Woman in her 20s fourth infected with coronavirus in Victoria

A fourth case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Victoria.

The woman aged in her 20s became ill two days after returning from Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, last Saturday. 

She was not infectious on her flight back to Victoria and is recovering at home in isolation, as authorities wait for 13 other test results for the respiratory illness.

A fourth case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Victoria. Source: AAP

Qantas suspends flights to China

From February 9, Qantas will suspend its two direct flights from mainland China to reflect the international travel bans imposed in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

This come after entry restrictions were imposed by countries like Singapore and the United States, which will impact the crews who work across the Qantas International network.

“These entry restrictions pose significant logistical challenges for rostering crew to operate mainland China services, leading to the need to temporarily suspend these flights,” a Qantas press release says.

Qantas also said flights to Hong Kong, which is exempt from the travel ban, will run as per usual.

It will suspend its Sydney-Beijing and Sydney-Shanghai services from February 9 until March 29.

The Beijing service was already due to end, due to commercial reasons, on February 23.

When deciding on a date to suspend Qantas services to China, the airline said the volume of passengers flying both to and from China, and Australians wanting to return home from China was taken into consideration.

China confirms 46 new virus deaths

The total number of deaths from a coronavirus epidemic in China had reached 259 by the end of Friday, an increase of 46, state broadcaster CCTV says, citing numbers from the country's National Health Commission.

There were 2,102 new confirmed infections in China during the day, bringing the cumulative total to 11,791.

The local health commission of Hubei Province, the epicentre of the epidemic, earlier on Saturday reported 45 new deaths from the outbreak on Friday, bringing the total to 249.

The province has confirmed 1,347 new cases of infection on Friday, with the total reaching 7,153 by the end of the day.

Hubei's provincial capital Wuhan, where the virus is thought to have originated, reported 576 new confirmed cases over the day, and also saw 33 deaths from the virus. A total of 192 people in Wuhan have now died.

The coronavirus death toll has risen to 249. Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images

The province remains under virtual quarantine, with roads sealed off and public transport shut down, but small numbers of travellers continue to breach the lockdown.

The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on Thursday.

Cities across China have continued to implement special measures aimed at curbing the spread of the pathogen. Tianjin, a city in northern China with around 15 million people, said all schools and businesses would be suspended until further notice.

Amid fears that the virus could spread further overseas, the United States announced measures to restrict entry to foreign nationals who have recently been in China. All three major US airlines announced the cancellation of flights to mainland China on Friday.

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