Australia’s death toll jumps to 69 after four more die from the bug – including a cruise ship passenger and a man in his 50s
- Australia’s death toll from the deadly coronavirus has jumped to 69
- A 74-year-old man from Tasmania became the eighth recorded death in the state
- A Queensland man, 83, struck with the killer virus died in a Sydney hospital
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Australia’s death toll has jumped to 69 after four more people died from the deadly coronavirus.
A 74-year-old man from the north-west died at the Mersey Community Hospital in Tasmania.
An 83-year-old Queensland man, who was a passenger on the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship, died in a Sydney hospital.
A 58-year-old woman died in Tamworth Hospital. The cause of her infection is still under investigation.
Queensland has recorded a total of five deaths from the deadly virus.
Tasmania now has the third highest death toll from coronavirus in the country, behind NSW and Victoria.
The 74-year-old man from the north-west died at the Mersey Community Hospital (pictured)
Hundreds of residents and staff at three nursing homes in the region were tested after it emerged a virus-infected healthcare worker did shifts at the facilities.
They also worked at two closed hospitals in Burnie at the centre of the outbreak, which is linked to almost 100 of the state’s 180 cases, including 60 health workers.
Test results of residents and staff in the three nursing homes in the North West where a healthcare worker had worked prior to testing positive are expected on Saturday.
The three homes in question – East Devonport’s Melaleuca Nursing Home, Ulverstone’s Eliza Purton Home and Coroneagh Park in Penguin – have no confirmed virus cases, although one resident has shown mild respiratory symptoms.
Further testing is being rolled out in the northwest, and for far northwest and west coast communities, after federal authorities flew in to test at the nursing homes.
Australian Defence Force and Australian Medical Assistance team members arrive at Burnie Airport, Tasmania, Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Exterior view on the closed entrance to the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie, Tasmania, Australia, 14 April 2020.
Premier Peter Gutwein said the state had already gone above and beyond national testing guidelines.
Emergency department services came back online on Friday at the closed North West Regional Hospital and North West Private Hospitals in Burnie.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 6,526
New South Wales: 2,936
South Australia: 435
Western Australia: 541
Australian Capital Territory: 103
Northern Territory: 28
TOTAL CASES: 6,560
The two facilities are being subjected to a deep clean, with Australian Defence Force medicos and an AUSMAT team, usually used for international humanitarian relief, helping to provide services.
About 1200 healthcare workers from the hospitals were forced into quarantine earlier this week to mitigate the outbreak.
New modelling from the Doherty Institute has shown that COVID-19 is on the decline in Australia.
The research found that 93 per cent of all symptomatic cases of coronavirus in Australia are probably identified.
The fresh modelling also predicts that every 10 cases of coronavirus in Australia will produce just five more fresh infections.
‘Our best estimate at the moment in Australia is for every 10 infectious cases, they’re only reproducing another five and this shows our epidemic at the moment is in decline,’ the Doherty Institute’s epidemiology director Professor Jodie McVernon said.
‘That’s great because it shows the public health measures that have been in place have been very effective in limiting the spread of this disease. But it doesn’t let us be complacent.’