A Chinese mother has farewelled her dying son on Monday morning after being granted an emergency visa. Xing Ling Ren spent a few precious hours saying her final goodbye to her son after arriving in Melbourne on Sunday night.
Xing Lang Ren had been previously prohibited to enter Australia under the coronavirus travel ban that is expected to last until February 15.
Her son, 22-year-old Xiao Li, suffered critical brain injuries and had been on life support at the Royal Melbourne Hospital since January 27 after his car collided with a truck.
Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge announced on Friday that Ms Ren would be the first exemption to the coronavirus travel ban. He said that “overwhelming compassionate consideration” had contributed to the decision.
Mr Tudge said on Twitter that the Australian government was working with Ms Ren to ensure she could see her son without putting the public at risk of outbreak.
I’m pleased to confirm that the mother of Xiao Li has been granted a visa to Australia. The Gov will work with her during this extremely difficult time and to ensure she can see her son as quickly as possible without putting the Australian public at any risk.
— Alan Tudge (@AlanTudgeMP) February 7, 2020
The total number of reported deaths in China attributed to the novel coronavirus has risen to 908. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that the epidemic has surpassed the total number of SARS-related deaths during the 2003 epidemic.
On Monday, China’s National Health Commission said that 97 new deaths had been recorded overnight and that the total number of confirmed infections in China had risen to 40,171.
Only two deaths have been reported outside mainland China, one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, passengers trapped onboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship near Japan are waiting anxiously for their test results, as confirmed cases rise to 70.
This comes as a second Qantas flight arrived for quarantine in Darwin from the virus epicentre in Wuhan. The Australian reported that around 250 Australians will be sent to Manigurr-ma Village, an old mining camp in Howard Springs, roughly 30km from Darwin.