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Authorities call for calm as child tested for coronavirus on Christmas Island – SBS News

A young Australian girl evacuated from China and in quarantine on Christmas Island has been tested for coronavirus after developing an illness.

But Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says her sickness isn’t serious and could be “all sorts of things”.

He is also confident Chinese authorities will approve another Qantas airlift of Australians from the coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan.

Professor Kelly confirmed on Saturday that a child who is among almost 300 evacuees on Christmas Island is awaiting results from a coronavirus test, after developing symptoms which may be linked to the disease.

“It could be all sorts of other things, we don’t have a test positive at this point,” he told reporters in Canberra on Saturday.

“That person is well, it is certainly not a serious illness at this stage.

“They have been further isolated from the other people that are on the island, and the appropriate steps in infection control and indeed clinical care are being taken.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said doctors were testing her as a precaution.

“Doctors believe there is a low likelihood that this patient will test positive for novel coronavirus and are testing her as a precaution,” the spokesperson said.

An evacuee in the Christmas Island Australian Immigration Detention Centre on Friday, February 7, 2020.

An evacuee in the Christmas Island Australian Immigration Detention Centre on Friday, February 7, 2020.


“The Australian Medical Assistance Team on Christmas Island has established procedures and are well prepared to deal with possible cases of novel coronavirus.”

“In the unlikely event that this patient does test positive for novel coronavirus, doctors on site at Christmas Island are well prepared to care for her.

“There is no cause for other returnees or residents on Christmas Island to be concerned about their health.”

So far two groups of Australian citizens or permanent residents have been evacuated to Christmas Island, with 241 leaving on a Qantas flight and 35 departing on a later Air New Zealand flight.

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