BEIJING (AA): Australia has begun evacuating its citizens from virus-hit China to a remote island, local media reported on Monday. At least 300 Australians were flown to Exmouth city in western Australia on a chartered flight from Wuhan, the epicenter of the fatal coronavirus, according to ABC News. It was the first of the two flights engaged to evacuate the Aussies from Wuhan, a city of 11 million people. A second flight is scheduled for later this week. The evacuees are en route to Christmas Island -- 3,214 miles away from the capital Canberra -- where they will be quarantined for two weeks in detention centers. The nation’s flagship carrier, Qantas, operated the chartered flight. Carrying 270 passengers along with flight crew and officials of the health department, it arrived at an air force base in Learmonth. The coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has so far claimed 362 lives since its outbreak last December. Over 17,200 others have been infected by the epidemic believed to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats. Besides China, the virus has spread to more than 24 countries,. The U.S., Japan, South Korea, India, France, Germany, Indonesia and Turkey, among other countries, have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan. Meanwhile, Pakistanis stranded in China have also started arriving in the country as their government started flight operations to the virus-hit country. At least 143 passengers, including students, arrived in the capital Islamabad earlier in the day.