It is with great sadness that the Australian Government notes the death of a 78-year-old man in Western Australia with COVID-19 infection.
Our condolences go to his family and friends at this difficult time.
The man was one of the Australian citizens from the Diamond Princess whom the Australian Government assisted to depart Japan.
This news will be upsetting for the other Australians at Howard Springs, and the many people who supported the assisted departure and have cared for people on the ground.
While the overwhelming majority of cases (80 per cent in China) are mild, some are severe and there have been more than 2900 deaths worldwide.
With the international spread of this virus, it is almost inevitable that we will see more cases of COVID-19 in Australia in coming weeks.
Australia is not immune to COVID-19, but there is no country in the world better prepared for a health challenge like this.
We have a national COVID-19 Plan and are undertaking a large range of preparatory activities right across the health system.
The Australian Government and state and territory health officials are meeting daily to monitor this preparation and be able to flexibly respond to whatever challenges this virus brings us.