Australia lowers COVID-19 death toll after 'youngest victim' found not to have virus

by Reuters
Tuesday, 2 June 2020 00:20 GMT

SYDNEY, June 2 (Reuters) - A man thought to be the youngest person to have died from coronavirus in Australia did not have the virus at the time of his death, officials said.

Late last month, officials said a 30-year-old man with underlying health conditions had died from coronavirus in the state of Queensland, sending officials scrambling to understand how he caught the virus in a remote part of Australia.

Mobile testing found no local COVID-19 cases, and late on Monday authorities said subsequent testing showed the man named as Nathan Turner did not die from COVID-19.

Queensland state Minister for Health Steven Miles apologised to Turner's family.

"Under this level of scrutiny, in some cases in quarantine, has only compounded that tragedy and their grief and to them I am so deeply sorry," Miles told reporters in Brisbane.

The revision means Australia has had 102 COVID-19 deaths from almost 7,200 infections, well below other countries.

With new infections now largely under control, many walks of Australian life are returning to normal, bringing a rise in the number of people commuting to major cites for work.

Officials have urged people to continue working from home if possible, but they have also moved to bolster transport services.

In Australia's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), around 3,300 extra buses, trains and ferry routes were on Tuesday added to Sydney's public transport network to temporarily increase the capacity for physical distancing. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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