(CNN)Countries are scrambling to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Hubei province, as the number of cases overtake the 2003 SARS outbreak inside mainland China.
These countries have evacuated citizens from Wuhan because of the coronavirus
Flights have been chartered and various quarantine measures have been put in place, ranging from a special medical center to being placed in a detention center in the Indian Ocean.
It comes as the worldwide total rose to more than 6,000 confirmed cases of the virus -- after a 30% increase in reported infections on mainland China overnight.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Wednesday the evacuation will be aided by the country's flag carrier Qantas Airways.
There are more than 600 Australian citizens in Hubei, according to CNN affiliate Nine News, and Morrison said there will be a focus on repatriating "the young, especially infants, and the elderly."
"I stress that this will be done on a last in, first out basis," he said. "They would have been shorter-term travelers to that area, they would not have been living there for many years and we are particularly focused on the more vulnerable component."
The returning Australians will be quarantined on Christmas Island -- more than 1,000 miles away from Australia in the Indian Ocean.
Once there, the Australians will be quarantined for as long as 14 days. "But that will be subject to the medical advice we receive," Morrison added.
The decision has drawn uncomfortable comparisons with the plight of refugees living in a controversial detention center for asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia by boat.
There have been repeated allegations of abuse and even torture of those held in Australia's offshore detention facilities.
Morrison said Australian returnees would be quarantined for as long as 14 days -- subject to medical advice.