The Australian Government has renewed calls for Australians to stay vigilant as the toll of people who have died as a result of COVID-19 rises to 100.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt and Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck today urged residents to maintain physical distancing and strict hygiene measures to ensure the nation continues to flatten the curve.
It follows confirmation of the death of a resident at Sydney aged care facility Newmarch House – the centre’s 19th since the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility, with 17 directly attributed to COVID-19 and Australia’s 100th overall.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to all those people who have lost a loved one as a result of this pandemic,” Minister Hunt said.
“This tragic toll reminds us that even as Australian states and territories move toward easing of restrictions, the threat of this virus remains.”
Minister Hunt said it was vital Australians continued to follow the advice of National Cabinet and the AHPPC, which clearly outlines the measures needed to ensure we can navigate through this pandemic.
“We recognise the profound impact of every single death in Australia as a result of COVID-19,” Minister Hunt said. “While this is a tragic toll, it also indicates how strict measures adopted across the nation have served to protect our way of life.
“The Australian Government has outlined a clear pathway to recovery, but Australians everywhere should stay alert, follow physical distancing guidelines and look out for each other. Together, we can do this.”
Minister Colbeck said he was deeply saddened by the latest death at Newmarch House.
“Our thoughts are extended to all those affected by this latest loss,” Minister Colbeck said.
“The deaths at Newmarch House underline the dangers COVID-19 pose for vulnerable and senior Australians.
“Protecting the health and wellbeing of residents remains a focus for both Commonwealth and State.
“We are not out of the woods. Protecting our most vulnerable is everybody’s responsibility.”
Minister Colbeck said the Aged Care Visitor Access Code, released earlier this month, set out a nationally consistent framework to ensure the health and wellbeing of aged care residents remained a priority while ensuring important social connections were retained.
Both Minister Hunt and Minister Colbeck said the COVIDSafe app remained a key to ensuring a stronger, safer future for Australia.
The voluntary opt-in contactp app will help health authorities know who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
The CovidSafe app can be found on the Department of Health website.
The Aged Care Visitor Access Code can be found on the COTA Australia website.