Plans Finalised To Evacuate Australians Aboard Diamond Princess Cruise

As hundreds of Australians prepare to leave quarantine on Christmas Island, others stranded on a cruise ship off Japan are expecting to learn if they too will be brought home.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is considering a plan to evacuate Australians on the Diamond Princess later this week, with a decision to be made as soon as Monday, The Australian reports.

About 200 Australians are on the ship, which has been in quarantine in the port of Yokohama for more than two weeks.



Another 70 Coronavirus Cases On Japan Cruise Ship, Total 355

Another 70 people aboard a quarantined cruise ship in Japan have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 355 cases, Japanese health minister Katsunobu Kato says.

Seventy more people on board were confirmed to have the virus on Sunday, bringing the number of cases from the ship to 355 - 16 of them Australians.

Those who tested positive for the virus are being treated in Japan.

Americans onboard the Diamond Princess were being flown to the US on chartered planes from Sunday, while authorities in Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Italy have announced flights home for their citizens.

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

Morrison and cabinet are waiting for an Australian infectious disease expert's assessment of the situation onboard the ship, The Australian reported.

The Australians on board must pass a coronavirus test before they can be brought home, and elderly people will be given priority in the evacuation.

A plan to fly the evacuees to Darwin to join quarantine facilities, where 266 others flown from Wuhan are already staying, is understood to be in place.



Australian Medical Expert Sent To Quarantined Diamond Princess Cruise Ship

An Australian infectious disease expert is in Japan to help authorities cope with concerns for passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama due to coronavirus.

Meanwhile, more than 200 Australians who were also evacuated from Hubei province in China and who have been quarantined on Christmas Island for two weeks are due to head home on Monday.

The Department of Home Affairs says the Australian Border Force is making arrangements to transfer them once they have been medically cleared.

None of those on Christmas Island or at the facility near Darwin have tested positive to the COVID-19 virus.

Passangers wearing masks arrive at Sydney airport after landing on a plane from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Image: Getty

The preparations come as NSW Health said passengers arriving into Sydney on some cruise ships will be assessed by experts as a precautionary measure.

A risk assessment will be completed for each cruise ship arriving into the harbour city before it berths and then a decision will be made by health authorities whether to disembark passengers.



Christmas Island Evacuees Scheduled To Come Home After Coronavirus Quarantining

More than 200 Australians who have been quarantined on Christmas Island for two weeks waiting to be cleared of any symptoms of the deadly coronavirus are due to head home on Monday.

Of the 15 coronavirus cases in Australia, six have been cleared and the remaining nine are all stable.

In China, the total number of people infected by the virus has risen to more than 68,500, with the death toll now at 1665.