PNG man dies of Covid -19 in Queensland hospital


A man died in a Queensland hospital from COVID-19, officials confirmed on Tuesday.

The 77-year-old dual Papua New Guinean and British citizen died on Monday, Queensland Health said in a statement.

The man was evacuated from Papua New Guinea to Australia on March 28 as his condition was deteriorating.

He had been in the intensive care unit at Redcliffe hospital since then. The health department said it offered its condolences to the man’s family.

“PNG is one of Queensland’s closest neighbours, and when we can offer support to our neighbours, we can, and we will,” the department said in a statement.

Queensland will not include the man’s death in its official toll of COVID-19 deaths, which has sat at six people since April last year.

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Monday was the first day since March 3 when Queensland didn’t record any new cases, either local or acquired overseas. However on Tuesday the health department said virus fragments had been detected in the wastewater plants in Capalaba, Maroochydore and Maryborough.

“As we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, we’re still in this pandemic and we can’t be complacent,” chief health officer Jeanette Young said.

“It is critical we detect any cases that we may not be aware of as quickly as possible through our testing system.”

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Australia’s total COVID-19 death rate is 909. The majority of those deaths, 820, occurred in Victoria.

NSW has had 54 deaths, and Tasmania 13. The ACT, South Australia and Western Australia all have single-figure death tolls, while no one has died from the virus in the Northern Territory.

Papua New Guinea’s national control centre for COVID-19 said on Sunday 181 new cases had been recorded in the most recent 24-hour period, putting the case total at 7,038. The country’s death toll is at 61.