Coronavirus outbreak: Australia extends its ban on Chinese travellers

Chinese students studying in global universities have been stuck since the ban on travel started following the coronavirus epidemic

Chinese students studying in global universities have been stuck since the ban on travel started following the coronavirus epidemic

Initially, travelled passing through China, the centre of the epidemic, were prohibited to enter Australia for 14 days.

The death toll in China from the virus has reached at least 1,355.

But on Thursday evening China's Embassy in Canberra said it "deeply regretted" and was "dissatisfied" over the government's decision to extend the travel bam.

He said Beijing and Shanghai have tightly controlled COVID-19 virus and account for around 33 per cent of airline movements.

More than 240 deaths were reported on Wednesday alone, the highest number of fatalities since the virus was first reported in December.

The Prime Minister said extending the ban was a decision they did not take lightly.

"There is continuing and concerning growth of cases and mortality in Hubei province and further, though slower, growth in other regions of mainland China", he said in a news release.

In Australia there have been 15 people who have tested positive, with five of those on the Gold Coast.

The WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries should not impose trade or travel restrictions against China because they could cause "fear and stigma".

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

"We follow the medical advice ... everybody understands the huge implications of these travel bans, and if there's any reason or basis for relaxing them, that advice will come as soon as it's there", Mr Hunt said.

"We are looking at all options that are available to us to mitigate the impact where possible".

The education sector is particularly concerned by the ban, which according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp has meant more than 100,000 Chinese students have been unable to start university classes in Australia this term.

"While we should never, ever doubt, that the coronavirus is a very, very scary thing ... we should always remember that racism and discrimination also kills, it also causes harm and it also causes damage", she said.

"Only Australia and a small number of countries have taken such extreme measures which are an overreaction indeed".

Meanwhile, an Australian public health expert is being sent to Japan to look at the handling of the cruise ship Diamond Princess' quarantine process and provide assistance to the government.

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