Aus COVID-19 death toll rises to 34, three from cruise ship

 

Four men aged over 60 have died of coronavirus in NSW in the past 24 hours, with three believed to have been passengers on the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard this morning confirmed NSW has had a total of 16 deaths from coronavirus, with the number of deaths in Australia now 34.

However he said the daily increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to slow, with 87 new people in NSW testing positive for the virus in the 24 hours.

 

This morning, NSW Police confirmed they will be carrying out a criminal investigation into how the Ruby Princess was allowed to let thousands of passengers disembark and expose the community to coronavirus.

Mr Hazzard said the most recent four NSW deaths were all men, aged between 61 and 91, who died in hospital.

A 91-year-old died in Port Macquarie Hospital, an 80-year-old and a 76-year-old at Westmead Hospital, and a 61-year-old at Hornsby Hospital.

 

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

 

More than a quarter of the state's confirmed coronavirus cases are people under 30, accounting for 565 of 2,580 cases.

With latest figures showing millennials aren't getting the social distancing message, the Health Minister warned young people that they need to take the virus "very seriously" for others in the community.

Despite older people being more at risk from coronavirus, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jeremy McAnulty said three people under 30 have required treatment on ventilators in intensive care.

Across the state, 39 patients are being treated in intensive care, with 23 requiring ventilators.

"I want to say this is an extremely dangerous virus. It is still marching through our community, and people need to be on high alert," Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

NSW health authorities have conducted 121,443 tests for COVID-19, with 118,863 coming back negative.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia now stands at 5666.

There are 2580 cases in NSW, 1135 in Victoria, 907 in Queensland, 407 in South Australia, 436 in Western Australia, 82 in Tasmania, 93 in the Australian Capital Territory and 26 in the Northern Territory.


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