Minister rebukes school coronavirus advice
AUSTRALIA'S education minister has chastised private schools for giving parents the 'wrong' advice about how to deal with the risk of the deadly coronavirus.
Some private schools are isolating pupils who have recently visited China or are telling them to stay away for at least a fortnight.
"Individual schools make their own decisions but the advice from the Australian government is to follow our medical advice," Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan told ABC radio on Tuesday.
"I would say to all schools that they should be following the advice of the health department, that is the clear position of the Australian government.
"Obviously in the end they will have to answer to their parents, but also they will have to answer to state and territory governments, who have responsibility for schools."
The federal government's advice is that if students have returned home from China but are healthy, it is reasonable for them to attend school.
If they have been in contact with somebody with coronavirus, they should not attend school for up to 14 days.
Mr Tehan and his department secretary have spoken to their state and territory counterparts to ensure their advice is heeded.
In NSW, healthy state school children who travelled to China during the holidays will not be told to stay at home when classes return.
Even those who have been to Wuhan or the Hubei province will be allowed to return, though they will be closely monitored for symptoms of the virus.
Only children who have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have coronavirus will be asked to stay at home, the state's chief health officer said.