A child is seen wearing a face mask at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines. Picture: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
A child is seen wearing a face mask at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines. Picture: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Alarming rise of new virus cases

 

Queensland has announced 50 new positive cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the state's total to 144.

Queensland's health minister Steven Miles has ordered everyone in the state who has been told to self-isolate to stay home.

"There are more than 7,000 Queenslanders returning home a day, and all of them are required to go into quarantine for 14 days," he said.

"They are returning from right around the world and, indeed, more than 153 countries are experiencing this pandemic."

Queensland Health released information on the 50 new cases, with a one-year-old among the new cases.

NSW reported 40 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, including a six-year-old child - the youngest person infected with COVID-19 in the state so far.

Previously the youngest were a year-seven child, aged 12, and two year 10s, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant told reporters today.

"We will be updating the daily data and that has the age breakdown on the website," she said. "The reason the cut-off was 10-20 was because there were none at that time."

The total number of confirmed cases, based on a tally of numbers provided by health authorities in each state and territory, now stands at 709. At least 43 have fully recovered.

There are 307 in New South Wales, 150 in Victoria, 144 in Queensland, 42 in South Australia, 52 in Western Australia, 10 in Tasmania, three in the Australian Capital Territory and one in the Northern Territory

Six people have died - one in Western Australia and five in New South Wales.

DEATH TOLL

Australia's first coronavirus fatality was on Sunday, March 1.

He was a 78-year-old Perth man who was among 163 Australians evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and quarantined at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory.

The second death came on Tuesday, March 3. The 95-year-old woman was a resident at the Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park, in Sydney's north.

Two other residents of the same nursing home later died - an 82-year-old man on Sunday, March 8, followed by a 90-year-old woman on Saturday, March 14.

On Friday, March 13, a 77-year-old woman died in a Sydney hospital after recently arriving from Queensland. She had developed symptoms on the plane, was taken to hospital and died the same day.

An 86-year-old man died in a Sydney hospital on Tuesday, March 17, making him the state's fifth death and the country's sixth.

CORONAVIRUS IN AUSTRALIA

People in their 50s make up the greatest proportion of confirmed cases, followed by those in their 30s, 40s, 20s and 60s.

Far fewer people aged over 70 or under 20 have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Where authorities have been able to determine the source of the infection, three times as many cases came from overseas travel as local transmission. The US and Italy have now overtaken China as the most common source country.

The first case of COVID-19 was detected on January 25 in Victoria.

The patient was a man from Wuhan, Hubei province - where the Chinese virus emerged late last year - who flew to Melbourne from Guandong on January 19.

Three more cases were detected the same day in NSW.

All three were men who had recently returned from China - two had been in Wuhan and one had direct contact with a confirmed case from the virus epicentre.

Since then, the number of cases has risen exponentially.

NSW quickly became ground zero for the Australian outbreak, and now makes up nearly half of all cases in the country.

Experts fear that if Australia follows the same trend as similar countries where infections have doubled around every six days, there could be as many as 6000 by early April.

 

frank.chung@news.com.au

 

Originally published as Baby one of 50 new virus cases