Cruise ship curse claims another Qld life, 96 others infected
AN 85-year-old man who died in the Toowoomba Hospital from pandemic coronavirus had been on the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship earlier this month.
He's the second Queenslander who had been on the ship to lose their lives after being infected with the new virus. Karla Rose Lake, 75, who died in the Caboolture Hospital from COVID-19 on Sunday, had also travelled on the Ruby Princess.
Seventy-one Queenslanders have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after travelling on the Ruby Princess cruise ship, while 25 have also been diagnosed after being on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.
So far, four Queenslanders have lost their lives to COVID-19. Three of them were holidaying on cruise ships in the days before they died.
Last week, Garry Kirstenfeldt, 68, died in the Toowoomba Hospital from COVID-19. He had been on the Voyager of the Seas cruise ship with members of his family before his death.
Of the 23 Australians who have lost their lives to COVID-19, all have been elderly.
Seven are believed to have contracted the virus on a cruise, four of them on the Ruby Princess.
Speaking in Cairns today, Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles sent the state's condolences to the family of the elderly man who lost his life in Toowoomba overnight.
"Each of these deaths reminds us just how important our effort to … slow the spread of this outbreak is," Mr Miles said.
"The longer we can slow it, the better our hospitals will be able to cope with demand, the more lives our doctors and nurses and health staff will be able to save.
"That is what's at stake here - Queensland lives, people in your community, your neighbourhood, maybe even your family.
"When we ask you to do things which are often inconvenient, sometimes very inconvenient, sometimes very impractical on your work or your business, please know that we are taking this seriously because it is serious. This virus is deadly."
Queensland COVID-19 infections rose by 57 overnight to 835 - a jump of almost seven per cent.
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD
Mr Miles said 60 people were being treated for COVID-19 in Queensland hospitals, nine of them in intensive care.
Eight patients required ventilation.
Originally published as Cruise ship curse claims another Qld life, 71 others infected