In face of novel coronavirus, ‘we should all go about our lives as normal’

A video released by Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer on Thursday was welcomed by Whitehorse City Council.

In the video, Dr Brendan Sutton acknowledges people’s anxiety about the 2020 novel coronavirus, but points out that the situation in Australia is significantly different from that in China, with relatively few cases and no transmission in the community at this time. He says, “The virus cannot jump across a room or be carried for long distances in the air – so we should all go about our lives as normal.”

The Chief Medical Officer also noted some hurtful remarks and misunderstandings circulating in the wider community. He says, “We should be reaching out to the Chinese and broader Asian community … and support businesses and events that have become part of the Australian fabric.”

Mayor Cr Ellis was pleased that Box Hill Traders together with representatives from the Asian Business Association of Whitehorse (ABAW) met with Whitehorse representatives Councillors Barker and Liu and Council officers to discuss the great opportunities for the community to visit and shop locally in Box Hill.

Cr Ellis said, “Hard-working Asian professionals, shop keepers and restaurateurs are all part of what makes Whitehorse a great place to live and work.” Steven Zheng of the Asian Business Association of Whitehorse says, “Traders across Whitehorse have seen a huge downturn in trade, especially in Box Hill. It’s stressful for our small businesses, but they remain open and ready to serve local customers.”

Cr Ellis explains that the Council is committed to supporting a healthy, vibrant and prosperous community. She says, ‘Box Hill is an important business and cultural precinct. It has a unique character that contributes something special to our municipality. Council is working in partnership with our local traders to support them at this time. We echo Dr Sutton’s advice. We ask that people continue their usual hygiene measures such as handwashing, and otherwise return to shopping and dining as normal.”

View a simplified Chinese transcript of the video.

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