30 Jan 2020

NZer trapped in Wuhan relieved government planning evacuation

From Morning Report, 7:29 am on 30 January 2020

A New Zealander in Wuhan says she's relieved the Government is planning to evacuate them from the Chinese city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.

The first wave of chartered evacuation flights from Wuhan at the centre of the outbreak have left China for the US, and earlier for Japan.

The virus has infected more than 6000 people and more than 130 have died.

China has reported more infections from the new coronavirus than it had from an outbreak of SARS in 2002 to 2003, although the current death toll is much lower.

Jacinda Ardern says she spoke with Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, yesterday about a joint evacuation effort.

There are 53 New Zealanders registered as being in Wuhan.

Morrison says evacuated Australians will be held on Christmas Island for two weeks before returning to Australia, and he wants to get the young and old out first.

Ardern says quarantine arrangements for New Zealanders are still being worked on by officials.

Lily Gao and her three-year-old daughter are visiting family for Chinese New Year.

Her husband is in New Zealand.

She told RNZ reporter Jordan Bond she'd be happy to go somewhere like Christmas Island to ensure she doesn't bring the virus back here.