Date published: 
5 February 2020
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Thirteen cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been confirmed in Australia – the latest being an eight-year-old boy from Wuhan in China.

Importantly, of the 13 patients, three have recovered from the virus, and the others are understood to be in a stable condition.

A further two Australians on board a cruise ship in Japan, the Diamond Princess, have also been confirmed to have contracted novel coronavirus. They are among 223 Australian passengers and three Australian crew on board.

The ship has been quarantined by Japanese authorities in Yokohama.

In other developments, 241 Australians have been transferred from Wuhan to Christmas Island, where they will remain in quarantine for up to 14 days.

An additional 23 Australians and 12 permanent residents have been evacuated out of Wuhan on a New Zealand assisted departure flight. They will be transferred to Christmas Island where they will spend up to 14 days in quarantine.

Minister Hunt said, “The Australian Government is exploring options for other Australians wishing to leave China.”

“We are in close contact with Chinese authorities and Australians seeking help to depart China about a possible second assisted departure flight from Wuhan to Australia.”

Australian Government Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, said authorities remained confident the coronavirus would be contained in Australia.

“We are reviewing all aspects of the epidemiology on a daily basis but the 13 confirmed cases in Australia appear to have all been successfully contained,” Professor Murphy said.

“It is also very positive that three of the cases in Australia have recovered and been discharged.”

Further information about the coronavirus is available at:

  • Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080
  • healthdirect hotline: 1800 022 222;
    • Call this number to speak to a registered nurse about your health concerns. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Secretary of the Department of Health

Professor Brendan Murphy is the Secretary of the Department of Health.

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