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Nurses Are Being Attacked While Treating Coronavirus Cases

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard is outraged over reports of nurses and doctors being attacked on the job while treating coronavirus cases.

Hazzard voiced his disgust over the reports, as he confirmed four more deaths overnight in NSW, with three connected to the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

"I am appalled. I think every right-minded member of our community would be appalled that our doctors and nurses are being targets for these people, who don't seem to get it," Hazzard said on Sunday.

"I remind that very small section of the community that that very same doctor, that very same nurse, when you see that person in a uniform in a hospital, and they might be actually putting a tube down your throat to keep you alive, you will wish you hadn't actually done what you did previously."

The NSW Health Minister said targeting doctors and nurses is not only "unacceptable" but "not Australian".

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He encouraged Australians to support health care professionals who are working long shifts during the global pandemic.

"I am... very pleased that we are also hearing report of this terrible virus reigniting in some places, that maybe wasn't there for a while, a sense of community," Hazzard said.

"The fact that people are gathering together through the use of social media and finding out who needs food, the fact that people in the streets know who their doctors and nurses are, who are coming back after working 12 and 14 hour shifts, and sometimes longer, and you are actually making sure that you are giving them meals, you are offering to babysit their kids, take their dogs for a walk."

It comes as NSW records 87 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the state's total to 2,580.

Four deaths were reported overnight, with three of those being passengers of the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

The deaths were all men, aged 61, 76, 80, and 91, NSW Health protection executive director Dr Jeremy McAnulty confirmed on Sunday.

The state's death toll is now 16, while Australia reports 34 deaths to coronavirus.

The minister warned people not to be "sneaky" and use the health emergency to take a holiday.

3D render of coronavirus. Image: Getty

"The fact that on the north coast, the central coast and the south coast, we are seeing large numbers of people coming into those areas, five days out from the Easter vacation, is quite appalling," Hazzard said.

"I know Aussies like to thumb their nose at authority, but on this occasion, I would ask you to not thumb your nose, because the messages we are giving you are about keeping you alive, keeping your family alive, keeping your friends alive, and making sure the community stays safe."

If you have headed off for a sneaky little holiday, my message to you is go home. Go home, that's where you should be. Home is the safest place.

He also advised young people to take the virus seriously, noting health data that shows around a quarter of COVID-19 cases are those under 29 years of age.

"For those people who think that this is something you can flick away, no, it is not. It is a very serious, serious virus," he said.

"The real problem here is if we get far too many people too early with this virus, in a very bad way, our hospital system has a line where it works to its maximum. If it goes above that, you are putting yourself at risk, but you are also putting our doctors and nurses at risk."

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