The number of coronavirus cases in Australia is doubling every three to four days and passed 1000 on Saturday while the death toll remains at seven.
The total number of confirmed cases, based on a tally of numbers provided by health authorities in each state and territory, now stands at 1068.
There are 436 in New South Wales, 229 in Victoria, 221 in Queensland, 67 in South Australia, 90 in Western Australia, 11 in Tasmania, nine in the Australian Capital Territory and five in the Northern Territory.
Authorities had predicted these numbers were expected to rise as Australians returned from abroad.
Three of the new cases confirmed in the ACT on Saturday had recently travelled overseas.
NSW Health today reported 83 new cases, Queensland’s health authorities confirmed an additional 37 cases and Victoria reported a rise of 51 cases.
At least 43 have fully recovered.
Seven people have died – one in Western Australia and six in New South Wales.
Australia’s first coronavirus fatality was on Sunday, March 1.
He was a 78-year-old Perth man who was among 163 Australians evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and quarantined at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory.
The second death came on Tuesday, March 3. The 95-year-old woman was a resident at the Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park, in Sydney’s north.
Two other residents of the same nursing home later died — an 82-year-old man on Sunday, March 8, followed by a 90-year-old woman on Saturday, March 14.
On Friday, March 13, a 77-year-old woman died in a Sydney hospital after recently arriving from Queensland. She had developed symptoms on the plane, was taken to hospital and died the same day.
An 86-year-old man died in a Sydney hospital on Tuesday, March 17, making him the state’s fifth death and the country’s sixth.
On Thursday, March 19, an 81-year-old woman died in hospital, bringing the death toll to seven. NSW Health said she had close contact with another confirmed case at Ryde Hospital.
CORONAVIRUS IN AUSTRALIA
Nationally, the numbers passed 400 on March 17. By Friday, March 20 that figure had more than doubled to over 800, and on Saturday it surged over 1000.
A large number of people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s have been confirmed to have the disease.
Far fewer people aged over 70 or under 20 have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Where authorities have been able to determine the source of the infection, three times as many cases came from overseas travel as local transmission. The US and Italy have now overtaken China as the most common source country.
The first case of COVID-19 was detected on January 25 in Victoria.
The patient was a man from Wuhan, Hubei province — where the Chinese virus emerged late last year — who flew to Melbourne from Guangdong on January 19.
Three more cases were detected the same day in NSW.
All three were men who had recently returned from China — two had been in Wuhan and one had direct contact with a confirmed case from the virus epicentre.
Since then, the number of cases has risen exponentially.
NSW quickly became ground zero for the Australian outbreak, and now makes up nearly half of all cases in the country.
Experts fear that if Australia follows the same trend as similar countries where infections have doubled around every six days, there could be as many as 6000 by early April.