Australia’s coronavirus death toll passes 40 as major Gold Coast beaches set to close

Crowds are seen at Burleigh Beach on the Gold Coast, Sunday, April 5, 2020 Source: AAP

Australia's coronavirus death toll has risen to 40, while the Gold Coast has announced it will close some of its most famous beaches after crowds breached social distancing laws.

The national coronavirus death toll has risen to 41 after Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia reported new fatalities.

A 90-year-old resident of Sydney's Dorothy Henderson Lodge became the 41st person to die as a result of COVID-19 in Australia on Monday evening. The man is the sixth resident of the BaptistCare aged care facility to die after contracting the virus.

Announcing the death on Monday, BaptistCare chief executive Ross Low said it was "nothing short of heartbreaking to have another resident lose their life to this virus".

“I have been on the phone this afternoon with the resident’s family, and I grieve with them in their loss. Our residents are not just numbers; they are beloved individuals in our care and the very reason we exist,” he said.

The most recent death followed that of two men, aged 85 and 86, in NSW on Sunday, bringing the state's death toll to 19. 

NSW Health said on Monday the state had recorded 57 new cases - a drop on the previous day which was partly explained by fewer tests being done over the weekend. 

The state's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases sat on Monday morning at 2,637.

Two new deaths in Victoria, a man in his 50s and a woman in her 80s, brought the state's coronavirus toll to 10.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the state sat on Monday afternoon at 1,158, 23 more than on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a man in his 80s who travelled aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship has been confirmed as Western Australia's fourth coronavirus-related death.

The state's department of health reported just seven new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking WA's overall tally to 460.

Gold Coast beaches to close

Some of the Gold Coast's most famous beaches will close after crowds flocked to popular surf breaks breaching social distancing laws.

Surfers Paradise, The Spit and Coolangatta beaches will close from midnight Tuesday to deter Brisbane day-trippers, in harsh restrictions handed down by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

"I didn't want to do this, but over the weekend shows me that especially people visiting from Brisbane are not listening to us," Mr Tate said on Monday.

"I say to Logan and Brisbane people - we love you, but we don't want you to visit us right now."

Locals will still have access to stretches of beach that remain open to exercise but must adhere to social distancing.

More beaches will close if people continue to ignore the advice from health authorities, Mr Tate warned.

"The curve is flattening, this is not the time relax, it's time to kill it off," he said.

Queensland on Monday reported just 14 new coronavirus cases since Sunday.

Western Australia’s temporary hard border came into effect at midnight on Sunday, meaning no one can enter the state without a police exemption.

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

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