NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant told ABC testing will be rapidly undertaken and authorities will be able to exclude or confirm the case within “a very short timeframe”.
The China Eastern Airlines flight from Xian via Wuhan arrived at Sydney airport just after 11am on Thursday.
Biosecurity measures have been ramped up and passengers will now be checked by heath professionals as they depart the plane.
The team will include four NSW Health doctors and nurses experienced in public health and infection control alongside virology experts from Westmead Hospital and elsewhere.
They will wear masks and gloves when examining anyone with symptoms, NSW Health protection executive director Jeremy McAnulty said.
“If it looks like they may have an infection … we can arrange for testing and management of that person right away,” Dr McAnulty said.
Dr McAnulty says identifying potential carriers at the airport is “not foolproof by any means” because people who’ve been exposed to the virus may not display symptoms for days.
Fu Gui, who was waiting for her sister and parents to arrive from Shenzhen, told AAP it was concerning the plane from Wuhan was arriving into Sydney. “I’m a little worried but I think the staff here will test them all,” she said. The Chinese city of Wuhan planned to shut down outbound flights and trains on Thursday as the world’s most populous country battled the spread of the virus that has sickened hundreds of people and led to the death of more than a dozen people.
The Australian government updated its travel advice on Thursday and urged all Australians to reconsider their need to travel to Wuhan.
A number of Australians have been tested for the virus with cases confirmed in Japan, Thailand and South Korea.
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.
Queensland Health on Wednesday confirmed a man who had been isolated after returning from visiting family in the Chinese city of Wuhan does not have the virus.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says it’s possible the virus will reach Australia, but insists the nation is equipped to respond.
Australia’s foreign affairs department says anyone travelling to Wuhan should “exercise a high degree of caution” while in the city.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said authorities had powers to take those who may be suffering from symptoms directly to hospital.
“But we expect that any passengers that do have issues will self-report because it’s in their own interests,” Mr Hunt said.