Home | News | Australian death toll now at 35, 41 residents across the nation test positive for COVID-19
A woman passes a sign demonstrating the amount of space people should allow between each other to avoid contracting coronavirus as she leaves Fort Greene Park in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Photo: AP Photo/Kathy Willens.

Australian death toll now at 35, 41 residents across the nation test positive for COVID-19

Two more deaths confirmed on Sunday night takes the nation’s COVID-19 death toll to 35, with a reported 5,687 cases nationwide – an increase of 139 since Saturday.

Both were men in their 80s and it has been reported by the SMH that one of the men, 86, was a resident at the Opal care aged care facility in Bankstown, in Sydney’s west. This is the sixth death at an Australian aged care facility with the other five deaths coming from BaptistCare’s Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Sydney’s north.

According to data obtained by the ABC, there has now been 41 residents and staff in 17 nursing homes diagnosed with COVID-19 across all states, with the ACT and NT currently recording no cases in aged care.

Of Australia’s COVID-19 cases, 91 people are in intensive care and 33 on ventilators, while it’s estimated more than 2000 people have recovered.

NSW has been most heavily affected to date with 2637 cases and 18 deaths. Police announced on Sunday an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the docking and disembarkation of passengers from the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship.

The investigation, led by the NSW Police homicide squad, aims to identify how passengers were allowed to disembark from the ship in Sydney, which is linked to 622 COVID-19 cases and at least 11 deaths across the country.

COVID-19 news from around the world

Globally, the number of COVID-19 cases has passed one million, currently sitting at 1,267,593 with at least 69,299 deaths and 261,134 recoveries.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital for tests after showing persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus, although his office said it was not an emergency admission.

Better news comes from central Europe, where the death toll has slowed for France, Italy and Spain over the last 24 hours amid strict lockdown procedures.

In the UK the Queen took the unusual step of addressing the nation and told the British people that they would overcome the coronavirus outbreak if they stayed resolute in the face of lockdowns and self-isolation, invoking the spirit of World War II.

She urged Britons to believe that “better days will return” as the UK assumed the unwelcome mantle of deadliest coronavirus hotspot in Europe after a record 24-hour jump in deaths that surpassed even hard-hit Italy.

Elsewhere, the United States enters one of the most critical weeks so far in the coronavirus crisis with the death toll exploding in New York, Michigan and Louisiana. The US has now recorded the most confirmed cases of the virus worldwide at 273,808.

It has also been reported that a tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the US or a tiger anywhere.

Irish PM returns to medicine, Scots medical chief breaks virus rules

The Irish PM, Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help out during the coronavirus crisis, his office says.

Varadkar worked as a doctor for seven years before leaving the profession to become a politician and was removed from the medical register in 2013.

According to a report in the Irish Times, Varadkar re-registered in March as the crisis unfolded and intends to work in the country’s Health Service Executive (HSE) on a weekly basis in an area suited to his qualifications.

While in Scotland, Police have issued a warning to Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood for breaking her own social distancing rules as she travelled to visit her second home over the weekend.

Photographs of Calderwood visiting her holiday home in Earlsferry, on the east coast of Scotland about an hour’s drive from the capital Edinburgh, were published in the Scottish Sun.

“I did not follow the advice I’m giving to others, I’m truly sorry for that,” she said at a news conference in Edinburgh on Sunday.

She said she had seen comments calling her a hypocrite and saying she was irresponsible.

“What I did was wrong. I’m very sorry,” she said.

“I know how important the advice is I have issued. I do not want my mistake to distract for that.”

She also apologised to police and National Health Service (NHS) colleagues.

She has since resigned from her post.

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