Australia reports first coronavirus death

MELBOURNE: Australia reported its first death of a coronavirus patient in a hospital in the western city of Perth early on Sunday, health official Andrew Robertson said.

The 78-year-old had been in quarantine after being evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, among more than 150 Australians taken off the vessel.

"Our condolences are with his family and unfortunately he's the first death we've had from coronavirus in Australia," Robertson, the chief health officer of Western Australia state, told journalists.

The man's wife also caught the virus, but is in stable condition, authorities said.

Australia's tally of virus infections stands at 25, the latest government figures show.

On Saturday, Australia said it would deny entry to all foreigners travelling from Iran because of the spreading virus in the Islamic republic.

There have been more than 85,000 virus infections worldwide, the majority in China, the World Health Organisation said. Outside China, it has spread to 53 countries, with more than 6,000 cases and 86 deaths.