Parents Pull Kids From School Near Quarantine Camp Over Coronavirus Fears
Concerned parents have taken their kids out of a school near a coronavirus quarantine camp in the Northern Territory over fears the deadly virus could spread.
More than 250 Australians who arrived in Darwin from Wuhan, China - the epicentre of coronavirus - have been quarantined near a school in Howard Springs in Darwin.
Parents of children attending the Good Shepherd Lutheran College met to voice their concerns about the quarantine camp on Monday.
“Yeah, it’s a bit of a joke,” parent Beckie Kernich told NT News.
“There wasn’t any community consultation.”
Karen Donald said her children were being kept home from school until the quarantine site was dismantled.
“I think there are some issues that have arisen from the school community that the school might have to address,” she said.
A state health official who attended the meeting dismissed reports from China that the virus was airborne -- a revelation that had sparked anxiety among the parents.
NT deputy chief health officer Di Stephens said the virus is spread only through droplets by close human contact.
“Even if I had the virus, I would have to cough on you or kiss you or spit on you and you rub it in your eyes,” she said.
As government officials try to ease the worries of the community, Qantas has taken extreme measures to ensure their evacuation planes will be safe to return to regular use.
The second evacuation plane landed in Darwin on Sunday with 266 'clinically well' passengers, including 92 children, on board.
Still, the airline said they'd be destroying everything that wasn't bolted into place on the flight.
"Rubbish and items in the cabin like pillows, blankets, magazines and headphones were removed and disposed of through quarantine. These items were replaced with brand new items," a Qantas spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
Qantas also sprayed the aircraft twice with hospital-grade disinfectant and replaced the air in the cabin every three to five minutes with HEPA filters during the flight.
Initially, the passengers were expected to undergo quarantine at Christmas Island but were flown to Darwin due to a lack of facilities at the detention centre.
The government has urged people not to panic, claiming five of the 15 confirmed Australian cases of coronavirus have been cleared and those living near the Darwin evacuation centre are not at risk.
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