A freight flight from the city where the deadly coronavirus first appeared has arrived in Sydney, carrying 90 tonnes of protective masks, gowns and ventilators.
- The cargo plane is carrying 90 tonnes of personal protective equipment and ventilators
- It is the first flight to land in Sydney from Wuhan since late January
- Thousands have died in Wuhan and Hubei province from coronavirus
Tough restrictions on travel in and out of Wuhan, China were only lifted in the last 24 hours, and the city’s airport whirred back into action along with many other transport hubs in Hubei province.
The cargo flight, operated by Chinese carrier Suparna Airlines, arrived in Sydney after 9:00pm on Wednesday, and is the first flight from Wuhan to land at Australia’s busiest airport since late January.
3,213 people have died in Hubei province since the COVID-19 outbreak began, with close to 68,000 confirmed cases in the region.
“This flight will be carrying up to 90 tonnes of much needed medical supplies,” a spokesperson for the Home Affairs Department told the ABC.
“Flights like this are crucial in ensuring the ongoing supply of these critical goods.”
The arrival of the flight is likely to prompt quarantine concerns, given the special exemptions from Australia’s strict coronavirus control regime for air crews.
“International crew are permitted to transit through Australia, but must remain in the port or airport, or self-isolate in accommodation for the duration of their transit,” the Home Affairs spokesman said.
“Quarantine and isolation arrangements in each state are the responsibility for each state and territory government.”
Being a freight plane, the aircraft would be unloaded away from passenger terminals at Sydney Airport.
“Cargo handlers operating out of the airport are following the strictest hygiene and infection control protocols in line with advice from health authorities,” a spokesperson for Sydney Airport said in a statement.
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