The Federal Government has confirmed two Australian citizens in China have been infected with coronavirus.
- Australian diplomats and Chinese authorities are discussing ways to evacuate Australians from Wuhan
- The total number of people in Australia infected with the virus has reached seven
- The coronavirus outbreak has so far killed 170 people in China
There are hundreds of Australians stuck in Wuhan, after the city was placed into lockdown to stop the spread of the deadly new virus.
Discussions are underway between Australian diplomats and Chinese authorities to evacuate Australians from the city.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the infected Australians were in other parts of China.
The total number of people in Australia infected with the virus has reached seven.
Earlier today, the Queensland Government announced authorities were testing four more people who were in the same tour group with a man who tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.
The man who tested positive travelled to the Gold Coast on Tiger Airways flight TT566 on January 27.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said the man became unwell while on the flight.
Chinese authorities said the outbreak had so far killed 170 people and confirmed a total of 7,711 cases across China.
Hong Kong has eight cases and Macau has five.
Nearly all of the 170 deaths have been in central Hubei province, where the outbreak began in December.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has voiced “grave concern” about the person-to-person spread of the virus ahead of an emergency committee meeting to decide whether it now constitutes a global emergency.
Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the WHO was worried by the progress of the virus in Germany, Vietnam and Japan, especially in human-to-human transmission.
“Although the numbers outside China are still relatively small, they hold the potential for a much larger outbreak,” he said.
Evacuations out of Wuhan underway
On Wednesday the Federal Government announced it would evacuate Australians from Hubei province and transfer them to a quarantine centre on Christmas Island.
At least 140 Australian children and their parents are still trapped in Wuhan.
It came as federal health authorities asked all people who had any contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus to isolate themselves in their homes for 14 days.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee also wants all passengers who returned from Hubei province to isolate themselves for a fortnight.
The National Security Committee of Cabinet decided to launch the repatriation operation after a briefing from Chinese authorities in Beijing on Monday.
Several countries have already evacuated their citizens out of Wuhan.
Japan evacuated more than 200 people to Tokyo, with 12 of them reporting feeling unwell upon their arrival.
Three of those people tested positive for the virus after arriving on a government-chartered plane.
More than 200 Americans arrived at a Californian military base after being evacuated and will be monitored for three days to ensure they show no signs of the illness.
Some major airlines suspended flights to China, and a senior economist predicted a major impact on growth.
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