Virus evacuees land in Darwin

A second evacuation flight of Australians out of Wuhan in China has landed in Darwin.
A second evacuation flight of Australians out of Wuhan in China has landed in Darwin.

A Qantas flight carrying more than 200 Australians evacuated from the coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan in China has landed in Darwin.

The travellers were to disembark through the RAAF base rather than the main airport terminal and be taken by bus to the disused Manigurr-Ma work camp 30km from Darwin to be monitored for the virus that has killed at least 800 people.

Australian Border Force says there were 266 evacuees on the plane, including 77 children, 11 infants and one "less-than-able" 90-year-old man.

Eight on board were students from the Pacific Islands who were allowed on the flight on humanitarian grounds.

Evacuees were initially expected to be quarantined on Christmas Island, before a decision was made on Friday to bring them to the former Inpex workers site.

The Qantas plane was originally scheduled to leave Wuhan on Friday night but did not get clearance to land from China and spent Saturday in Hong Kong

So far two groups of Australian citizens or permanent residents have been evacuated to Christmas Island, with 241 leaving on a Qantas flight and 35 departing on a later Air New Zealand flight.

They all face a two-week quarantine process.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly revealed on Saturday that one of the evacuees - a young Australian girl - had been tested for the virus after developing an illness.

But her sickness wasn't serious and could be "all sorts of things", he said.

"That person is well, it is certainly not a serious illness at this stage," he told reporters.

Australians remain trapped aboard three cruise ships affected by the virus.

The Diamond Princess remains quarantined at Yokohama in Japan with 3700 people on board, including 219 Australians who are well and another seven who are among 64 passengers to have tested positive.

The World Dream in Hong Kong with coronavirus on board has 16 Australians, none of whom are ill.

Another ship, the Westerdam, has been stranded at sea after the Japanese, Philippines and South Korean governments refused it permission to dock despite no reported cases of the virus on board.

One passenger David Holst, from Adelaide, posted on Facebook on Sunday that Guam has also rejected the ship.

"We think we are safe onboard in virtual quarantine but Holland America have a history of not telling us everything so we have nagging doubts," he wrote.

"We are 8 days out of Hong Kong and I don't imagine any country will let us off until we are 14-15 days virus free."

Australia has so far had 15 confirmed coronavirus cases: five in Queensland, four each in NSW and Victoria and two in South Australia.

Australian Associated Press