5 July 2022

Canberra woman in her 70s dies with COVID-19, Australia passes 10,000 pandemic deaths

| Lottie Twyford
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Over the weekend, Australia passed the grim milestone of 10,000 pandemic deaths. Photo: File.

The ACT has reported 1199 new COVID-19 infections in the 24 hours to 8 pm yesterday as Australia’s total pandemic death toll passed the grim milestone of 10,000 over the weekend.

A woman in her 70s has died with the virus overnight, bringing the ACT’s pandemic death toll to 81.

That means 0.05 per cent of all reported cases (163,404) have died, below the national average of 0.12 per cent.

According to federal government statistics from yesterday, there have been 10,039 deaths from 8,250,740 cases.

The cohort with the most deaths is males aged 80 to 89 years, followed closely by females aged 80 to 89.

Worldwide, there have been 6.3 million deaths with COVID-19.

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Australia’s first pandemic death, a 78-year-old man called James Kwan from Western Australia, was recorded on 1 March 2020, but almost half of the country’s COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in the last six months, with the country’s death toll averaging 50 a day.

In the ACT, to 1 January 2022, there were 12 deaths with COVID-19. Since then there have been 68 deaths – 85 per cent of the Territory’s fatalities.

Caseloads are expected to rise around the country as the more infectious BA.4 and BA.5 become the dominant strains of the virus.

According to Professor Adrian Esterman, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of South Australia, those subvariants are masters at evading immunity, both from vaccination and previous infection, which increases a person’s chance of reinfection.

“The current vaccines are believed to still provide some protection against serious illness and death against BA.4/5, but they are unlikely to provide much, if any, protection against infection or symptomatic disease,” Professor Esterman wrote in The Conversation.

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Active cases have declined from yesterday’s record high of 7488 known COVID-19 cases in the ACT. There are now 7245 (3797 PCR and 3448 RAT) active infections in the Territory.

A total of 163,404 (97,588 PCR and 65,816 RAT) COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Hospitalisations are also consistently high. There are 136 COVID-19 patients in the ACT’s hospitals and two people are now in the ICU. No one requires ventilation.

The double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population remains 97.4 per cent and 77.3 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 69 per cent have received two doses of vaccine.

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Interstate, NSW has reported 14 deaths overnight and 10,504 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 1782 people in hospital with the virus and 58 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported 16 deaths overnight and 8740 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 543 people hospitalised with the virus and 28 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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