ACT records first coronavirus death

A woman in her 80s has died from COVID-19 in Canberra Hospital.
A woman in her 80s has died from COVID-19 in Canberra Hospital.

The ACT has recorded its first death due to coronavirus, with a woman in her 80s dying in hospital after catching the virus overseas.

The death takes the national toll to 18, after Tasmania also recorded its first fatality.

ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said the woman died on the weekend in Canberra Hospital.

Dr Coleman warned the elderly were at an increased risk from the virus.

"It is why we need everyone to take the social distancing measures we are implementing seriously," she said.

Canberra has had a total of 78 confirmed cases, with the latest on Monday being a woman in her 30s who caught the virus overseas.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr echoed Dr Coleman's comments, asking people to follow the federal government's latest list of social distancing measures.

"It does reflect the significance of this virus ... and serves as a reminder why we must all observe the new rules," he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

Mr Barr repeated government guidelines that people over 70 should be staying at home.

Six Canberrans have been hospitalised because of coronavirus, with two recovering from the virus.

Seven people returned home to the ACT from overseas on Saturday, with five allowed to go home to self-isolate while two were quarantined in a hotel.

The five were assessed by health officials to ensure their ability to self-isolate.

Australian Associated Press