This year “there have been no people who have caught COVID in Australia and passed away,” says Australia’s Minister for Health.
Australian Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said in a Jun 17 press conference held in Canberra that no one in Australia has died from COVID-19 in 2021.
Mr. Hunt touted that the medical advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) had made a significant “difference” in the way Australia handled the COVID pandemic compared to the rest of the world.
“This year, for example, whilst the world has agonisingly lost over two million souls to COVID, there have been no people who have caught COVID in Australia and passed away,” said Hunt.
Watch the full press conference (above quote at 2:30):
According to Department of Health figures, Australia has recorded a total of 910 deaths from COVID since the start of the pandemic, the vast majority of which occurred in Victoria during its second wave of the coronavirus.
But no one in 2021 has yet caught and died from the virus anywhere in Australia, a country with a population of over 25 million.
Only one COVID-19-related death has been recorded in Australia in 2021, that of a man who died in April after returning from the Philippines and testing positive for the virus while in hotel quarantine, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
Prior to that, the most recent death was that of a 70-year-old man, who died in December from respiratory complications nine months after he contracted the disease in Australia, also according to AAP.
The fact that Australia has had no deaths from COVID this year is surprising given that coronavirus deaths in 2021 worldwide have surpassed the total number of deaths in all of 2020, according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
As of Jun 10, 1,884,146 people have died of COVID-19 in 2021 worldwide, compared to 1,880,510 in 2020.
”The good news is the globe’s seven-day average for officially reported new deaths has been trending lower in recent weeks. The average is also still at historically high levels, only recently slipping back below 10,000 deaths a day, which is a level not reached until late last year. For about two weeks starting in late January, nations around the world averaged more than 14,000 deaths a day,” according to WSJ.
Not only is Australia not currently in lockdown, but on Wednesday night Health Minister Brad Hazzard told news.com.au the state is not likely to enter a lockdown any time soon: “No plan to lockdown contrary to media reports this evening,” said Hazzard.
Moreover, a large number of Australians are not vaccinated.
Recent polling from Essential Media on vaccinations shows that 36% of Aussies who say they would get the vaccine wouldn’t take the jab “straight away,” while 13% say they would never get vaccinated.
Australia is not in lockdown, nearly half of its population hasn’t received the vaccine or wouldn’t take it at all, yet the country has reported no deaths from COVID in all of 2021.
Jon Fleetwood is Managing Editor for American Faith.