A passenger on the Air New Zealand evacuation flight out of Wuhan has revealed the stringent safety precautions for those onboard.

Australian Daniel Ou Yang, 21, provided the insight into the NZ Government chartered flight that landed in Auckland tonight.

He was one of 35 Australians who then boarded a plane to a quarantine centre at Christmas Island.

Writing in The Guardian, Yang said the evacuees were given masks and hand sanitisers once on the plane. He was hesitant to move, because the passengers had been encouraged to leave their seats as little as possible.


"Everyone is just trying to avoid contact with each other as much as possible and constantly using hand sanitisers."

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Yang had been visiting his grandparents in Wuhan when the city was shut down as the fatal coronavirus caused global alarm.

Yang wrote that he arrived quickly at Wuhan Tianjin airport, his dad driving along the deserted roads.

He describes a stressful evacuation at a busy Wuhan Tianjin airport, with a few other countries evacuating at the same time as the Air New Zealand Government-chartered flight.

"Everyone's wearing masks, and it was nerve-racking being around so many people in such close proximity.

"Hearing about a lot of evacuations with confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the flight, it was definitely not ideal to be around so many people at the airport."

Focus: Coronavirus evacuees ‘very relieved’ to be home after Air NZ rescue flight from Wuhan.

Nearly seven hours after arriving at the airport, the passengers were processed for boarding. But he feared that not everyone made it on board.


"There was this lady with her two young kids also evacuating and they were running late. I waited for them to bring them with me through the security. From there everyone was wearing full hazmat suits."

The passengers were still going through immigration at 11pm, when their flight was due to leave, and Yang wrote that he made the plane "just in time".

Just landed in Auckland! Transferring to Christmas Island in a few hours. Home stretch!

Posted by Daniel Ou Yang on Tuesday, 4 February 2020