Fifth case of coronavirus suspected as authorities rush to save hundreds of Aussie children

NSW authorities are expected to confirm Australia’s fifth case of the deadly coronavirus as authorities work to save Australians stranded in the city where the deadly outbreak began.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne says diplomatic staff are working with Chinese authorities to repatriate Australians, including at least 100 schoolkids stranded in Wuhan, understood to be ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak.

The children identified are aged from six months to 16 years old and are Australian citizens.

Most of them were in Wuhan to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday with their families, according to the ABC.

The deadly outbreak has so far killed at least 56 people in China and the city of Wuhan remains in lockdown, while countries scramble to prevent the virus spreading around the globe.

Mother Emma Wei and her children are reportedly stuck in Wuhan. Source: ABC News

NSW Health on Sunday said that a patient had preliminarily tested positive to the virus and was undergoing further examination.

The patient has already been isolated in hospital and authorities were seeking to track down people who have been in close contact with the person in recent weeks.

"Public health follow-up of this probable case is being undertaken in accordance with the national guidelines and the patient remains in isolation," NSW Health said in a statement on Sunday.

The government agency is expected to confirm the diagnosis on Monday after clearing four patients who had undergone testing on Sunday.

Four coronavirus cases detected in Australia over the weekend

Three patients in NSW and one in Victoria have already been diagnosed with the virus after an outbreak centred in the Chinese city of Wuhan which has spread across the world.

Three men aged 35, 43, and 53 are being treated in a Sydney hospital but are listed as being stable and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Sunday said he was pleased with their progress.

Authorities have now spoken to all but two people who have been in close contact with the three men since they arrived from China.

"There are a small number of people we're still trying to contact but substantially we have made contact," NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

In Victoria, a man in his 50s is being treated at Monash Medical Centre while four of his family members are being quarantined at home.

A further 11 patients are now awaiting test results.

Journalists wear masks at a press room in Beijing on Sunday. Source: AAP

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said authorities were attempting to contact four people who may have come into contact with the Victorian patient after sharing the same flight.

"If these people are unwell, we will assess them for coronavirus," Dr Young said.

There have been zero reports of the virus in Queensland after six patients all tested negative on Sunday.

Health authorities expect to see more cases and those concerned they are exhibiting symptoms are urged to call the Healthdirect hotline on 1800 022 222.

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