First suspected case of coronavirus on Christmas Island
Samples from an evacuee on Christmas Island have been sent to Australia for urgent testing with concerns it could return positive for the deadly coronavirus.
Doctors and nurses inside the detention centre on Christmas Island caring for Australian evacuated from Whuan have sent the samples to the mainland as a precautionary measure however it is the first time a sample has been sent to Australia to make sure.
The sample was put on a plan yesterday and results should be confirmed within the next 24-48 hours.
A new quarantine site for more evacuees from China has been set up in Howard Springs in the Northern Territory.
The first bus-loads of evacuees were due to arrive this morning however the flight was delayed because clearance for it was not secured by China.
Roughly 260 Australians will be on board the flight and health officials are stressing those being evacuated are not sick or showing any symptoms however must be quarantined as a safety measure to prevent the further spread of virus.
The passengers will be screened a total of five times – once before they leave China, twice on the flight, then at the RAAF Base in Darwin and again when they arrive at the quarantine site.
Residents in Howard Springs have raised concerns about the location of the site being so close to homes however officials have reassured locals there is no danger.
The total number of confirmed cases in Australian remains at 15 while the global number has risen to 31,530.
The total number of deaths has now risen to 638 however the number of people who have successfully recovered is more than double, currently sitting at 1,764 worldwide.
Even in the epicentre of the outbreak, in Hubei, the number of recoveries has surpassed the number of deaths with 867 people successfully cleared after contracting the virus.