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Australian seafood industry seeks to mitigate impact of coronavirus on exports. Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry, is actively monitoring the situation regarding seafood exports to China, and investigating ways to minimise negative impacts to our industry.

“First and foremost, our thoughts are with the health and well-being of those who have been affected by the novel coronavirus 2019,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation. On Friday, January 24 SIA raised concerns regarding the cancellation of sales to China, related to the coronavirus outbreak, with the Federal Government. It remains unclear when trade will return to normal.

“The loss of orders is impacting many within the Australian seafood industry, from fishers to exporters and the freight companies who rely on the Chinese export market to maintain their businesses.

“SIA is working with both industry and government to ensure the effect on those impacted is minimised, and to ensure the best information is available to inform sound decision making.

“We will continue to work as the conduit from industry to government, to maintain confidence in our industry.”

About coronavirus

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.