Australia

42-year-old cruise worker becomes youngest person to die from coronavirus in Australia

Crew members from the cruise ship Artania are seen isolating in their cabins in Fremantle, Monday, April 6, 2020 Source: AAP

A 42-year-old Filipino man who worked on the Artania cruise ship has died from coronavirus, taking WA's toll to seven.

A crew member from the coronavirus-plagued Artania cruise ship has died in a Perth hospital, taking Western Australia's toll to seven.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the 42-year-old man from the Philippines died at Royal Perth Hospital on Thursday, becoming the youngest person to die after contracting coronavirus in Australia.

"His family have been notified and were put in contact with that crew member via translators and the shipping company, and they were able to reach out to him in his dying days," Mr Cook told reporters on Friday.

"My thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends and fellow crew members in what must undoubtedly be a very difficult time for them."

WA recorded six new coronavirus cases overnight, bringing the state's total to 541.

Five were related to cruise ships, including three from the Costa Victoria and two from the Artania.

In total, WA has recorded 219 positive tests among people linked to cruise ships, including 79 from the Artania and 53 from the Ruby Princess.

There are currently 34 patients in Perth hospitals, including six in intensive care.

But 377 people have recovered from the virus.

The Artania remains docked in Fremantle but the German liner is expected to leave on Saturday.

Premier Mark McGowan said the man's passing was very sad, but it was still in the interests of everyone for the ship to leave as soon as possible.

"The Commonwealth has issued them with a directive to leave tomorrow," he told reporters. "If I was a crew member of that ship I would want to get home."

The crewman's death follows that of two people aged in their 70s who died last week, one of whom travelled onboard the Artania and another who had been overseas.

An 84-year-old passenger from the Ruby Princess and a 69-year-old foreign man who worked on the Artania also died last week.

The "fit, healthy and active" Perth grandfather Ray Daniels, 73, showed no significant signs of being unwell until he collapsed at home and died less than 48 hours later in March.

Perth man James Kwan, 78, was the first Australian to die from COVID-19.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

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

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