A man in his 20s was confirmed as the youngest COVID-19 victim today. But details about his death remain limited.
A man in his 20s was confirmed as the youngest COVID-19 victim today. But details about his death remain limited.

Mystery over youngest virus death

A man aged in his 20s is among the 14 COVID-19 deaths reported in Victoria on Friday, bringing the state's toll to 289.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was asked at his daily press conference whether the youngest coronavirus victim was "in a disability facility".

"He was not, that is my advice," he replied.

Asked if he was aware of any comorbidities, being the presence of additional health conditions, Mr Andrews mentioned the issue of privacy.

"We are talking about one person, we are talking about - we believe - the youngest person that has died of this virus, or at least with this virus," he said on Friday.

"That's the other issue that would need to be teased out."

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed one of the state’s 14 COVID-19 deaths announced on Friday was a man in his 20s. Picture: NCA NewsWire/David Geraghty
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed one of the state’s 14 COVID-19 deaths announced on Friday was a man in his 20s. Picture: NCA NewsWire/David Geraghty

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Pressed further if he could confirm whether the young man died "of" or "with" the coronavirus, he said it was "a perfectly legitimate question".

"That's one that I have asked myself this morning," Mr Andrews said.

"But I can't answer that, only potentially, but (that is) entirely a matter for Justice Cain, potentially the only person who can determine that would be the coroner and I know he takes his responsibilities very seriously and that'll be a matter that he might well look at."

Judge John Cain has been the Victorian State Coroner since October 2019.

Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services releases each virus victim's gender and age bracket when the daily deaths are reported, which Mr Andrews described on Friday as the "limited information" he could provide.

He said the other 13 victims were three women and two men aged in their 80s, and four women and four men in their 90s.

Mr Andrews said 12 of the 14 fatalities are linked to aged care outbreaks.

"Our thoughts and best wishes, our sympathies are obviously with the families of each of those 14 Victorians and we wish them well at what will be an incredibly difficult time for them," he said.

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Mr Andrews said 12 of the 14 deaths are linked to aged care outbreaks. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw
Mr Andrews said 12 of the 14 deaths are linked to aged care outbreaks. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Andrew Henshaw

There were 664 people in Victorian hospitals on Thursday including 37 patients in intensive care units.

As of Friday, there were 659 hospitalised including 41 in ICU and 26 on a ventilator, Mr Andrews said.

Additionally, he said there were 51 new "mystery" cases, or those with an unknown source, bringing the total number of mystery cases to 3119.

Victorian chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton said people in the 20-29 age group were "over-represented" in that figure.

"There is a bit of an over-representation of youth," he said on Friday.

"They (those aged 20-29) are probably more mobile, they do more of the essential activities for a household, they're obviously more engaged in the workforce and so there are more opportunities for that age group to become infected and exposed to transmission," he said.

Two men in their 30s, who were confirmed as COVID-19 victims in Victoria on Wednesday and Saturday last week, had been the youngest fatalities nationwide until Friday.

Mr Andrews on Saturday confirmed the man in his 30s who was among 12 Victorian deaths announced that day was not a healthcare worker.

The coronavirus deaths in Australia by age group and sex as of Thursday. Picture: Department of Health
The coronavirus deaths in Australia by age group and sex as of Thursday. Picture: Department of Health

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Nathan Turner, 30, from the rural town of Blackwater, was reported by Queensland Health in May as the country's youngest victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the coroner later advised authorities the young man had returned a negative result for the infection following a post-mortem test.

His death had therefore been wrongly attributed to COVID-19 and has been removed from state and federal figures.

"You know I really want to say to the family that we're incredibly sorry that has happened," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in June.

"To the family I know that is still grieving and I don't want them to be stressed anymore, I know it is a very tough time for them but we do know that the coroner made that finding yesterday and we accept that finding."

Originally published as Mystery over youngest virus death