CANBERRA, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Australia's top health official has warned that more coronavirus deaths in aged care facilities are "a certainty."
Brendan Murphy, the former chief medical officer (CMO) who is now the secretary of the department of health, said on Wednesday that "we do have outbreaks in 77 of our residential aged care facilities in Victoria," which is around about 10 percent of the 770 or thereabouts residential aged care facilities in that state.
Victorian authorities on Wednesday announced nine new deaths from COVID-19, and seven of them are linked to aged care facilities.
It takes the national death toll to 176 and the death toll in aged care to 49 - a figure Murphy said would continue to grow with 804 active cases relating to outbreaks across aged care facilities in the state.
"The most tragic part of this aged care outbreak is that there have been 49 deaths in aged care. That is a terrible tragedy and there will be more," he said in a press conference on Wednesday.
"There will be more deaths with the number of aged care recipients that are infected. We know that, it is a certainty. We will see deaths every day and that is a tragedy."
As of Wednesday afternoon there have been 15,582 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in last 24 hours is 318, according to the latest figures from Department of Health.
Victoria has confirmed 295 new cases of the virus, marking the second consecutive day that the daily number has declined, and 40 previously diagnosed cases have been reclassified.
"Within Victoria, 34 of the new cases are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 261 are under investigation," said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria on Wednesday.
The department also said that 4,839 cases are currently active in Victoria and 1,418 cases may indicate community transmission. Enditem