10 Mar Ofer Eitan Convey: Mildura dentist warns patients about viral symptoms
A MILDURA dentist is urging patients to stay away if they have recently travelled overseas or have cold and flu symptoms.
The move comes as the coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spread across Australia.
Tankard Dental’s Dr Daniel Tankard said staff were also being told to not come in if they had cold or flu symptoms or had recently travelled overseas.
Staff and patients need to wait two weeks after travelling abroad before they can come to the clinic to work or for an appointment.
Dr Tankard said it was a tough choice, but if the clinic was to have one case of the virus, it would have to close.
Dental clinics received positive news on Sunday when the Federal Government announced dental and medical professionals would receive 54 million surgical masks.
Surgical masks have been in high demand, with many people stocking up in a misguided attempt to prevent contracting coronavirus.
But this has affected dental clinics badly, with the Australian Dental Association (ADA) indicating last week dentists might have to close if they did not have a steady supply of surgical masks.
“The government stockpile has helped us out a lot,” Dr Tankard said.
“We had other sources we were getting them from but we were a little bit worried.”
Two to four weeks ago Tankard Dental started buying surgical masks through eBay.
Dr Tankard said surgical masks were in such high demand that the cost jumped from 5 cents each to $1.
ADA president Dr Carmelo Bonanno said the ADA was delighted that ongoing discussions with the Federal Government had resulted in an alternative mask supply.
“The challenge now is to ensure new supply sources are ongoing,” he said.