First death in Australia from coronavirus as man dies in WA hospital

First death in Australia from coronavirus as man dies in WA hospital, by Victoria Laurie.

A man in his late 70s has become the first person to die in Australia from the coronavirus.

First Australian to die of coronavirus, James Kwan, 78

The man, aged 78 and from Perth, was an evacuee from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and had been transferred to a WA hospital from the Howard Springs quarantine facility in Darwin last week. He died at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth overnight. He has not been named.

The man’s wife, who is also infected, is still in hospital in a stable condition.

The man contracted the virus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise, a 15-night trip around Asia which became stranded in a Japanese port when the virus took hold aboard the ship, infecting hundreds of passengers and crew. …

The elderly man was diagnosed while in quarantine in Howard Springs nine or ten days ago. …

The man’s wife remains in a negative pressure room in the hospital, and would only be moved to intensive care “if she required that.” …

The man’s condition had been declared stable last week, but then deteriorated. Dr Robertson said the disease’s trajectory was not surprising.

“We know with this disease that often (patients) may have mild disease early on, but unfortunately the disease seems to progress over time as it moves from the upper respiratory tract down into the lower respiratory tract.

“It’s often the second week where people will deteriorate unfortunately and get a significant viral pneumonia.” …

World Health Organisation on Saturday raised the global risk of the COVID-19 outbreak from “high” to “very high”.

It’s happening. He died despite the best medical care available.

Imagine his poor wife. Her husband’s dead and she’s facing several days of medical stress which might kill her, because some authorities so badly mismanaged the floating incubator known as the Diamond Princess. How would you feel?