An 80-year-old Australian man has died from COVID-19 in Queensland — the first death to be recorded in the state in just under a year.

He was a returned traveller who had been living in the Philippines.

The man was diagnosed in hotel quarantine and admitted to Prince Charles Hospital on March 25. He died late yesterday.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the man acquired the virus in the Philippines and transited through Papua New Guinea.

Dr Young said the 80-year-old tested positive on day five in hotel quarantine.

She said everyone who had arrived on the same flight had gone into 14-day hotel quarantine and there is no risk to the community.

“This is another reminder that this is a deadly virus, and we still see thousands of people around the world on a daily basis dying from COVID,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.

It’s the seventh death of a person to be diagnosed with the virus in Queensland.

Former Papua New Guinea Eastern Highlands governor Malcolm Smith died from the virus in a hospital north of Brisbane last week, after he was diagnosed in Papua New Guinea and flown to Queensland.

The last COVID-19 death recorded in the state was an 83-year-old cruise ship passenger who died in a Sydney hospital in April last year.

Dr Jeannette Young is encouraging Queenslanders to get tested.(

ABC News: Stefan Lowe

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Dr Young said it was important people continued to get tested if they developed any symptoms.

“No matter whether you think you’re at risk or not of COVID, because we never know how it might get back into our community,” she said.

“Just come forward for your own peace of mind and get tested as soon as possible.”

 Queensland recorded two new cases of COVID-19 overnight, both acquired overseas and in hotel quarantine. 

Restrictions set to ease

The Health Minister said she was hopeful the state’s restrictions would be lifted on Thursday.

“We will be back to having some of the lowest restrictions in the country and we will be more open than most economies around the world,” Ms D’Ath said.

“That helps business and we’ve seen tourism pick up again, which is fantastic.”

It comes as the national medical regulator reported a second case of blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The country’s official advice was changed last Thursday, recommending against the use of the AstraZeneca jab for people under the age of 50 because of the risk of blood clotting.

Dr Young said while there were recommendations in place for people under 50 to receive the Pfizer vaccine over the AstraZeneca vaccine, it didn’t stop people voluntarily coming forward for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“It doesn’t stop people getting the AstraZeneca vaccine if they’re under 50 and they feel that their circumstances are such that they will prefer to immediately get vaccinated, rather than wait,” she said.



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Aquilino Managbanag

By Aquilino Managbanag

Aquilino Managbanag EXPERIENCE: Four years at The Asian Pacific Post, a weekly Canadian newspaper founded in 1993 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The newspaper specialized in reporting Asian issues, and has a readership of 160,000. It has a sister publication in The South Asian Post. EDUCATION: University of Santo Tomas – Manila -- The private Roman Catholic research university is Asia’s oldest existing university. The university takes pride in keeping the Catholic faith and beliefs prominent while holding true to its centuries-old tradition of academic excellence.