Tom Hanks testing positive for coronavirus in Australia is concerning US citizens with symptoms

In Australia, testing is not only free but accessible to all

Trump caught saying 'okay' on camera moments after coronavirus address

Tom Hanks testing positive for coronavirus in Australia is sparking fear that many more US citizens also have the illness, but will not be allowed to get tested.

In Australia, testing is not only free but accessible should you show any symptoms, regardless of whether you have been in contact with a known COVID-19 sufferer.

Hanks is in the country with his wife, Rita Wilson, in preparation for his next film, an Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann, which has now shut down production.

After realising they had symptoms – including a cough, headaches and a fever – the pair decided to get tested, considering it was immediately available to them.

Both were confirmed to have contracted the virus and it’s unknown whether they caught it in America or Australia.

But, had they had symptoms in the US, they would not have qualified for a test.

Until recently, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention was only permitting anyone who had travelled to Wuhan, China – the site of the outbreak – or had been in close contact with a potential coronavirus case to be tested.

This was widened on 3 March meaning that people could finally get tested if ordered by a doctor. According to reports, though, the demand for testing remains greater than the supply.

Also, it is worth nothing that those with symptoms might abstain from getting tested, considering the high costs of American health care.

Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at Kaiser, tweeted: “Addressing coronavirus with tens of millions of people without health insurance or with inadequate insurance will be a uniquely American challenge among developed countries. It will take money to treat people and address uncompensated care absorbed by providers.”

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For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organisation, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

The UK’s reaction to the global pandemic is also being criticised with a scene from British sitcom Yes Minister going viral for seemingly predicting Boris Johnson’s “clueless” response.

Find a full list of everything that’s been cancelled or postponed in the wake of the outbreak here.

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