Pop-up Consular office in Wuhan as evacuation planned

Australian is seeking approval to evacuate Australians from the epicentre of the coronavirus in Hubei province

Australian is seeking approval to evacuate Australians from the epicentre of the coronavirus in Hubei province

Citizens who are "transported to Christmas Island would be there, we envisage, for up to fourteen days, which is the advised period of quarantine for the incubation of this virus", Morrison said.

The coronavirus death toll has jumped past 100 and there are now more than 4,500 confirmed cases of infection in mainland China.

Five people are being treated in Australian hospitals for the virus, with four of those cases in NSW alone.

'I stress there is rather a limited window here and we are moving very, very swiftly to ensure we can put this plan together and put the operation together, ' Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

As the virus keeps millions of people locked down in Wuhan, the Federal Government says it will try to transfer "isolated and vulnerable" Australians to the Christmas Island detention centre.

Evacuees will be sent to Christmas Island, where they will be housed in a quarantine zone set up within existing facilities on the island.

About 400 Australian citizens have registered to be evacuated from Wuhan, the city in central China where the deadly virus first infected humans.

The man had recently travelled to Wuhan and became ill soon after returning to Australia.

This development sparked an urgent meeting of Australia's top medical officers who now advise anyone who has recently returned from Hubei to isolate themselves at home for 14 days.

He said the same "highly precautionary advice" was also issued for anyone who had contact with a patient who had tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The number of deaths from the virus has risen to 132 in China, the NHC said on Wednesday. There have so far been no confirmed cases in Australia of human-to-human transmission.

"It's probably unlikely because we believe the nature of coronaviruses is that they general are only infectious when you're symptomatic", Prof Murphy said.

But he said there were no examples of person-to-person transference of the disease in Australia.

"That's what we saw with SARS, that's what we saw with MERS".

"We will seek to speak with each of them in relation to the Government's announcement", the Prime Minister said.

Mr Morrison also announced it is releasing 1 million masks from then national stockpile through Primary Health Networks to replace those depleted during the recent bushfire crisis.

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