Australia's coronavirus-prompted travel ban extended

·3-min read

Australia's coronavirus-prompted ban for foreign travellers coming from China will be extended another week until February 29.

The decision was made by the national security committee of cabinet on Thursday as the number of infections and deaths in Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus, continues to grow.

Foreign nationals – excluding permanent Australian residents – who have been in mainland China will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they left China.

Australia has extended the travel ban from China due to the growing number of infections of the coronavirus. Source: AAP
Australia has extended the travel ban from China due to the growing number of infections of the coronavirus. Source: AAP

Two confirmed dead on coronavirus-struck cruise ship

Two elderly coronavirus-infected passengers from a cruise ship moored near Tokyo have died and two more government officials have been infected, as more passengers disembarked after two weeks' quarantine.

More than 620 of the passengers on the Diamond Princess liner have been infected on the ship, which has been quarantined since February 3, initially with about 3,700 people on board.

The two passengers were an 87-year-old man who had suffered from heart ailments and bronchitis, and an 84-year-old woman.

Both tested positive for the virus although the woman's cause of death was listed as pneumonia, Japan's health ministry said.

An Australian family preparing to leave the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise and board a flight to Darwin have received the news that one of them returned a positive result for coronavirus just before their anticipated departure.

Australian evacuees, from the coronavirus-struck cruise ship Diamond Princess, are seen after arriving at the Inpex Plant Manigurr-ma Village at Howard Springs. Source: AAP Image/Helen Orr
Australian evacuees from the coronavirus-struck cruise ship Diamond Princess. Source: AAP Image/Helen Orr

Instead of joining close to 200 Australians who spent more than two weeks quarantined in Yokohama on an overnight flight to the Northern Territory, the Melbourne family of four will remain in Japan.

Mum Aun Na Tan revealed the news in a post to social media, explaining it was as they were pushing their bags out of their cabin that they were told their 16-year-old daughter Kaitlyn’s test from Monday was positive.

In a later update on their 15th day of quarantine, the mum explained the rest of the family had negatively tested for the virus and despite being told one adult had to stay with Kaitlyn, they decided to stick together.

China sees drop in coronavirus

China had 394 new confirmed cases on Wednesday, the National Health Commission (NHC) said, sharply down from 1,749 cases a day earlier and the lowest since January 23.

That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China to 74,576.

A doctor takes the plasma of Mr.Dong who has survived COVID-19 at the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University in Nanchang city, east China's Jiangxi provinceSource:  Wang Qi/ChinaImages/Sipa USA
A doctor takes the plasma of Mr Dong who has survived COVID-19. Source: Wang Qi/ChinaImages/Sipa USA

The new coronavirus emerged in the city of Wuhan, the capital of the central province of Hubei, in December, apparently jumping to people in a market selling wildlife.

Just how cases are diagnosed and confirmed has had a big impact on official tallies of cases, and changes in the method have raised questions about the extent to which daily tallies accurately reflect the state of the outbreak.

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