New South Wales confirmed five new cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) last night, including a woman in her 30s living in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
The ABC reports she joins a female in her 70s who resides at a Macquarie Park nursing home, a 50-year-old Cronulla man, a 60-year-old woman who is thought to have returned from the Philippines, and a female doctor who works at Liverpool Hospital as the state’s newest confirmed cases.
Australia has also recorded its second death linked to Covid-19, a 95-year-old woman who came into contact with an aged-care worker infected with the virus at a Sydney aged care facility.
Speaking to the media yesterday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the aged-care worker, a woman in her 50s, came into contact with 13 residents at BaptistCare Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park.
The Guardian reports the 95-year-old woman subsequently reported a respiratory illness. She died in hospital on Tuesday, and tested positive for Covid-19.
Another resident, a 82-year-old man, has also been hospitalised after testing positive for the virus on Tuesday. The other residents who came into contact with the aged-care worker with have been placed in isolation.
The aged-care worker reportedly fell ill on February 24 and asked to self-isolate afterwards. Hazzard said there were concerns she may have spread the virus in the day before symptoms became apparent. The Guardian reports she is now in a stable condition at Royal North Shore Hospital.
It is not yet clear how the aged-care worker contracted the virus, given the fact she had not recently traveled overseas and had not knowingly come into close contact with someone already infected.
“It is concerning when we have somebody present with coronavirus and we can’t track the source,” Hazzard said.
Regarding the doctor at Liverpool Hospital who was confirmed to have the virus, NSW chief medical officer Dr Kerry Chant said, “We are immediately establishing which staff and patients may need to self-isolate and be tested for Covid-19 should they be unwell.”
Dr Chant said there is no reason for the community to avoid BaptistCare Dorothy Henderson Lodge or Ryde Hospital, where a 53-year-old doctor was diagnosed with the virus after treating infected patients earlier in the week.
“Coronavirus is not in the hospital and you will do more harm if you don’t present to the hospital because you’re scared of coronavirus,” she said.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Australia now stands above forty, with 22 in NSW.
The Australian community has been urged not to alter their day-to-day behaviour given the current circumstances, but experts have advised folks nationwide to wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitiser when appropriate.
If you have any concerns, you can call the coronavirus information line on 1800 020 080. If you have health concerns, you can call healthdirect on 1800 022 222.