In a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus a Launceston medical practice has temporarily banned patients who have symptoms of the deadly disease.
As of Friday the Launceston Medical Centre stopped treating patients with cold-like symptoms such as a fever, cough and sore throat on weekdays and before 1pm on weekends.
The service will only see patients with those symptoms during weeknights and from 1pm to 5pm on weekends.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Patients deemed high-risk could also be referred to dedicated testing clinics established by the state government.
Newstead Medical Practice general practitioner Dr Toby Gardner said his practice was following official public health advice and had not moved to treat patients with coronavirus symptoms during dedicated times.
"We're screening calls to ensure there's been no recent overseas travel or close contact with confirmed cases," Dr Gardner said.
"If people are turning up to the desk with symptoms we're asking them about their travel history and then sending them back to their cars [if they're at high risk of having coronavirus]."
Tasmania's fourth case of coronavirus was confirmed on Friday, but the disease was not transmitted locally.
Dr Gardner said GPs were not allowed to conduct coronavirus tests yet, but expected that to change when local transmissions start to occur.
"We've been told at this point we need to call public health before people are eligible to get tested," he said.
"We expect that process to change once we get local transmission and we'll likely be involved in swabbing.
Evidence from overseas countries suggested "massively" increasing testing curbed growth in the number of coronavirus cases, Dr Gardner said.
"We don't even have enough of the specific swabs to do these tests at the moment but we're expecting resources to be released," he said.
We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we want to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists, you can subscribe here.