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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Australians from Wuhan arrive at quarantine

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Australians from Wuhan arrive at quarantine
Australians from Wuhan arrive at quarantine

Australians evacuated out of Wuhan on Monday have arrived at Christmas Island, where they will live in quarantine for two weeks.

Libby Hogan reports

Australians evacuated out of coronavirus epicentre Wuhan flew to a remote island where they'll live in quarantine for two weeks on Monday (February 3).

Some of the 241 passengers included children who with their parents landed on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

They'll be held in a controversial immigration detention center only recently reopened after it was shuttered for a decade.

A pregnant woman and her partner were also onboard the flight.

Along the way to the island they were taken to the major city of Perth and placed in isolation.

Christmas Island has been home to thousands of asylum seekers detained under Australia's strict immigration policies but right now, it only hosts one family of four.

Last week - critics questioned why citizens should be sent to an immigration center when the U.S., France and other countries have sent evacuees to their respective mainlands.

Australia's government has said they could not quickly accommodate hundreds of people in their hospitals.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER, PETER DUTTON, SAYING: "The reality is that people need to be accommodated somewhere for 14 days, I can't clear out a hospital in Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane." Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had also been working with New Zealand to get Australians to share a separate evacuation flight.

The plane is set to leave Tuesday (February 4) and eventually passengers will be sent to Christmas Island as well.


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