Australia has recorded its 100th death from COVID-19. The victim is a 93-year-old resident of Newmarch House in Sydney, which has been one of the epicentres of the outbreak in the country.
Her death means that it has taken Australia nearly four months to reach 100 deaths. By comparison, the US death toll on Tuesday, 19 May stands at 90 340 and Italy’s toll on the same day is 32 007.
The first Australian infections were recorded on 25 January and the country’s first fatality was on 1 March when retired travel agent James Kwan died in Perth. He had been a passenger on the ill-fated Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Latest Newmarch House fatality identified
Australia’s 100th victim has been identified as Alice Bacon. According to a report by the ABC, her daughter Mary said her mother had tested positive to COVID-19 on day 10 of the Newmarch House lockdown, which began mid-April.
“Mum fought hard to stay with us … but up until two weeks ago she was a happy and busy lady inside and outside of Newmarch,” she said.
The aged care facility in Sydney’s west is the site of Australia’s second biggest coronavirus cluster. To date, 17 residents have died after they were infected by a carer who worked there for only a few shifts.
Some reports have listed 19 people as having passed away as a result, but two of the deaths were subsequently found to be not directly attributable to the coronavirus, according to NSW health officials.
Biggest outbreak linked to Ruby Princess
NSW is also the location that prompted the nation’s biggest outbreak, which occurred when the Ruby Princess cruise ship was allowed to dock in Sydney and disembark its passengers, despite there being several suspected infections on board. At least 20 people are known to have died in Australia as a result.
In line with international trends, elderly people aged 70 and above account for the vast majority of Australian deaths. Only two deaths have been recorded in the 40-59 age brackets and none below that.
Two-thirds of all fatalities have come either from the Ruby Princess or from outbreaks at aged care facilities.
Apart from the Newmarch House outbreak, figures supplied by the ABC indicate that there have been six deaths at Dorothy Henderson Lodge at Macquarie Park in Sydney’s north, and two deaths at Opal Care Bankstown nursing home in Liverpool, in Sydney’s south-west.