Flight search: ‘We will find every single passenger’
QUEENSLAND Health authorities are working to track down up to 200 people on a Tiger Airways flight into the Gold Coast on Tuesday night after a fellow traveller tested positive to the potentially deadly new coronavirus.
The infected man, a 44-year-old from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the novel virus, and eight other members of his tour group are in isolation in the Gold Coast University Hospital.
Queensland Health authorities are awaiting the results of tests on four of them, including children, who have developed flu-like symptoms. The remaining four are well but being kept in quarantine as "a precaution".
The state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the nine Chinese tour group members arrived into the Gold Coast from Melbourne on flight TT 566 at 8pm on Monday, January 27, including the infected man, who became ill on the plane.
She said people sitting within two rows of the tour group would be asked to go into quarantine once Queensland Health authorities tracked them down.
"We are going to be contacting every single passenger on that flight," Dr Young told a news conference. "We believe it had around 150 to 200 passengers but we're getting confirmation on that."
Dr Young said the infected man, described as "stable", became increasingly unwell at his Gold Coast accommodation and rang for an ambulance. He arrived at the Gold Coast University Hospital at 3.30pm on Tuesday, January 28.
She said Queensland Health staff were working with the management of the hotel where his tour group was staying to advise other guests and staff of the situation.
"(The infected man) was in the hotel for less than 24 hours so we're just working through the absolute specifics of who he's been in contact with and for how long," Dr Young said.
The Chinese tour group travelled from Wuhan, in China's central Hubei Province, via Singapore, into Melbourne on January 22.
All nine members of the group are being isolated as fears grow over the Wuhan coronavirus, which has killed more than 130 people and infected more than 6000, mostly in mainland China.
Dr Young said the Chinese National Women's Soccer team, in Brisbane to train in the lead-up to an Olympic qualifying tournament in Sydney, would be isolated in Brisbane until February 5.
But she said Queensland Health was working with the 32 team members and support staff to facilitate them being able to train, while keeping them separate from the public.
The Chinese team is due to play the Matildas, the Australian women's soccer team, at Bankwest Stadium, on Sunday week.