Australia’s coronavirus death toll has passed 300, taking just nine days to increase from 200.
Key points:Consecutive record daily numbers of deaths have driven up Australia’s tollIt took 78 days to reach 100 deaths, and 75 more to reach 200Victorian aged care homes represent the bulk of Australia’s death toll
The announcement of 19 deaths today means Australia’s toll now stands at 313, and marks a rapid decrease in the amount of time taken to record 100 more deaths.
It has taken Australia five months to reach the milestone following the first coronavirus death of Perth man James Kwan on March 1.
The country’s 100th death was Alice Bacon, a 93-year-old resident of Newmarch House in NSW, who died in May.
There were about 11 weeks (78 days) between the passing of Mr Kwan and Ms Bacon.
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Similarly, it took 10 and a half weeks (75 days) for Australia’s coronavirus death toll to then double, with a man who was part of the Crossroads Hotel cluster and three deaths in Victoria pushing the toll to 201 on August 1.
The passing of the 300 mark comes after the record daily number of deaths was beaten twice in this past week.
The 19 deaths reported today marks Australia’s second consecutive day of record deaths.
On Sunday there were 16 deaths while the previous high came on August 5 with 15 deaths.
Read more about coronavirus:Victorian aged care homes account for bulk of deaths
The latest figures from Victoria have pushed the state’s death toll out to 228, with all bar one of the country’s last 116 deaths coming from the state.
Among the Victorian deaths, most have been recorded in aged care facilities.
Prior to these outbreaks in Melbourne, Australia went without any coronavirus death for about a month.
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From May 23, there were no coronavirus deaths until a Victorian man aged in his 80s died on June 24, which marked the beginning of dozens of deaths in Victoria.
Yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews said the state was likely seeing the “tail end” of the effect of Melbourne’s stage 3 restrictions’ stabilising effect on numbers.
Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth yesterday said Australia’s mortality rate was good compared to other countries, with the quality of the Australian system and more knowledge of the disease and treatment working in the country’s favour.
“I haven’t seen the latest mortality rates for COVID-19 over the past two or three weeks but it is the case that Australian results appear to be better than around the world,” he said.
“The capacity of Australia’s health system, including Victoria’s health system at the moment, to manage even the number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria… is sufficient. People have access to the care when they need it.”
Dr Coatsworth said the aim was to get the reproductive rate — the number of people an infected case passes the virus onto — as low as possible.
“It appears we’re on the plateau. We’re looking for the inflection point that tells Victorians that their efforts are being rewarded. That we see numbers going down. And we haven’t seen that yet. But I have no doubt we will see it,” he said.
“If you consider that stage 3 restrictions had us almost at a plateau, then the stage 4 restrictions will produce a result.”
Nationally, there have been 52 deaths in NSW, 13 in Tasmania, nine in WA, four in Queensland, four in South Australia and three in the ACT.
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