

Latest Coronavirus News in the Past 24 Hours
As the number of globally confirmed cases top 60,000, the death toll relating to COVIC-19 spikes overnight.

  • The death toll tops 1300 in China, and with over 15,000 new confirmed cases overnight in the Hubei province, the leader Jiang Chaoliang was replaced. The 15,000 new cases in Hubei province started including “clinically diagnosed” cases in its figures – meaning cases diagnosed by a CT scan but not confirmed by a laboratory test. The WHO has not included these figures in their latest reports as they determine how to proceed with these results.

  • With the death tolls soaring in China, there has only been one fatality in Hong Kong, Phillipines and most recently, Japan.

  • Singapore has recorded its biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases, with eight new patients bringing the total number of infected people in the country to 58.Of the 58 confirmed cases reported, 15 have recovered and been discharged from hospital while seven are in critical condition in intensive care.

  • 44 new cases were confirmed aboard the Diamond Princess Cruiseship off the coast of Japan.

  • Hong Kong's secretary for education announced Wednesday that the country will extend its suspension of schools until at least March 16 in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.

  • A range of Australian universities have delayed the start of semester, or allowed international students to enrol later. Earlier on Thursday it was revealed that China had agreed to relax some of its internet restrictions so students could study online as they waited to enter Australia.

  • The Westerdam cruise ship has been barred by several countries amid fears of the global coronavirus outbreak. The cruise line, however, has adamantly denied there are any confirmed cases of the virus on the ship.

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