Parents are concerned hundreds of children might have been exposed to coronavirus after a year one student returned from a trip to China and attended school.
The New South Wales state government issued a warning that any students who had traveled to mainland China recently should not attend classes for two weeks.
Despite the advice, the student reportedly returned to Oran Park Public School in south-west Sydney – prompting teachers to send him home after the became aware of his trip to Asia,
The school’s principal, Donna Shevlin, sent a letter to parents this week assuring them that the safety of students was top priority, reports 7 News.
‘A student who recently returned from China has attended school within the medical advice provided by the NSW Health of 14 days self-isolation for people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus,’ the letter read.
‘Once aware of this situation, the school immediately excluded the student from school for 14 days, with a return date of 10th February.’
There is no indication the student in question has shown any symptoms of coronavirus.
There are more than 1150 students attending the school.
Meanwhile, a fifth case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Queensland.
A 37-year-old Chinese woman travelling in Queensland has been confirmed as infected with the deadly virus.
The woman was travelling with the same tour group as the previously confirmed cases and is currently isolated in a stable condition at Gold Coast Hospital.
All nine members of the tour group are in isolation at Gold Coast University Hospital after they arrived to the city on Tigerair flight TT566 from Melbourne on January 27.
A 44-year-old man, a 42-year-old woman, a 37-year-old man and an eight-year-old boy from the group have also contracted the illness.
It’s the state’s fifth confirmed case of the virus, while there are four each in NSW and Victoria, and two cases in South Australia
Of those, three people have recovered and been released.
More than 20 countries have confirmed cases of the virus, which has killed nearly 500 people and infected more than 24,000 in mainland China.
Two Australians on a cruise ship off Japan also contracted coronavirus after being exposed by a previous passenger.
The pair were among 10 people including three each from Japan and Hong Kong, one from the US and one Filipino crew member who tested positive aboard the Diamond Princess.
More than 100 Australians have been evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.
Seventy-two people, including infants, were flown on a Qantas flight to Western Australia on Monday before they were taken to Christmas Island.
Another 35 Australians joined an Air New Zealand flight to Auckland before they were transferred to another flight to join the others.
The group will be held on Christmas Island for 14 days, provided they aren’t diagnosed with the illness.
Dr Jeanette Young, the state’s Chief Health Officer, on Tuesday urged anyone who has returned from mainland China in the past 14 weeks and who feels unwell to seek medical help immediately.
‘This is for the safety of those individuals,’ she said.
‘It’s a very early stage of the development of this outbreak, so we don’t fully understand what it means to people, so we really want to test people very early.’
She said she was concerned federal government officials hadn’t handed over all of its data relating to passengers who had flown from mainland China.
More than 400 people have been assessed for coronavirus since screening started at Brisbane International Airport on Sunday.
Meanwhile, a Sunshine Coast doctor is leading a team of medical experts treating hundreds of Australians evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan to Christmas Island on Monday.
Doctor Daniel Holmes is steering the team providing treatment while the group sits out 14 days of quarantine.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has begged the federal government to activate natural disaster relief funding in response to the outbreak.
She says the tourism industry is being bled dry by travel bans with the Cairns region alone losing $200million in forward bookings, and exporters including seafood producers who service China losing their entire markets.
Meanwhile, businesses in suburbs such as Eastwood and Chatswood in Sydney fear they will go under due to lack of sales.