MELBOURNE: Australia confirmed on Monday (Jan 27) its fifth case of a new coronavirus, with health officials saying the case involved a 21-year-old woman who was on the last flight out of the Chinese city of Wuhan to Sydney before China imposed a travel ban.
The coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in a wildlife market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed 80 people, all of them in China, and infected more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.
Australia’s first four cases were confirmed on Saturday, with one in Melbourne and three in Sydney, with health officials saying they were expecting more, given the volume of travel between Australia and China.
Australian officials said on Monday they are working with Chinese authorities on how to evacuate about 100 Australian children and young people out of Wuhan.
“We are working on a number of fronts, firstly to make sure … that there is support for those Australians and we are also working on, as are other countries, to try to secure their ability to return to Australia,” Health Minister Greg Hunt told Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio on Monday morning.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne told the 3AW talk radio that the government did not have a “definite” number of Australians in Wuhan, or in Hubei province, as there were a significant number with dual citizenships, some of whom may not have travelled on Australian passports.