An Aboriginal man in Dubbo has become the first Indigenous person in Australia to die with Covid-19.
The man in his 50s died in the Dubbo regional hospital on Sunday. He had been in intensive care and had underlying health issues, Western NSW local health district chief executive, Scott McLachlan, dicho.
McLachlan told reporters it was a “very sad and sombre day” and urged people in the region to get vaccinated.
“Our sincere sympathies and thoughts go out to the family and friends and the broader Aboriginal community in Dubbo and across the region," él dijo.
“This gentlemen was not vaccinated.
“We know that people will die if the vaccine does not get into arms. We know there’s a lot of misinformation out there. There’s a lot of opportunity for people to get vaccinated across western NSW.
“Can I please implore everyone. This is time for us to all step up. Get the jab, get double jabbed, don’t mess around any longer … it’s a very sad day I know for Dubbo and the whole of the region.”
The man was one of four people to die with Covid in NSW on Sunday.
There are currently 561 active cases of Covid-19 in the western local health district, 65% of whom are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
An analysis by Guardian Australia found that non-Indigenous people in the district were vaccinated at more than twice the rate of Indigenous people.
McLachlan said there had been a “significant jump” in the number of Aboriginal people vaccinated in the past week with the delivery of 20,000 doses of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, which are being administered through GP clinics, Aboriginal medical services, pharmacists and health clinics.
There is also a drive-through vaccination clinic at Dubbo, the first in the state, which is open to people who have booked ahead.
But figures provided on Monday showed just 31% of Aboriginal people in Dubbo had received their first dose of a Covid vaccine and 9% were fully vaccinated – less than half the 64.5% first dose rate for the broader population of the Dubbo local government area.
Across the western local health district, 55% of people have received their first dose and 26% have received their second dose.
Existen 16 people in hospital in the western local health district, four in intensive care and three on ventilators.
The district recorded 51 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday night, de los cuales 33 were in Dubbo. Sólo 20 have been linked. Por lo menos 14 were out in the community while infectious, and testing numbers have dropped to just 2,900 despite a growing list of exposure sites.