April 11, 2020 13:33:29
A woman has died after contracting coronavirus in NSW, health authorities have confirmed, taking the total death toll in the state to 23.
- Authorities have not been able to trace the 91-year-old woman’s infection
- The increase in coronavirus cases in NSW has remained steady in recent days
- Two people were fined $5,000 for spitting on police officers
The 91-year-old woman had pre-existing health conditions and died in hospital, however the source of her infection was unknown.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard expressed his condolences to the family on behalf of the community and Government.
“It doesn’t matter what the time, it is always tough when a family member passes away, and this is the toughest of times,” he said.
Mr Hazzard confirmed 44 new cases of coronavirus, a steady rise overall from yesterday’s increase of 49 and Thursday’s 39 confirmed cases, taking the total number in NSW to 2,857.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said there were 212 people being treated for coronavirus, including 30 patients in intensive care, while 23 of those were ventilated.
Dr Chant also confirmed dozens of coronavirus cases among crew on board the ill-fated Ruby Princess, with 46 positive tests from a total of 97 tests undertaken.
Dr Chant said the cases were “not unexpected given the COVID-19 on the ship”, as the vessel was linked to more than 600 cases of coronavirus and more than a dozen deaths as a result of infection.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she acknowledged the religious significance of the Easter weekend but stressed people could not attend services in person.
“I know for many families across New South Wales, Easter is the time when they may have gone to a place of worship at church or else gathered together in family homes. Unfortunately this is not allowed tomorrow,” she said.
Ms Berejiklian said coronavirus testing was still available across the Easter period and encouraged people to continue to pursue medical attention if they displayed symptoms of the virus.
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She also encouraged people to seek medical attention for illness not related to coronavirus, citing reports of people “not going to GPs when they need to”.
“If you need medical attention outside of COVID-19 you should get that issue look at, we don’t want people ignoring other issues during this crisis,” she said.
Assistant NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb confirmed a joint agency operation was underway to repatriate more than 1,100 people who had now completed their 14 days of quarantine at Sydney hotels.
Commissioner Webb also said two people had been issued with $5,000 on-the-spot fines after spitting on police officers.
“Spitting or coughing at public officials is disgusting, it is against the law,” she said.
“It is disgusting at any time, but particularly during COVID.”
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Mr Hazzard expressed incredulity about the two instances of spitting and encouraged people to act responsibly this Easter long weekend.
“As health minister, I just want to say again, please don’t behave poorly. Please don’t do anything stupid,” he said.
“This virus is extremely dangerous.”
April 11, 2020 12:17:50
Contact Emma Elsworthy
stories from New South Wales