Australia records first coronavirus death

 

Australia has recorded its first coronavirus fatality after a man confirmed as COVID-19 positive died in a Perth hospital overnight.

The as yet unnamed coronavirus victim was a 78-year-old from the infected cruise ship Diamond Princess who died in the early hours of Sunday morning at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

He had been taken from a Darwin quarantine camp with his wife, who is also infected, after being isolated in a quarantine camp there from Japan.

The couple were two of 164 Australians who were quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess with coronavirus then flown from Japan to Darwin and placed in isolation at the Howards Springs camp.

The dead man's wife is now in isolation at a Perth hospital.

A man who recently returned from Iran has tested positive for coronavirus, making him the fifth confirmed case of COVID-19 in NSW.

As coronavirus deaths in Iran spiral upwards, the man becomes Australia's second infected person returning from there to test positive for the virus.

Aged in his 40s, the man flew into Sydney from Iran on February 22 and developed symptoms two days later.

On Friday, he went to hospital where he was tested for COVID-19.

"He was advised to be isolated at home while waiting for the test result which was confirmed positive for COVID-19 late on 29 February," NSW Chief health officer Kerry Chant said.

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He has not displayed severe symptoms, but is being treated in Sydney Westmead Hospital.

The man was recorded as the second case in Australia to have come from Iran after a Gold Coast beautician tested positive for COVID-19 late on Friday.

The woman, 63, had returned from Iran on Monday and gave up to 40 customers facial treatments at the salon before she fell ill on Thursday.

Anyone who went to Hair Plus salon, in the Australia Fair shopping centre at Southport, Queensland last week is advised to get tested.

The woman is now in a stable condition and in isolation in the Gold Coast University Hospital.

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Women in face masks cross a square in western Tehran, Iran, where the number of coronavirus cases and deaths is spiralling. Picture: Vahid Salemi.
Women in face masks cross a square in western Tehran, Iran, where the number of coronavirus cases and deaths is spiralling. Picture: Vahid Salemi.

All four of NSW's previous coronavirus cases have since been discharged from hospital.

A sixth person, a man aged in his 50s, is currently being tested for COVID-19.

A total of 23 coronavirus infections have been recorded in Australia to date.

After activating a coronavirus emergency response plan for Australia on Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison imposed an Iran travel ban which came into force today.

Foreign nationals coming from Iran will be forced to spend a fortnight in a third country before being allowed into Australia.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the man tested positive on Saturday. Picture: Joel Carrett.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the man tested positive on Saturday. Picture: Joel Carrett.

Australian citizens and permanent residents will need to isolate themselves for a fortnight after returning from Iran.

Iran has recorded 43 deaths from coronavirus, nine more since it had on Saturday, and has the highest COVID-19 mortality rate outside China.

Predictions are the death toll will continue to rise and the World Health Organisation has dispatched a medical team to Iran.

The Australian Government has a ban on foreign nationals who leave China from entering Australia for a duration of two weeks.

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As of Sunday morning, more than 79,251 coronavirus cases had been recorded in China, followed by 3150 in South Korea, 1128 in Italy, 593 in Iran and 241 in Japan.

The world death toll is 2941, with 2727 of those in the Wuhan province Hubei, a total of 54 in other parts of China, 29 in Italy and 16 in South Korea.

candace.sutton@news.com.au

Dr Kavita Varshney wearing personal protective equipment at Westmead Hospital, where a man who returned from Iran tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: John Feder.
Dr Kavita Varshney wearing personal protective equipment at Westmead Hospital, where a man who returned from Iran tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: John Feder.
Coronavirus Arrivals Tourists arrive at Sydney International Airport wearing face masks. Picture: Brendan Read.
Coronavirus Arrivals Tourists arrive at Sydney International Airport wearing face masks. Picture: Brendan Read.