As cases of human-to-human transmission of coronavirus rise outside of China health experts in Australia argue a global coronavirus pandemic “is very likely, if not inevitable”.

Some say the world is already in the early stages of a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organisation as a disease spreading across two continents.

Clusters of Covid-19 – the illness caused by the novel coronavirus (officially known as Sars-CoV-2) – are emerging all over the world, with some showing no obvious link to China, leaving experts struggling to determine where they started and how they have spread.

Globally, there have been 78,973 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 2,466 deaths. The vast majority of infections and deaths have been in mainland China, centred around central Hubei province.

How does a country like Australia, geographically remote and with a limited number of mild cases – all of which have been traced back to their origin – counter a pandemic?

  • Early stages: health screenings and travel bans
  • Escalation: surge staffing and ‘fever clinics’
  • Increasing ‘social distancing’ measures
  • What individuals can do

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