News State New South Wales Australia’s coronavirus death toll hits 98
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Australia’s coronavirus death toll hits 98

An 81-year-old woman who was a passenger on the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship has died of coronavirus in NSW. Photo: AAP
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Australia’s coronavirus death toll has risen to 98, after health authorities in NSW confirmed another fatality linked to the Ruby Princess.

An 81-year-old woman who went on the coronavirus-plagued cruise ship died yesterday.

Her passing was confirmed by the state’s chief health officer Kerry Chant, taking the state’s toll from COVID-19 deaths to 47

It’s the first COVID-19 death to be reported in Australia since last Tuesday.

She is the 22nd death linked to the ship, which docked in Sydney in March 19 and has been linked to almost 700 coronavirus cases.

“It’s upsetting to know people are still dying from this virus, and we can’t imagine what families are going through,” Ms Berejiklian said.

A total of 8,117 people were tested for coronavirus in NSW yesterday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday said success should be perceived as a healthy balance between economic and social activity, and manageable case numbers.

Ms Berejiklian said she was proud that NSW had one of the highest rates of testing per capita in the world.

“There is no way we can’t lead the world in the way we deal with the pandemic moving forward,” she said.

NSW has capacity to conduct around 110,000 tests a fortnight.

Social-distancing restrictions are expected to be eased in the state on Friday, meaning up to 10 people will be allowed in cafes and restaurants, and outdoor gyms, pools and playgrounds will reopen.

Ms Berejiklian said it marked “a big shift in the way we are managing the pandemic and a big shift in the way people can have extra freedom.”

Of the six new infections today, half were a result of contact with a known case.

“We have two close contacts of a nurse at the Newmarch facility, where there was a PPE breach for that nurse who has acquired the infection through that mechanism,” Dr Chant said.

“They went into isolation and there were no issues about transmission from those two health care workers.”

-with agencies