News Coronavirus ‘Toughest of times’: NSW confirms latest virus death
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‘Toughest of times’: NSW confirms latest virus death

The coronavirus has plunged the world into chaos but what happened in Wuhan remains a mystery. Photo: Getty
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A person has died after contracting coronavirus in NSW, health authorities have confirmed, taking the total death toll in the state to 23.

The national toll now stands at 56.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard expressed his condolences to the family on behalf of the community and the state 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, taking the total number in NSW to 2,857.

Latest Victorian coronavirus death

A Victorian man in his 80s has died in hospital overnight, taking the state’s death toll from coronavirus to 14.

The state’s tally of cases has risen by 24 since yesterday.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said on Twitter there were 118 cases of COVID-19 that indicate community transmission of the virus.

Forty-four people remain in hospital, with 15 of those in intensive care.

There are now 1265 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, with 986 people already recovered from the virus.

“Our message is clear: stay at home,” Ms Mikakos went on to tweet.

Most seem to have heeded the advice and are having a quiet Easter.

The state’s chief medical officer has urged people to honour social distancing rules to fend off an expected increase in coronavirus cases.

Usually busy long-weekend holiday spots are largely empty in a sign that most people are heeding the message, but Victoria Police have issued 183 fines to those flouting the rules in the 24 hours to 11am on Saturday.

Officers have conducted nearly 20,000 spot checks since March 21 at homes, businesses and non-essential services.

Among those police fined were four women caught partying at a short-term rental property and seven mates drinking at a school.

Multiple people were fined over gatherings at their homes.

Australians returning from overseas on Friday evening will be required to quarantine in hotels and other accommodation provided by the Victorian government, Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton says.

People experiencing homelessness can access health care and accommodation at Anglicare Victoria, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Sacred Heart Mission and VincentCare Victoria.

Victoria Police are on a five-day operation enforcing safety on the state’s roads over Easter and have the added task of nabbing non-essential travellers.

Victorians are only meant to leave their homes for essential travel, including to buy food and to exercise under the stage three rules.

Rise slows in Queensland

Queensland’s coronavirus tally has crept ever so slowly towards 1000 after another nine people were diagnosed with the coronavirus overnight.

Health Minister Steven Miles says just 77 people in the past seven days have tested positive to coronavirus in Queensland.

The state’s toll sits at 974, with 28 patients in hospital, including 12 in intensive care.

“We did 2149 tests overnight, considering that number of positive is just nine, that is a positive testing rate of just 0.42 over the last 24 hours, incredibly low by global standards,” Mr Miles said.

“That is because of our social distancing efforts, they are working. We need to keep them up.”

Mr Miles said about a third of those who had contracted the virus in Queensland have recovered.

He also said restrictions are likely to be reviewed at the end of of the month.

New cases in Tasmania

Tasmania has recorded 11 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 122.

With 52 people having recovered, there are 70 positive cases in the state currently.

Premier Peter Gutwein said there is an outbreak on Tasmania’s north-west coast.

“We have a vulnerable community, an older community, a community that has in certain parts of its population more examples of underlying health challenges and other difficulties that people face,” he said at a press conference today. “That is one of the reasons why we have been so strident in the position that we have taken in terms of ensuring that people follow the rules.

“We want to protect the most vulnerable Tasmanians, and it is important that we all play our part to do that.”

-with AAP