Australia Still Waiting For China To Approve Citizen Evacuations During Coronavirus Crisis
The Coalition is still waiting for China to give it the green light on evacuating hundreds of Australian citizens amid the coronavirus crisis, which has now been declared a global health emergency.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the government was still "in talks" with China and that citizens might not be able to evacuate the coronavirus epicentre in Wuhan.
Dutton defended his government's plans to evacuate 600 citizens to Christmas Island after widespread outrage over its proposal to charge Australians for their own extractions.
He said charges had been applied to evacuees in the past, and said not all Australians in Wuhan would choose to be evacuated.
"Some of them will want to come. Some will decide to stay with family. Some will decide because they have business interests there, that they will stay and ride it out," Mr Dutton told the Nine network on Friday.
As of 9.20 (AEST) there were nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Australia -- two in Queensland, three in Victoria and four in NSW.
On Thursday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk slammed the federal government, accusing it of withholding information from state governments.
She told Sunrise she was "frustrated" with its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
"I'm frustrated at the lack of information that we are receiving from the federal government,"Palaszczuk said.
"The federal government is focused on bringing Australians home, which is all well and good, but we have confirmed cases now in Australia," she said.
Fears For Tigerair Passengers After Coronavirus Patient Became Unwell On Flight
Queensland Health authorities are scrambling to contact passengers who were on a flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast on Monday after it was confirmed a man who was infected with coronavirus became unwell on the plane.
Her comments come after two people from Wuhan on board a Tiger Air flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast were confirmed to have coronavirus.
The government said its now attempting to make contact with the 171 passengers aboard Monday evening's flight.
Chief medical officer Dr Jeanette Young said anyone who spent two hours or more exposed to an infectious person in a confined space could be at risk.
Coronavirus has now been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation, with the virus spreading to 18 countries.
Contact Eden at firstname.lastname@example.org