During the first year of the pandemic, Australia avoided the level of health impacts seen in many other countries, where there were large numbers of severe cases and deaths. As at 20 June 2021 there had been over 30,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 910 deaths from the disease (89% of deaths were in Victoria and 7% in NSW).
During the first year of the pandemic, Australia avoided the level of health impacts seen in many other countries, where there were large numbers of severe cases and deaths. During 2020, around 12.5% of people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospital for treatment of the disease. As at 25 April 2021, there have been 153 confirmed cases and no COVID-related fatalities among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
In some good news visits to GPs was supported by an uptake of new telemedicine provisions—so that in 2020, 36% of GP consultations were delivered by phone or video.
Also, age-standardised death rates for influenza and pneumonia, and chronic lower respiratory infections were lower in 2020 than the previous 5-year average and were particularly low during the winter months. There was also a reduction in injuries due to falls and road traffic accidents, with fewer presentations to hospital emergency departments and road deaths.
Also, the number of deaths by suicide in NSW, Victoria and Queensland have remained at similar levels to previous years. However, initial impacts of the pandemic in Australia regarding mental health appeared to have increased levels of psychological distress, particularly for adults aged 18–45.