Coronavirus COVID-19 New York, USA
A worker uses a forklift to move a body outside of the Brooklyn Hospital on March 31, 2020 in New York, United States. Due to a surge in deaths caused by the Coronavirus, hospitals are using refrigerator trucks as make shift morgues. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

A 42-year-old man in Perth became the youngest person to die of COVID-19 in Australia.

The man, who has yet to be named, is a crew member of Artania cruise ship, currently docked at Fremantle. In total, Western Australia has recorded 79 COVID-19 cases from the cruise ship.

Health minister Roger Cook said the man is a national of the Philippines. He succumbed to the disease at Royal Perth Hospital on Thursday.

“His family have been notified and were put in contact with that crew member via translators and the shipping company, and they were able to reach out to him in his dying days,” Cook said.

“My thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends and fellow crew members in what must undoubtedly be a very difficult time for them.”

Artania is expected to exit the waters of Australia on Saturday.

The death brings Australia’s total COVID-19 death toll to 65. It follows the deaths of two seniors in their 70s last week. According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, Australia has 6,522 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, as of April 17, 6:38 p.m. Sydney time.

The United States continues to top the list with 671,425 COVID-19 cases, followed by Spain (184,948) and Italy (168,941).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned social distancing measures and other coronavirus restrictions may remain for several months. This may stay in place while a vaccine for the virus is still in the works.

"Social distancing is something we should get very used to," Morrison said in a radio interview.

"It could be a year, but I'm not speculating about that … Certainly while the virus is prevalent across the world (the 1.5 metre rule) should be a natural instinct.”

This is despite earlier calls by the government to reopen schools. Several states have fought this decision, keeping schools shut for the students and school workers’ safety.