In Sydney, three men aged 35, 43 and 53 with confirmed cases of coronavirus remained in hospital, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
“Their conditions are stable in hospital and they are progressing reasonably well at this time,” he said.
Health authorities were also in regular contact with people who had been in close contact with all four confirmed coronavirus carriers.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said each of the men in Sydney had been in close contact with only a few family members, colleagues or health workers, and all those close contacts were free from illness at this stage.
“There are a couple of contacts we’re continuing to follow up, but that is pleasing and as I indicated the risk to those contacts is still low,” she said.
She said NSW Health would also directly contact all passengers who were on board China Eastern flight MU749, which arrived in Sydney on January 20 when they receive that contact information from the Commonwealth.
In Melbourne, four family members who had been in close contact with the Monash patient remain at home in isolation and have been receiving daily health checks to monitor for symptoms.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, said staff were contacting four people in Queensland who were on the same China Southern Airlines flight CZ321 from Guanzhou as the Victorian patient who tested positive.
“If these people are unwell, we will assess them for coronavirus,” Dr Young said.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, said there were “several tests done every day” as Australia works to contain the virus.
“We believe it is aerosol spread, so coughing on someone would present a risk, but we don’t really have good data on the infectivity or how high the risk of human-to-human transmission is,” Professor Murphy said.
“There is no available, specific treatment for the coronavirus. Treatment is supportive – looking after people and making sure they’re isolated.”
The virus, which originated in Wuhan, the capital city of China’s Hubei province, has killed 56 people and infected nearly two thousand.
Travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been upgraded to “do not travel” for Hubei province, and passengers disembarking all flights from other parts of China will be met with information about the new coronavirus, its symptoms, and where to seek help if symptoms develop.
Chinese authorities also shut down all travel around Hubei and the city of Wuhan in particular.
The US said it was chartering a plane to fly out its consulate staff and some civilians from the city. France said it was preparing a similar evacuation, possibly by bus. Japan said it too was arranging an evacuation flight.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the department was working closely with Chinese authorities to consider possible assistance for Australians affected by Chinese travel restrictions.
Rachel Clun is a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Ashleigh McMillan is a breaking news reporter at The Age. Got a story? Email me at email@example.com