Coronavirus Assistance

By: James MacLeod - Managing Director, Tobin Brothers Funerals
Tuesday, February 18, 2020

On 30 January 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Coronaviruses are respiratory illnesses can cause symptoms in both humans and animals. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

The recent virus originating in Hubei Province, China, is called ‘novel’ because it is new. It had not been detected before it was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China. There is no treatment and there is evidence that it spreads from person to person, so good hygiene can prevent infection.


According to the Australian Government Department of Health website (as of 18/02/20):

Across the world, there have been about 71,000 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and 1700 reported deaths

The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact with a person while they are infectious;
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes; or
  • touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

Practising good hand hygiene and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet;
  • avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact); and
  • cough and sneeze into your elbow.”


Image : Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that was sent to China via Tobin Brothers Funerals


Our Tobin Brothers Funerals Managing Director, James MacLeod, was contacted by members of the Chinese Funeral Association to assist funeral industry colleagues in China with the Coronavirus outbreak.

Tobin Brothers Senior Embalmer, Robert Ridi, wrote step-by-step infectious control guidelines which in turn were translated for use in China as staff protocol.

Furthermore, Tobin Brothers Funerals sourced and secured several pallets of much-needed person protection equipment (PPE) which was swiftly sent to our industry colleagues in China. It has been a wonderful team effort in responding to these urgent needs, in particular, Alan Gough – Mortuary Manager, Robert Ridi – Senior Embalmer, Matilda Stevens – Creative Communications.

Image : Several pallets of goods supplied by Tobin Brothers Funerals.

James MacLeod,
Managing Director, Tobin Brothers Funerals
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