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A Victorian child under the age of 10 has died with COVID-19, becoming the youngest person in Australia to die with the virus since the pandemic began.
The Health Department confirmed on Saturday the child was one of five people to die with COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours. The other deaths were of people aged in their 80s and 90s.
“The child aged under 10 years, who died with COVID-19, also had other serious comorbidities,” the department said in the statement.
In early October, a 15-year-old Melbourne girl who health authorities said had a “a number of health conditions” also died with the virus.
That girl was the second person under the age of 18 to die with coronavirus in Australia, after 15-year-old Osama Subuh died in Sydney in August.
The total number of deaths in Victoria from COVID-19 since the pandemic begun is 1273.
Last month, University of Sydney infectious diseases paediatrician Robert Booy said the risk of deaths associated with COVID-19 in children and teenagers were extremely low compared even with vaccinated adults.
He said of the 25 deaths in COVID-positive children and teens up to the age of 16 recorded in Britain until March this year, half of them were in children who had a major medical problem.
“For example, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or severe heart and lung disease,” he said.
There are now 312 people in hospital with coronavirus in Victoria. Of those, 55 are in intensive care and 24 are ventilated.
Another 59 people remain seriously ill in intensive care with the virus but are no longer infectious.
There were 1166 new coronavirus infections recorded across Friday.
Cases across the state continue to slowly tick down, falling to a five-day average of 1021. Federal government modelling of Victoria’s “transmission potential” – a model that incorporates restrictions, mobility and vaccination – also suggests the state’s epidemic is still in the shrinking phase.
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