Australia’s coronavirus victims: Covid-19 related deaths across the country

Guardian staff
·9-min read

The Australian death toll from Covid-19 related illnesses stands at 46, as of 7 April. This story will be updated as further deaths are confirmed and Australia’s coronavirus victims are identified.

Western Australia (4)

James Kwan, 78, Perth

James Kwan was the first person in Australia to die after being diagnosed with Covid-19. The 78-year-old Perth man was a passenger on board the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that was forced to quarantine in the Japanese port of Yokohama in February.

He and his wife were among the 150 Australians who were isolated on board.

He was transported home to Australia on a government-chartered Qantas flight and was diagnosed while isolating in Howard Springs, Northern Territory. He was then moved to a Perth hospital where died in the early hours of 1 March.

Kwan has been remembered as a tourism pioneer, establishing Perth’s first inbound tourism company, Wel-Travel in 1988. He was a founding member of the Western Australian Tour Operators Association, now known as the Australian Tourism Export Council.

Ray Daniels, 73, Perth

On 26 March a second WA man, Ray Daniels died at the Joondalup Health Campus after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

“We as a family are completely devastated by the sudden death of our father, husband and grandfather. He was a very fit, healthy and active man with no known underlying health issues. He showed no real significant signs of being unwell until he collapsed at home on Wednesday morning. He died within 48 hours,” his family said in a statement.

“Clearly this virus does not discriminate and we never believed for one second that it would take him from us.”

He disembarked from the Celebrity Solstice cruise ship in Sydney earlier in the week.


On 3 April a German tourist died in Perth. The man, in his 70s, was a passenger on the Artania cruise ship and had been transferred to hospital a week earlier.

On 6 April WA health minister Roger Cook announced a man in his 80s died from Covid-19 at Royal Perth hospital.

Queensland (4*)

Garry Kirstenfeldt, 68, Toowoomba

Garry Kirstenfeldt was the second Queensland victim, and the first to die in Queensland.

The 68-year-old died on 25 March in Toowoomba, after recently disembarking from the Voyager of the Seas cruise ship in Sydney.

His family say he was an avid traveller.

“Our father was a man with much more life in him,” his children said in a statement.

“He had been on 16 cruise ships and loved to relax with family or worry about activities to keep us entertained … We never expected his 17th cruise to be his last or no one to be at his side for the last moments of his life. As his family, this was the first time he had been in hospital and we were not at his side.”

The Queensland Department of Health said he had a serious underlying medical condition before contracting the virus

His wife Jennifer and other members of his family are now in self-isolation.

Karla Lake, 75, Caboolture

Karla Lake, and her husband Graeme both contracted Covid-19 while on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

Graeme told 7 News that he was in the room with Karla when she passed away in a Caboolture hospital on 29 March.

“She was just the loveliest person you could ever have married,” he said.

“She was an angel. She used to do work for Vietnam veterans in Hervey Bay… She would have done anything for everyone.”

Des Williams, 85, Toowoomba

On 2 April Des Williams, who was a passenger on the Ruby Princess cruise ship, passed away in a Toowoomba hospital.

His family say he was a patient and loving grandfather.

“Des was a beautiful man who saw the best in every person and gave so much of his time to each and every one of us,” his relative Jacqui Blackburn posted on Facebook.

“The news are reporting that an elderly man passed away, but while Des was 85, he had the health and strength of a 75-year-old. I wish they wouldn’t say he was elderly because he was nothing like that. He would spend most of his days in the garden tending to his plants and his garden.”

Williams was a retired minister at St Stephen’s Uniting Church.

His wife Bev was also a passenger on the ship, however, relatives say she is in good physical health.


On 5 April Queensland Health confirmed that a 78-year-old man had died at the Prince Charles hospital in Brisbane. The man had underlying medical conditions and had contracted the disease after recently returning from a cruise.

*Queensland counts the death of a Queensland woman who died in Sydney as part of its toll but she is included in national figures under NSW deaths and is in this piece too.

New South Wales (21)

Janet Lieben, 67, Orange

On 1 April, Janet Lieben, became the youngest person in Australia to die after contracting Covid-19.

