Four Australian cases of coronavirus confirmed

Three cases of the deadly coronavirus have been confirmed in New South Wales, bringing the total nationwide to four.

NSW Health tonight confirmed three men – aged in theirs 30s, 40s and 50s – are being treated in Westmead Hospital in Sydney and are in isolation.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said this afternoon that a case of the respiratory condition had been confirmed in a man who last week returned from China. The man, aged in his 50s, was in Australia for six days before being diagnosed.

A total of 42 people have died and more than 1300 have been infected so far in China, where the city of Wuhan is considered the epicentre of the virus.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said 18 people across the state have now been assessed for the virus after samples were sent to a “world-leading” laboratory in Victoria, with 12 patients being “excluded” and three being confirmed on Saturday.

All three men arrived on flights from China – one on January 6, one on January 19 and the other date is being checked by authorities.

“I’d like to thank each of these three people because they have been exemplary in the way that they presented themselves (to health services),” Mr Hazzard told reporters tonight.

He labelled it a “tricky” and “evolving” virus and said the six other cases are under investigation.