In Focus

The 83 days that changed Australian aviation

On 31 December, 2019, Chinese authorities treated a small number of citizens for a mysterious illness in Wuhan, in the country’s eastern Hubei province. Fast forward to 23 March 2020, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced an outright ban on all international flights leaving the country. This is the story of how coronavirus took our industry, and the world, by surprise

31 December

China confirms it is treating dozens of cases of a mysterious illness in Wuhan. However, authorities stress there is no evidence humans can spread it. Officials reassure the public that they are actively monitoring the situation to ensure it doesn’t develop into something more severe.

11 January

Chinese media reports the first known death from an illness caused by the virus. The man, 61, was thought to be a regular customer at a market in Wuhan but had underlying health problems – most notably abdominal tumours and chronic liver disease.

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