NZ citizens trapped in virus hit Wuhan to be evacuated in joint operation with Australia

New Zealand and Australia will help "isolated and vulnerable" citizens escape the Chinese city of Wuhan following an outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

Source: 1 NEWS

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the evacuations would be done on a "last in, first out" basis in a joint operation with the New Zealand Government.

Christmas Island will be used as a quarantine centre to house and treat people transported under the plan. They will be kept on the remote island for at least 14 days. It's not clear at this point whether New Zealand citizens evacuated from China will be quarantined on Christmas Island.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern released a statement after the initial announcement by Mr Morrison.

“I spoke with Prime Minister Morrison again this afternoon and we have confirmed that we will work together on a joint ANZAC assisted departure of Australians and New Zealanders from Wuhan,” Ms Ardern said.

“Specific details of the evacuation plan, including the medical protocols that will be applied to returning New Zealanders, and access arrangements on the ground in China are being worked through by officials.”

There are more than 600 Australian citizens in Hubei province, who have registered with consular officials.

So far, 53 New Zealanders have registered on SafeTravel as being in Wuhan City and 20 contacted MFAT seeking consular assistance. 

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Qantas has offered to help evacuate Australians trapped in Wuhan, which is the Hubei province's capital.

The federal government is also making one million masks available for patients and health workers at general practices where somebody has come forward with coronavirus symptoms.

Australia has also upgraded its official travel advice, urging people to reconsider all travel to China.

China has confirmed there are now more than 6000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 132 deaths.

The official number of Australian cases remains at five, but authorities expect a small number of additional cases to be reported in the near future.