Coronavirus claims life of Toowoomba man infected on cruise ship who was allowed to travel home


March 26, 2020 09:34:37

A Queensland man has died in hospital from coronavirus after being infected while on board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that docked in Sydney last week.

Key points:

  • Gary Kirstenfield had been aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship before being treated in a Toowoomba hospital
  • As of Wednesday evening there are 443 confirmed coronavirus cases in Queensland
  • There are over 2,350 confirmed cases nationwide

Two Victorian men being treated for COVID-19 also died overnight, taking Australia’s COVID-19 death toll to 11.

Toowoomba man Garry Kirstenfeldt, 68, was being treated in an intensive care unit of a Toowoomba hospital but died on Wednesday afternoon.

He and his wife had been allowed to travel home to Queensland after disembarking from the cruise ship.

Mr Kirstenfeldt’s wife is in self-isolation along with all of his immediate family.

His family described him as “kind and adorable”.

Mr Kirstenfeldt was the second Queenslander to die from COVID-19.

A 77-year-old Sunshine Coast woman died on March 15 after becoming ill during a flight to Sydney.

In a statement, Queensland Health said Mr Kirstenfeldt had a “serious underlying medical condition before contracting the virus”.

“Queensland Health offers its sincere condolences to his family.”

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

The news comes after it was confirmed over a dozen guests at a Noosa birthday party have tested positive for COVID-19 in what Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said 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,” Ms 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.

“I think this is a really clear example for everyone about why we can no longer have parties.”

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Queensland continues to climb, with the state total at 443 on Wednesday night, while Australia-wide there are over 2,364 confirmed cases.

















First posted

March 25, 2020 21:05:03

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