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Australia to help some citizens leave China, quarantine them on Christmas Island

15 Comments

Australia will help some citizens leave Hubei province in China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, and quarantine them on Christmas Island, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday following a briefing by the Chinese government.

"We have taken a decision this morning to prepare a plan for an operation to provide some assisted departures for isolated and vulnerable Australians in Wuhan and the Hubei province," Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

Morrison did not say how many of the 600 Australians registered in the Hubei region the government would be able to help, adding Australia would also be working to help New Zealand and Pacific island citizens in Hubei.

"But I stress there is rather a limited window here and we are moving very, very swiftly to ensure we can put this plan together and put the operation together," he said.

The evacuations will be done on a last in-first out basis, Morrison added.

Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean 1,500km (900 miles) from the mainland, is home to a controversial immigration detention centre.

Australia, which has five confirmed cases of coronavirus, on Wednesday upgraded its travel advice to "reconsider all travel to China", and warned its citizens not to travel to Hubei province and to avoid crowded areas.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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Sounds infinitely more sensible than letting them off the plane with instructions to self-monitor and go to a health centre if they development symptoms ( which is way too late ) as Japan is doing.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Sounds infinitely more sensible than letting them off the plane with instructions to self-monitor and go to a health centre if they development symptoms ( which is way too late ) as Japan is doing.

You beat me to it brother! Well said!

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

You see? Aus knows what it's doing. Japan, on the other hand, is just saying, "Please be vigilant, and we ask you, like your kids Always do when their classes are cancelled for the flu -- they never go hang out at McD's or go downtown with friends -- you to stay home for two weeks, please."

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Australia to help some citizens leave China, quarantine them on Christmas Island... from whence they will be deported to Indonesia.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

And I am sure the population of Christmas Island will welcome them.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Yes nandakandamanda. I am sure all 2,564 of them will be overjoyed. After many years of welcoming immigrants and refugees, I am sure a few highly infectious guests will be no problem at all. But seriously, what will they do if it does spreads? It's not like they have the medical facilities to cope!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Quarantine Station (now Museum and ghost boarding house) just inside Sydney heads held plague, Spanish Flu, other pathogen contagious people for years.

Off-shore like this suggests paranoia, Xenophobia, desperation and a publicity stunt by a government running out of ideas and originality.

Christmas Island has a family of 2 Sri Lankan’s and their 2 Australian-born kids, only in spite of accommodation for hundreds and tax payers paying for it.

I hope the Australians evacuated ‘home’ (?) have good travel insurance, because this Australian government is not the type to do all this for free.

Take note, Japanese government, your country is an island nation too. Is there any space on former leper colony islands in the Inland Sea? Or hopefully, Japanese hospitals on shore are sufficient to provide appropriate treatment? Latter I think.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Off-shore like this suggests paranoia, Xenophobia, desperation and a publicity stunt by a government running out of ideas

Brilliant description of the current Conservative Australian government!

I hope these evacuees - IF they get all the final clearances - can eventually get home without illness.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Christmas Island citizens: no thanks....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is more and more looking like the right call. This should not be politicized

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Australia puts its citizens on an island and the J government brings them back to Tokyo-go figure that...!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

kurisupisu: "Australia puts its citizens on an island and the J government brings them back to Tokyo-go figure that...!"

And other nations are quarantining the people on military bases (US, England). Japan? The geniuses here decided to cut them loose in the most densely populated city in the world. It's almost like they said, "Hmmm... what's the opposite what we should do...?"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If we are talking about a possible pandemic, this is a completely rational and defensible decision.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Latest news says that some Australians are having second thoughts on leaving Wuhan after knowing that they will be quarantined on Christmas Island. They are worried that that the medical facilities on the island cannot handle an outbreak.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The geniuses here decided to cut them loose in the most densely populated city in the world. It's almost like they said, "Hmmm... what's the opposite what we should do...?"

wouldn't be the first time...

If we are talking about a possible pandemic, this is a completely rational and defensible decision.

If we are talking about the japanese gov trying to start a pandemic, this is a completely rational and defensible decision.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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