National News

Four Syd patients tested for coronavirus

Four people have been tested for coronavirus in NSW with two patients cleared and another two still awaiting results, authorities say.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant on Friday said the four patients have been placed in isolation and do not pose a risk of transmitting the virus that has so far killed 26 people in China.

NSW Health at 5pm said "two suspected cases of coronavirus have now been cleared" while the other two cases remain under investigation.

"We're encouraging people who have come back from Wuhan, or who have been in contact with confirmed cases in China or in other countries, to please seek care if you develop any symptoms of fever, sore throat, pneumonia, a cough or respiratory symptoms of any sort," she said.

Dr Chant said testing currently takes about six hours but that time frame will likely shrink in the future.

"It is important that we detect cases early," she said.

The four patients presented with symptoms at Sydney hospitals.

None of the four were on a flight that arrived at Sydney Airport from Wuhan on Thursday. No passengers on that flight were ill when they arrived, authorities have confirmed.

But they could still become unwell in the coming week, Australia's chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy said on Thursday.

Dr Chant stressed there were no confirmed cases in NSW at present and authorities would update the public if there were any confirmations.

Wuhan is the epicentre of the virus and outbound travel is now banned.

So far the death toll from the new coronavirus stands at 26 with more than 800 people infected.

© AAP 2020