Please note: This story contains reference to people who have died.

 

An Aboriginal woman has died from COVID-19 at Dubbo Base Hospital on Monday, the second Aboriginal person to die from the virus outbreak in western NSW.

The woman, in her 70s, was from Enngonia — 90km north of Dubbo.

Her death is the second reported death in the Indigenous community from the pandemic, following the death of an Aboriginal man who passed away late last month, also at Dubbo Base Hospital.

Both were unvaccinated and are the only reported deaths in the region currently.

Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) chief executive Scott McLachlan described Monday as a “tragic day in western New South Wales”.

“Our sincere thoughts and sympathies go out to the family, to friends and the broader community,” he said.

“This is a very sombre reminder of the tragic outcomes that can happen when people get COVID.”

“They sadly deteriorate very quickly with this virus.”

Local health services, national organisations and government are encouraging people living in western NSW to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“For those who are concerned about anti-vaccine messages that they may be reading or hearing — please consult with your GP or your local [Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service] or visit the Department of Health’s website,” said Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt.

“Pfizer and AstraZeneca are made in the same way as other vaccines — there is nothing to be afraid of and they are your best bet at protecting yourself from COVID-19. Please discuss any concerns that you may have with your local medical professional.

“I urge all Indigenous Australians to get vaccinated. It will protect you, your family and your mob.”

By Rachael Knowles