Australia will pass 3000 coronavirus cases today, as authorities in hardest-hit NSW warn the growing community transmission without a clear source is a “cause for concern”.
It comes after a horror 24 hours that saw four people die, three in Victoria and one in WA. There are now around 20 in intensive care in NSW alone, with fears ICUs could be overwhelmed within 10 days.
Australia now has just shy of 3000 coronavirus cases after NSW reported another 186 cases this morning, with the national tally to rise sharply as other states and territories provide their latest figures.
Total confirmed cases, based on a tally of numbers provided by each state and territory, stand at 2996.
As of Friday morning there were 1405 in NSW, 520 in Victoria, 494 in Queensland, 235 in South Australia, 231 in Western Australia, 47 in Tasmania, 53 in the Australian Capital Territory and 12 in the Northern Territory.
Thirteen people have died — one in Queensland, two in Western Australia, seven in NSW and three in Victoria.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Wednesday said two people, one in their 30s and one in their 60s, were in intensive care, noting she was not in the habit of releasing patient’s ages but did so in this case “just to stress that COVID-19 is not an elderly person's disease”.
“We have had many people overseas in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s ending up in ICU beds because of their diagnosis of COVID-19,” she said. She wished the two patients "a speedy recovery but this does make the point that this virus can strike down quite young people as well".
Australia’s deputy chief health officer Paul Kelly said the person in their 30s being in intensive care was a “wake up call”.
“This is a wake-up call. No-one is immune to this. Many of us will get sick from it. Some of us will get severely sick and end up in hospital. Some will need to be in intensive care. And some of us, as we’ve seen already, unfortunately, will pass away from this disease.
State and territory leaders have beefed up police enforcement to crack down on returning travellers to ensure they are self-isolating, and of businesses to ensure social distancing directives are being followed.