Qantas flight in Wuhan

Two children board a Qantas flight in Wuhan, headed for Darwin. Courtesy: Nine

Almost a dozen infants and nearly 80 children are among hundreds of Australians on board an evacuation flight from Wuhan to Darwin today.

A spokesperson from the Health Department confirmed to 9News 266 passengers are on board the flight, which is scheduled to arrive in Darwin just before midday.

Of those, 178 are adults, which include a 90 year old, who requires a wheelchair. Eleven are infants and 77 are children.

Eight Pacific Island nationals are also on board. 9News understands the group are students, and were given last-minute availability to board the flight.

The flight will land at the Darwin RAAF base, where the passengers will undergo health checks and screening by medical officials, a process which is expected to take between 1 to 3 hours.

They will then be transported to the old Inpex workers camp in Howard Springs for a two-week quarantine period.

The site has been deemed an ideal location to house the evacuees, as it is not a detention centre.

It is home to a swimming pool, a gym, a tavern and sporting facilities, plus rows and rows of accommodation. It can hold up to 3500 people.

Meanwhile, the death toll in mainland China from coronavirus has risen by 81 to 780 in the latest figures, passing the 774 deaths recorded globally during the 2002-2003 pandemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

An American has became the first confirmed non-Chinese victim of the new coronavirus.

The 60-year old US citizen died on February 6 in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak in the central Chinese province of Hubei, a US embassy spokesman said in Beijing.