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  • Scientists are developing a quicker test to diagnose the coronavirus

    Author: AAP

Scientists are developing a quicker test to diagnose the deadly coronavirus, Australia's chief medical officer says.

Scientists are developing a quicker test to diagnose the coronavirus, as the death toll rises and Australia boosts its border protection measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

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Australia's chief medical officer Brendan Murphy says the current test is a two-step process, but scientists are working on a one-step version.

"There is a test at the moment and we are getting a quicker one," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said coronavirus had been added as a listed disease, which allows the country to beef up border control measures.

Wuhan, the sprawling capital of central China's Hubei province, is the epicentre of the coronavirus which is thought to have started in animals before spreading to humans.

The outbreak has killed 17 people and infected nearly 600, Chinese authorities say.

Biosecurity and health officials checked passengers departing a plane from Wuhan after it landed in Sydney on Thursday.

All passengers were checked for fever and although no passengers were found to be ill, Professor Murphy said they could be incubating the virus.

"That's always a possibility in any disease of this nature," he said.

If the passengers feel unwell in the next few weeks they should visit their doctor and say they've come from Wuhan, Prof Murphy said.

Australia's top medical officers from around the country are meeting on Thursday afternoon and again on Friday to ensure they're up to date with the latest information.


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