The 67-year-old was a passenger on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that her husband, Jerry, also contracted the disease on board, and was unable to be with her as she passed away in a regional hospital in Orange.

The Dorothy Henderson Lodge

Six of the NSW Covid-19 deaths have been residents of the Dorothy Henderson Lodge aged care facility in the Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park. A 95-year-old woman died on 3 March, followed by an 82-year-old man on 9 March, a 90-year-old woman on 14 March and a 91-year-old woman on 28 March. The death of a 95-year-old woman was reported on 1 April.

On April 7 A 90 year-old male died at Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park.

A number of other residents and staff members have tested positive for Covid-19.

Opal Care Bankstown

There are now two deaths associated with Opal Care Bankstown.

On 6 April NSW Health confirmed an 86-year-old male resident died at Liverpool Hospital.

The next day a 90 year-old male resident died at the same hospital.


Other NSW Covid-19 related deaths include an 86-year-old man on 18 March and an 81-year-old woman on 20 March.

A 77-year-old woman from the Sunshine Coast died after her health deteriorated on a flight to Sydney on 13 March. She was taken to a Sydney hospital but could not be resuscitated. It was later confirmed she had Covid-19. She is believed to have had an underlying medical condition.

On 3 April, a 74-year-old woman who is believed to have contracted the virus overseas died in an Albury hospital. On the same day, a 75-year-old man died in Wollongong. He was a passenger on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.

On 5 April, NSW Health authorities confirmed four men died overnight. A 61-year-old in Hornsby Hospital, a 76-year- old and 80-year old at Westmead and a 91-year-old from Port Macquarie. Three of these men were believed to be passengers on board the Ruby Princess.

It follows the death of another unnamed passenger on 24 March, with a woman in her 70s dying after disembarking from the Ruby Princess earlier that week. She was transported directly to the hospital from the ship. The NSW Health Department said she was one of the initial three passengers who were confirmed to have tested positive on board the ship. At least 550 Covid-19 cases have been associated with the cruise throughout Australia, as at 2 April.

On 6 April, an 85-year-old-man died at Liverpool Hospital, he was a close contact of another confirmed case of Covid-19.

On 7 April, 87 year-old woman passed away at Sutherland Hospital. She was a passenger on the Ruby Princess.

Victoria (11)

Three men, all in their 70s, died on 26 March after being diagnosed with Covid-19. The death of a fourth man, in his 80s, was reported on 29 March.

On 1 April, a woman in her 70s died in hospital. The death of another woman in her 60s, which occurred the same night in a Melbourne hospital, was reported the following day.

On 3 April, the chief health officer confirmed a man in his 70s had died in intensive care in hospital overnight.

On 4 April, the chief health officer confirmed a woman in her 70s had died in hospital overnight.

On 6 April, Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos confirmed that a man in his 50s and a woman in her 80s had died overnight. The man, who died in hospital, is the youngest person to date to die after a Covid-19 diagnosis in Australia.

On 7 April, Premier Daniel Andrews said an 11th Victoria died overnight.

Tasmania (3)

On the morning of 30 March, Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein confirmed the state’s first death, a woman in her 80s, who died in the North West Regional hospital in Burnie. A second Tasmanian death was reported on 31 March, a man in his 80s. Both had been passengers on the Ruby Princess, the state’s health minister, Sarah Courtney, said.

On 7 April, a man in his eighties died at the North West Regional Hospital. He was a passenger on board the Ruby Princess.

ACT (2)

A woman in her 80s became the territory’s first fatality on 30 March. She had been a passenger on the Ruby Princess, the territory’s health authorities reported.

A man in his 80s, who had pre-existing health issues, died at the Canberra Hospital on 4 April.

South Australia (1)

On 7 April, South Australia recorded the state’s first death, a 75-year-old man from metropolitan Adelaide. He passed away overnight at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Australians overseas

A 36-year-old Australian man diagnosed with Covid-19 died in Iceland.

However, doctors said the man’s symptoms were atypical and although he had the illness they were continuing to investigate the cause of his death.