News National Two Australian ship evacuees test positive in Darwin

Two Australian ship evacuees test positive in Darwin

Australian passengers disembarked the stricken ship in Japan on Wednesday and headed to the airport for the flight to Darwin. Photo: Getty
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Two people brought back to Australia from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

A 24-year-old woman from South Australia was being transferred to Royal Adelaide Hospital on Friday while the other patient is from Western Australia.

Public health authorities from their home states are organising medical transfers for the patients and their partners, authorities said on Friday afternoon.

Six people were isolated on Thursday inside a separate unit at the quarantine camp at Howard Springs outside Darwin after presenting with minor symptoms on arrival at Darwin Airport.

Another 164 people from the cruise ship will spend two weeks in quarantine.

Acting NT chief health officer Dianne Stephens told reporters on Friday morning: “Those people remain well and mildly ill with cold-like symptoms and they do not necessarily need to be in the hospital system”.

“But more than likely (they) will enter the hospital system in their home states while they manage the COVID-19 quarantine and isolation procedures.”

The Howard Springs camp is home to the Wuhan evacuees for at least the next two weeks. Photo: ABC

She said their symptoms could slowly worsen over several days.

“Both these individuals will be taken into their hospital systems to watch to see whether or not they’re going to improve or deteriorate,” she told reporters.

“Then their own health systems have systems in place to manage the Covid-19 infected patients.”

Four other people tested for coronavirus after returning to Australia on Thursday have been cleared.

“The community remains safe from the Covid-19 infection as do all the staff within the facility as do all the staff that were on the plane that brought those people home,” she said.

Public health authorities from their home states are organising medical transfers for the patients and their partners.

Meanwhile, China’s central Hubei province has revealed 411 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections in the past day, up from 349 cases a day earlier.

The province’s health commission reported the Thursday tally on Friday, which reverses three days of declines.

That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in Hubei to 62,442.

The death toll in Hubei from the outbreak reached 2144 as of the end of Thursday, up by 115 from the previous day.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 76,199 global with 74,999 of those on mainland China.

More to come.

-with AAP