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Grim outlook for deaths due to COVID-19 in Australia

Flowers are seen left at the entrance to Anglicare Newmarch House agedcare home in Kingswood, near Penrith, NSW. Source: AAP

Multiple Australians in different age brackets have died from Coronavirus in recent days, almost all in Victoria. More deaths are expected as experts warn the COVID-19 fatality curve is lagging about two weeks behind the daily case count.

Professor Peter Collignon from the Australian National University is the author of a study into the COVID-19 ‘fatality risk’ in Australia and South Korea. 

The report found deaths lag behind case confirmations by an average of 13.7 days in Australia and 15.1 days in South Korea. This means it'll likely be two weeks before there is news about casualties related to the recent day's infections. 

Overall, the 20s and 30s age bracket in Australia has the highest infection rate and this trend is expected to continue as older, more at-risk people are likely to take more precautions.

Associate Professor Sanjaya Senanayake from ANU says this behaviour has been replicated overseas.

"If we are seeing the pattern that they are seeing in southern states of the US, where there is a very large outbreak at the moment, they’ve noticed the age demographic is about 10 to 15 years younger with that second surge in those southern states, which means that it is less elderly people and probably less people at risk of a severe disease of getting infected, it's more healthy young people, so you may see less deaths."

To hear the full report click on the audio link above.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at http://www.sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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