Australia's coronavirus numbers have passed 3000, as authorities in hardest-hit NSW warn the growing community transmission without a clear source is a "cause for concern".

The country blew through the latest milestone this morning after NSW reported another 186 cases overnight and Victoria another 54.

It comes after a horror 24 hours in which four people died, three in Victoria and one in WA. There are now around 20 in intensive care in NSW alone, with fears ICUs could be overwhelmed within 10 days.

Total confirmed cases, based on a tally of numbers provided by each state and territory, stand at 3050.


As of Friday morning, there were 1405 in NSW, 574 in Victoria, 493 in Queensland, 235 in South Australia, 231 in Western Australia, 47 in Tasmania, 53 in the Australian Capital Territory and 12 in the Northern Territory.

Thirteen people have died — one in Queensland, two in Western Australia, seven in NSW and three in Victoria.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Wednesday said two people, one in their 30s and one in their 60s, were in intensive care, noting she was not in the habit of releasing patient's ages but did so in this case "just to stress that Covid-19 is not an elderly person's disease".

"We have had many people overseas in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s ending up in ICU beds because of their diagnosis of Covid-19," she said. She wished the two patients "a speedy recovery but this does make the point that this virus can strike down quite young people as well".

Australia's deputy chief health officer, Paul Kelly, said the person in their 30s being in intensive care was a "wake up call".

"No-one is immune to this. Many of us will get sick from it. Some of us will get severely sick and end up in hospital. Some will need to be in intensive care. And some of us, as we've seen already, unfortunately, will pass away from this disease.

Coronavirus COVID19: A couple self isolate in a small hotel room. Video / Supplied

State and territory leaders have beefed up police enforcement to crack down on returning travellers to ensure they are self-isolating, and on businesses to ensure social distancing directives are being followed.



Australia's first coronavirus fatality was on Sunday, March 1.

He was a 78-year-old Perth man, who was among 163 Australians evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and quarantined at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory.

The second death came on Tuesday, March 3. The 95-year-old woman was a resident at the Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park, in Sydney's north.

Two other residents of the same nursing home later died — an 82-year-old man on Sunday, March 8, followed by a 90-year-old woman the following Saturday.

On Friday, March 13, a 77-year-old woman died in a Sydney hospital after recently arriving from Queensland. She had developed symptoms on the plane, was taken to hospital and died the same day.

An 86-year-old man died in a Sydney hospital on Tuesday, March 17, making him the state's fifth death and the country's sixth.

On Thursday, March 19, an 81-year-old woman died in hospital, bringing the death toll to seven. NSW Health said she had close contact with another confirmed case at Ryde Hospital.

The eighth death was a woman in her 70s who was rushed to hospital after disembarking from the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney on March 14. She died in hospital on Tuesday morning, March 24.

The ninth death was another Ruby Princess passenger. The 68-year-old Queensland man, died in the afternoon on Wednesday, March 25, in intensive care at Toowoomba Hospital after returning from Sydney.

Two men in their 70s died in hospital in Victoria that same night, marking the state's first deaths and the country's 10th and 11th. On Thursday, March 26, another Victorian man in his 70s died in hospital.

Later that day, another man in his 70s died in Joondalup Hospital in Perth after fainting in his home. He had also recently been on a cruise ship that had docked in Sydney.


People in their 50s make up the greatest proportion of confirmed cases, followed by those in their 30s, 40s, 20s and 60s.

Far fewer people aged over 70 or under 20 have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Where authorities have been able to determine the source of the infection, three times as many cases came from overseas travel as local transmission. The US and Italy have now overtaken China as the most common source country.

The first Australian case of Covid-19 was detected on January 25 in Victoria.

The patient was a man from Wuhan, Hubei province — where the Chinese virus emerged late last year — who flew to Melbourne from Guangdong on January 19.

Three more cases were detected the same day in NSW.

All three were men who had recently returned from China — two had been in Wuhan and one had direct contact with a confirmed case from the virus epicentre.

Since then, the number of cases has risen exponentially.

NSW quickly became ground zero for the Australian outbreak and now makes up nearly half of all cases in the country.

Experts fear that if Australia follows the same trend as similar countries where infections have doubled around every six days, there could be as many as 6000 by early April.