Queensland man, 30, becomes youngest person to die from coronavirus in Australia

The man is Australia's youngest COVID-19 victim and the first confirmed case from his central Queensland community.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the man's death on Wednesday morning.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the man's death on Wednesday morning. Source: AAP

A 30-year-old Queensland man has died from coronavirus, making him Australia's youngest COVID-19 victim to date.

The man's partner is currently being isolated at Rockhampton Hospital and is also showing COVID-19 symptoms. 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the man was from Blackwater in central Queensland and urged anyone in the area with flu-like symptoms to get tested urgently.

"Blackwater has never had a case of COVID before," she said on Wednesday morning.

"Contact tracing is extensively underway. The police and ambulance officers who attended the scene are also now in quarantine."

The man's death brings Queensland's COVID-19 death toll to seven and Australia's to 103.

The 30-year-old's partner returned home from work about 4:30pm on Tuesday and found him unresponsive.

State authorities do not know how the man contracted COVID-19, but say he had not left Blackwater since February.

An aged care nurse testing positive in Rockhampton earlier this month was the first case in central Queensland, but authorities have so far ruled out any connection between the two cases.

Health authorities have confirmed the nurse travelled to Blackwater in the second week of May, before testing positive, but a spokesman said she did not interact with anyone there.

"At this time, no evidence has been provided to Queensland Health that links the two cases," the spokesman told AAP.

The state's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the 30-year-old man was also suffering from other illnesses, and his death has since been referred to the coroner. 

"We received that result 11pm last night, so we do need to confirm it, but the suspicion is that he has died with the infection," she said.

"He has a complicated medical history and that also needs to be worked through, but every death due to COVID-19 is of course a tragedy for the family and I pass on my condolences to his partner and his family at this difficult time for them."

Deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly said the man’s death was concerning.

“We haven't had many people in rural areas in any state [die] and so at this point in the pandemic it is a concern,” he said.

“I understand that he had been sick for some weeks and I guess he hadn't assumed that it was COVID-19.

“It is another very strong reminder to all of us at this point that if anyone has any symptoms that are of a respiratory virus [or] a cold, it could be COVID and we really want to get that test done.”

The man is the first Australian in their 30s to die from the virus.

Australia has only had one person in their 40s and two people in their 50s die from COVID-19.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. 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 sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Published 27 May 2020 at 10:03am, updated 27 May 2020 at 3:58pm
By Claudia Farhart