Coronavirus: Australia's COVID-19 cases cross 4,800

Last Updated : 01 April 2020, 11:52 IST

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Australia on Wednesday reported one more fatality from the deadly coronavirus, taking the death toll to 21, while the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed over 4,800 mark, health authorities said, underlining that a vaccine against the virus is the country's only hope of defeating the pandemic.

According to the latest official data, over a quarter of a million tests have been performed for the COVID-19 across the country as the number of cases reach 4,860.

The federal government released latest figures on Wednesday, which stated that 256,000 tests have now been conducted across the nation, with over 100,000 people tested alone in New South Wales.

The death toll from the deadly COVID-19 has touched 21 after another person succumbed to the infection in NSW. The person died on April 1 in NSW's Orange Base Hospital following "complications" related to the COVID-19.

"At the request of the family, no further details will be provided," the Western NSW Local Health District said in a statement.

Meanwhile, following the new rules for mandatory quarantine for all overseas travellers entering the country, over 5,500 people were kept in hotel rooms and other accommodation around the country.

The tough measure was adopted following the National Cabinet meeting on Sunday after health authorities warned people who had been overseas, accounted for about two thirds of Australia's known coronavirus cases.

The largest number of people are being held in NSW, with more than 3,140 travellers arriving at Sydney International Airport since Sunday, according to the official records.

Meanwhile, Australia's deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly believes a vaccine could be the panacea to the pandemic. The crisis gripping the world could linger for another 18 months as researchers work to come up with a vaccine.

"I don’t think we can eliminate this virus without a vaccine," Kelly said on Wednesday.

Kelly said that scientists across the globe are working hard on a vaccine but that "vaccines for coronavirus were not easy" and it was difficult to predict a timeframe on a vaccine.

According to the estimates by the Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 850,500 confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, and over 41,000 deaths.

Published 01 April 2020, 11:52 IST

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