Advertisement

Four More Aussies Test Positive For Coronavirus On Cruise Ship

Four Australians are among more than 60 newly-confirmed coronavirus cases aboard a quarantined cruise ship docked at Yokohama, Japanese authorities have confirmed.

The new Australian cases aboard the Diamond Princess are in addition to the seven previously announced as having the disease, bringing the total number of confirmed Australians cases on board to 11.

The Diamond Princess remains quarantined at Yokohama in Japan with 3700 people on board including more than 200 Australians who are well.

Japan Self-Defense Force members wearing masks prepare the entrance of the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama on Monday. Image: AAP.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said the department is urgently seeking advice from Japanese authorities on the new cases among Australians on the ship.

In Darwin, none of the 266 people in quarantine after being evacuated from the coronavirus epicentre in China have shown any signs of the respiratory infection, medical authorities say.

Five of the 15 confirmed Australian cases of coronavirus have been cleared, the government says, as it reassured those living near the Darwin evacuation centre that they are not at risk.

National

READ MORE

Flight Carrying More Than 200 Aussies From China Lands In Darwin

A Qantas flight carrying more than 200 Australians evacuated from the coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan in China has landed in Darwin.

The announcement last week that the Australians would be quarantined at a disused mining village near Darwin sparked anger among local parents, with the evacuees housed less than one kilometre from the Good Shepherd Lutheran College in Howard Springs.

While one mother said she would keep her teenage son home for at least the 14 days of the quarantine, Australia's deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly said if he had children at the school, "I would have no hesitation in my kids going to school today."

The Northern Territory's Acting Chief Health Officer Dianne Stephens spoke at the school on Monday to reassure parents and said there was a lot of misinformation.

That included reports in China that the virus could be spread by airborne transmission, which has sparked fears schoolchildren could end up catching it from mosquitoes.

News

READ MORE

Coronavirus Is Airborne, Chinese Official Warns

As the death toll increases to more than 900, a Chinese official has warned the deadly respiratory infection can be caught through aerosol transmission.

"We have investigated that at a national level, we have reached in to Chinese authorities and it is a misuse of the word airborne," she told reporters.

"There has been no evidence of infection amongst any of those cohorts here or in Christmas Island, who are nearly halfway through their quarantine period

"It is definitely a droplet borne disease. If I am within one metre and I sneeze and cough on you and I have the novel coronavirus, then you are at risk of getting infected."

Face masks help prevent droplet infection, she said.

A passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship hangs banners reading 'serious shortage of medicine' at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama. Image: AAP.

Stephens said it was unfortunate the community and school were not consulted about the quarantining but said the decision would not have been face masks if it threatened anyone's safety.

A girl suspected of having coronavirus on far more remote Christmas Island, where a previous planeload of Australians was sent last week, has also tested negative.

Views

READ MORE

Is China Telling Us Everything It Knows About Coronavirus?

As the coronavirus crisis has unfolded, the heavy cost of the Chinese governance system’s favoured tools of censorship and information control has been on display.

The evacuees, including 92 children, at the Manigurr-ma Village at Howard Springs, were tired but in good spirits, said Abigail Trewin, a director with the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre.

They were receiving daily health checks and had been separated into smaller groups to prevent the virus spreading if anyone did have it, she said.

"The kids are super excited to be home on Aussie soil; there have been repeated thankyous for bringing people home, which is lovely to hear," she said.

The number of cases worldwide has reached more than 40,500 while more than 900 people have died from the virus, mainly in Wuhan where the outbreak began.