Queensland has recorded its first death from the coronavirus following the death of a 68-year-old man on the state’s Darling Downs.
Queensland Health on Wednesday confirmed the man had died, bringing the national death toll from the virus to nine.
The man had been on a cruise ship that docked in Sydney last week, the ABC reported.
The man had a “serious underlying medical condition before contracting the virus”, the department said in a statement.
“Queensland Health offers its sincere condolences to his family.
“The man’s family remain in isolation as close contacts.”
It is the first death in Queensland from the coronavirus but that of a second Queenslander after a 77-year-old woman from the Sunshine Coast died in Syndey. She is counted in the NSW toll.
It comes as over a dozen guests at a Noosa birthday have tested positive for COVID-19 in what Queensland’s leader says is a prime example of why people must stay at home.
The party-goers celebrated at Sails Restaurant last week before returning to their homes across the state.
Four staff who served guests have also tested positive to the infection and the restaurant has since been closed.
“This is how coronavirus can spread,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Wednesday.
“It is a very clear signal to everyone that this is now not the time to socialise, it is the time to keep your distance.”
She has desperately urged Queenslanders to cancel parties and stop socialising so that the virus cannot spread.
“I think this is a really clear example for everyone about why we can no longer have parties,” the premier added.
“I want it to be a strong message for all age groups out there, you cannot do this.”
She is making no apologies for shutting the state’s borders from Wednesday night in an effort to stem the spread of the deadly illness.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Queensland continues to climb, with another 46 cases diagnosed overnight, bringing the state total to 443.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 39,282 people had been tested.
Outsiders are being told not to visit the state and anyone who breaks self-isolation rules faces a $13,000 fine.
Police and health authorities have been making random compliance checks on individuals isolating themselves since January.
“I ask people to be patient but I also ask people if you do not need to come to Queensland, please do not come to Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk added.
Camping grounds will also be closed from Thursday in a bid to encourage people to stay home during the upcoming school break.
All holidays should be cancelled and people are being told to stay inside regardless of whether they are sick.
Bundaberg Rum and Beenleigh Rum are producing hundreds of thousands of litres of ethanol for hand sanitisers being made by other companies on the Sunshine Coast.
There is no shortage of food or household goods.
Pubs, clubs, cinemas, sporting venues, gyms, places of worship, auctions and open houses, beauty therapy and tattooists, amusement parks, libraries, galleries, museums, swimming pools and play centres are closed.
Hairdressers and barbers are limited to 30-minute appointments while all dining-out options can offer only takeaway and home deliveries.
Weddings are limited to five people and funerals to 10.
The state government on Tuesday announced it was pouring $1.2 billion into the health system to ramp up its response to the virus and $2.5 billion to help households and the workforce.